A new national report shows the U.S. solar industry’s employment dropped 6.7% from 2019 to 2020 while Oklahoma saw growth since 2012.
The Solar Energy Industry Association said total U.S. solar industry employment was 231,4747 workers in 2019 but the employment also declined across all labor categories and in most states.
The SEIA said the pandemic was largely responsible for the job decline as companies had yet to fully recover from spring 2020 work stoppages and the ensuing economic recession. The new report said the pandemic caused solar employment to fall in 44 states last year.
The report ranked Oklahoma’s solar jobs number 37 across the 50 states, showing only 927 employees in the industry. While some analysts point to low electricity costs as the reason solar energy has never made dramatic improvements in Oklahoma, the state’s solar industry has seen growth.
The number of solar jobs were capita in Oklahoma was one for 4,278 workers, which ranked the state 46th in the U.S. The state’s installed solar capacity was 7,528 Megawatts, a 45th national ranking.
However, the state saw 757 solar jobs added from 2012 to 2020, an improvement that ranked Oklahoma #29. Further, Oklahoma’s solar job growth from 2012 to 2020 was 445%, a ranking that put the state 10th best.
Utah had the number one ranking for solar job growth from 2012-2020 with a 2,288% after it added 6,636 solar workers.
Nebraska ranked second with a 938% job growth.