Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New Report: Florida Solar Jobs on the Rise in Florida

For Immediate Release
March 28, 2016

Media Contacts: 
Phil Compton, Sierra Club (FL), phil.compton@sierraclub.org
Shane Levy, Sierra Club (CA), shane.levy@sierraclub.org

Solar Jobs on the Rise in Florida

The Sunshine State is providing thousands of solar jobs and that number is growing
Achieving 100 percent clean energy will transform Florida’s economy

Tampa, Florida –Florida created more than 1,700 new jobs in the state’s growing solar industry last year, according to a report released today by The Solar Foundation. Florida is now home to 8,260 solar jobs, an increase of 26% from 2015 figures. The findings highlight the enormous jobs potential for a transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy in Florida as well as the opportunity for local leaders to create more family-sustaining, union jobs in a growing industry across the region. Here is a sample of Florida Metropolitan Statistical Areas:

Metropolitan areas
2016 jobs
2015 jobs
% increase or decrease
number of jobs gained or lost
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach

Click here for national interactive Solar Census
Click here for Florida interactive Solar Census.

25 U.S. cities have now committed to transition entirely to clean and renewable energy between 2030 and 2035. Cities including cities like St. Petersburg, San Diego and Salt Lake City, and smaller towns like Georgetown, Texas and Abita Springs, Louisiana, are among the places that have made the commitment.

Solar panels on South Beach
“Solar jobs are on the rise and clean energy is putting people to work in cities across our state. We can and must go further in creating more opportunity and expanding prosperity for Floridians by doubling down on clean and renewable energy like solar. Now is the time for action and for the mayors of Florida cities to stand on the side of more jobs by supporting the goal of 100 percent clean energy,” said Frank Jackalone, Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director.

“While the Trump Administration turns its back on fighting pollution from fossil fuels, we can step up by protecting our communities' health and boosting our economy here in Florida. Transitioning to clean energy like solar will spur innovation, launch new businesses, create good-paying jobs, and drive economic growth that benefits all Americans. With more and more jobs being created in the growing solar industry today, now is the time for Florida Mayors to go all-in on clean energy in our state,” said Phil Compton, Sierra Club Senior Organizing Representative Sierra Club Ready for 100 Campaign.

Solar jobs listed in the report 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.

“State-by-state and city-by-city, our nation is moving away from polluting fossil fuels toward an economy where solar is powering our homes and putting people to work. As we transition towards more clean energy, we must ensure that the benefits of a new 100 percent clean energy economy are equitably shared and that the jobs and opportunities created by clean energy provide living wages, healthcare benefits, and union representation for workers,” said Compton.

In February, The Solar Foundation released its 2016 National Solar Jobs Census, which found that the U.S. solar industry employed 260,077 workers. This figure includes the addition of over 51,000 solar workers over the previous year, representing a 25 percent growth in employment from 2015.  Over the next 12 months, employers surveyed expect to see total solar industry employment increase by 10 percent to 286,335 solar workers.

About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.9 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.