Portland, OR - Solar in Oregon area now employs 4,509 people, a 50% increase from 2015, according to new data released today by the Solar Foundation. The data breaks down solar jobs in Oregon by county, congressional district and metro area. The new numbers come from the Solar Foundation’s 2016 solar jobs census, which shows that solar jobs grew in 44 states, and currently employs over 260,000 people nationwide.
The growth in solar jobs reflects the growth of solar itself. In 2016, solar was the number one new source of energy capacity installed in the United States. As solar grows, it has also reduced climate-warming emissions and helped to combat air pollution in Oregon.
The new report comes as state legislators consider whether to extend tax incentives for solar energy. The solar industry has warned that if tax credits like the Residential Energy Tax Credit expire, the recent growth trend in solar jobs could be reversed.
Carlina Arango from Environment Oregon released the following statement:
“Lately, Americans have had a hard time agreeing on some important issues facing our country. But we can all agree that solar energy is good for our economy, good for our environment and good for our local communities.
“As the numbers released today show, solar continues to grow rapidly throughout Oregon, providing good local jobs for Oregonian that also help to protect the environment.
“Every solar job we add in our state means we will continue to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and protect public health -- all while putting people to work in their communities.
“Ultimately we know we can and must repower our lives using 100 percent renewable energy in Oregon and across the country. It’s critical that state lawmakers act to keep this growth going by extending the Residential Energy Tax Credit. In doing so, Oregonians will continue to benefit.”
Environment Oregon is a state-wide, citizen-based, environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water and open space.