New report finds solar is Ohio’s fastest growing energy jobs source

By Ben Delman on December 14, 2017

Solar jobs are on the rise. This news comes from a new report from Ohio University. Titled “The State of the Energy Industry in Ohio: Job Trends and Projections”, the report takes a comprehensive look at job opportunities across the state’s energy industry. It finds Ohio will be home to more than 6,000 solar jobs by the end of next year.

“Ohio has built a lot of positive momentum in its solar energy industry in recent years,” said Gilbert Michaud, a co-author of the report. “A rise in installed PV capacity figures has spurred job growth in this industry, with the help from grassroots programs such as Solar United Neighbors of Ohio and commitments by electric utilities.”

The report says solar manufacturing will be the first driver of this growth. Northwest Ohio is home to several solar manufacturing companies. It points to the reinstatement of Ohio’s renewable portfolio standard as another boost to solar employment in the state. The state’s current net metering policy is also seen as aiding solar job growth.

Looking at the industry broadly, the report finds that solar in the state creates an economic impact of more than $7.5 million per MW of electricity installed. The average solar salary ($74,635) rates higher than the other industries studied.

“Our modeling suggests roughly a 13% annual employment growth for solar moving into the future,” Michaud said. “This number could increase with more supportive state policy mechanisms, increased education about solar’s benefits, and a continued decline in module prices.”