Minnesota boasts 48% growth in solar jobs last year

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MINNEAPOLIS , MINN – The Solar Foundation released its eighth annual National Solar Jobs Census on Wednesday with exciting new numbers for Minnesota. Despite a slowdown in job growth nationally, Minnesota nearly doubled its number of solar employees between 2016 and 2017. Year over year growth came in at an impressive 48 percent – making Minnesota one of 29 states that experienced an expanding solar market. That news comes as no surprise to Minnesota solar business owners – who say the last few years have been on fire for their business as consumer interest expands as the price to install solar continues to drop – creating a winning, and profitable combination.

“The Solar Jobs Census shows that Minnesota experienced an impressive 48 percent growth year over year between 2016 and 2017. At All Energy Solar, we’re certainly experiencing that trend as demand for solar continues to increase. We view this report as a healthy measure of the industry nationwide – and particularly here in Minnesota. It also signals that solar isn’t slowing down anytime soon – it’s a good sector to find a job and it’s a smart way to take control of how and where you get your electricity. My hope is that we continue to lead as one of the fastest and stable solar markets in the Midwest,” – Michael Allen, CEO of All Energy Solar. – said Michael R. Allen, President of All Energy Solar

“ The remarkable growth of solar energy is creating jobs and strengthening Minnesota's economy. While overall solar jobs declined nationally, due to several factors including the tariff, Minnesota experienced an incredible 48 percent increase over the past year. What this tells us, is that smart policies, coupled with the ingenuity of our business community, will ensure Minnesota continues to benefit from this clean, low - cost, and reliable resource well into the future,” said Gregg Mast, Executive Director of Clean Energy Economy MN.

Read the Solar Foundation’s report in full: https://www.thesolarfoundation.org/national/

Minnesota Solar Industry Highlights:

• In 2017, Minnesota saw 4,256 people employed by the solar industry – up from 2,872 in 2016.

• Between 2016 and 2017 Minnesota’s solar industry experienced 48 percent job growth.

• Minnesota’s solar ranking (a measure of the total number of solar jobs per state) rose from 25 last year, to 16 this year.

National Solar Jobs Census Highlights:

• The Solar Jobs Census found that 250,271 Americans work in solar as of 2017, represent ing a 3.8 percent decline, or about 9,800 fewer jobs, since 2016. This is the first year that jobs have decreased since the Solar Jobs Census was first released in 2010.

• However, the long-term trend continues to show significant jobs growth. The solar workforce increased by 168 percent in the past seven years, from about 93,000 jobs in 2010 to over 250,000 jobs in 2017.

• Uncertainty over the outcome of the Section 201 trade case had an impact on the U.S. solar market. While the Census survey took place in October and November 2017, before the final outcome of the trade case was known, 86% of solar companies indicated their businesses would be impacted negatively if trade restrictions were imposed.

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About Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM): CEEM is an industry-led, non - profit organization dedicated to strengthening Minnesota’s clean energy business ecosystem. CEEM provides a unified voice for clean energy business across the state. Our mission is to provide educational leadership, collaboration, and policy analysis that accelerates clean energy market growth and smart energy policies.

Contact:
Amelia Cerling Hennes
ahennes@cleanenergyeconomymn.org
507.251.5140