INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana saw an explosive 178 percent growth in solar jobs in 2013, according to a report released today by The Solar Foundation. From 2012 to 2013, Indiana created nearly 1,000 new jobs in the burgeoning solar industry and ranked 25th in the nation in total solar jobs, up from 27th in 2012. Despite the impressive percentage growth in Indiana’s solar industry, the state still trailed Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois in total solar jobs. Each of those states ranked in the top 20 nationally in 2013, with Ohio ranked 10th in the nation.
“Though we still have more work to do, today’s findings prove that solar is on the rise in Indiana,” said Jodi Perras, Indiana representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. “Solar energy is putting Hoosier workers back on the job and creating small business opportunities. While our neighbors still have more total solar jobs, few states across the country had as much job growth as we had in 2013. We should capitalize off of this momentum by finding ways to support this growing industry and make Indiana a leader in clean, renewable energy.”
Solar jobs include both installation and construction jobs and non-installation jobs, including manufacturing, sales and distribution, project development, and other occupations that support the solar industry.
Laura Ann Arnold, President of Indiana Distributed Energy Alliance, noted that Austrian-based Fronius is now manufacturing solar inverters in Portage, Ind. Fronius is an international company with global operations. As the demand for solar technologies increase, she hopes that additional companies such as Fronius will choose to locate in the Hoosier state.
"IndianaDG is a group of companies and individuals working to promote renewable energy and distributed generation,” Ms. Arnold said. “Increased usage of both solar thermal for space heating and domestic hot water as well as solar photovoltaics for solar electricity have a huge potential for job creation.
“Indiana is not only a great place for solar installations but there is a tremendous opportunity for solar manufacturing given our location and existing workforce suitable to various types of manufacturing. Indiana also has a unique opportunity to couple solar manufacturing with the emerging electric vehicle market."
"We are happy to see that Indiana is continuing to make strides in the solar sector. We still have a long ways to go to establish ourselves as a leader in this market but we are dedicated to supporting the renewables in our home state of Indiana,” said TJ Kanczuzewski, president of South Bend-based Inovateus Solar, a worldwide installer of commercial and industrial solar-power systems.
State solar employment figures were generated using thousands of data points from a combination of high-quality sources, including The Solar Foundation’s highly-acclaimed National Solar Jobs Census 2013, the Solar Energy Industries Association’s National Solar Database, and other sources. Statistics on all 50 states can be found on TSF’s interactive map, available atwww.SolarStates.org.
On January 27th, 2014, The Solar Foundation released its highly anticipated National Solar Jobs Census 2013, which found that the U.S. solar industry employed 142,698 Americans as of November 2013. This figure includes the addition of 23,682 solar workers over the previous year, representing 19.9 percent growth in employment since September 2012. During the period covered by the Census, solar employment grew 10 times faster than the national average employment rate of 1.9 percent. This growth rate is also significant in that it shows – for the first time ever – the solar industry exceeded the growth projections made in the previous year’s report.