Arizona continues to be a national leader for jobs in the solar energy sector.
The state’s solar industry employment reached 8,278 jobs during 2021, according to the nonprofit Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s 12th-annual National Solar Jobs Census released July 26. That’s up roughly 12.7% from 7,346 jobs during 2020, and Arizona’s 932 new jobs in 2021 was fourth-highest in the nation.
Arizona ranks sixth in the nation for solar jobs, according to IREC data. California continues to lead the U.S. with 75,712 jobs as of 2021. Florida ranks second with 11,761 jobs, Massachusetts is third with 10,548 jobs, New York is fourth with 10,524 jobs, and Texas is fifth with 10,346. Arizona was followed by Colorado, Nevada and Ohio, which each boast between 7,000 and 9,000 solar industry jobs.
Across the U.S., the solar sector added 21,563 jobs during 2021, IREC found. More than two-thirds of those new jobs — 14,350 positions — were with installation and project development firms. Nationwide solar industry employment reached 255,037 jobs in 2021.
California saw the fastest rate of growth in solar jobs last year, adding 7,035 positions during 2021. Massachusetts added 1,053 jobs, Nevada added 1,019. Behind Arizona’s 932 was Ohio’s 879. Solar jobs grew in 47 states last year.
“The future remains uncertain in light of the supply chain disruptions, trade issues, and stalled federal policy in the first part of 2022,” IREC President and CEO Larry Sherwood said in the report. “There is potential for unprecedented job growth in the coming years if federal, state and local leaders take action to expand clean energy use and address climate change.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Commerce was investigating whether solar panels imported into the U.S. from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are evading years-old tariffs aimed at stopping the dumping of cells and modules from China, where development is aided by the Chinese government. As of April, forecasts for U.S. solar installation during 2022 and 2023 had dropped by 46% due to the circumvention investigation, according to an analysis from the Solar Energy Industries Association.
In early June, President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration allowing for temporary duty-free importation of solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to prevent disruptions to the solar industry and the U.S. power system.
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