A report released today by The Solar Foundation indicates solar-related jobs in Michigan have increased to 4,118 in 2016 from 2,779 in 2015. The Solar Jobs Census of 2016 breaks down the number of solar jobs in every state by county, U.S. Congressional district, and Michigan House and Senate districts.
“Families, businesses, and municipalities all benefit from the low cost of solar energy, and as electricity prices rise, the payback for solar will only get better,” says Mark Cryderman, an executive with Green Panel, a Brighton-based commercial and residential solar energy supplier. “As businesses continue investing in solar power to reduce their electricity costs, we look to add even more jobs, like installers and electricians, to keep up with demand.”
Michigan was ranked 28th in the nation in 2016 for solar jobs per capita, a four-state increase from their 32nd place ranking in 2015. Data from The Solar Foundation indicates that installation jobs have increased 16 percent, manufacturing jobs rose 116 percent, sales and distribution jobs jumped nearly four times, and project development positions were up by 173 percent in Michigan. The state is ranked 35th for solar capacity and currently generates enough solar power via its 161 companies to run 5,384 homes.
The increase in solar energy investments follow Governor Rick Snyder’s legislation, signed in December 2016, that increased Michigan’s renewable energy standards from 10 to 15 percent by 2021. The laws also order the Michigan Public Service Commission to conduct a study on distributed generation to determine costs for utilizing the grid, and aims to have utilities supply 25 percent of electricity in the state from renewables by 2025.
The foundation expects solar-related jobs will increase 7 percent in 2017. The full report can be viewed here.