San Francisco, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] As part of its effort to expand state-level solar programs and continue the growth in green collar jobs, solar advocacy organization Vote Solar has released potential job-creation figures for key markets in the U.S.
Vote Solar publicized the findings through fictional “help wanted” ads in major newspapers serving Florida, Nevada and Texas, where the organization is working to build aggressive solar programs under each state’s renewable portfolio standard.
Florida is currently crafting a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requiring utilities to get 20 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2020, with 25 percent of that target coming from solar and wind. That could mean the development of 3,800 megawatts (MW) of new solar and the creation of 85,000 new jobs, according to Gwen Rose, deputy director of Vote Solar.
“Florida has already made tremendous progress on critical interconnection and net metering policies that support solar market growth. A strong RPS is the final key to unlocking solar’s economic potential in the sunshine state,” said Rose.
The Florida Public Service Commission and Legislature are currently working out the details of the RPS.
The faux ads were also featured in Texas, a state with good solar resources but very little capacity. Vote Solar is hoping to change that by advocating for a revision to the Texas RPS and adding tens of thousands of jobs to the state. The organization estimates that between 40,000 and 90,000 new jobs could be created within the state if a 3,000 MW solar program were crafted.
“Solar installed in Texas means jobs in Texas. It’s as simple as that,” said Adam Browning, executive director of Vote Solar.
The last state to see the newspaper ads was Nevada, which already has a 5% solar carve-out as part of its renewable energy procurement target. But the legislature will consider revisions to the RPS this year, with new net metering and penalty provisions being a crucial part of those changes. An additional 10,000 jobs could be added in the state if program rules are redesigned to make solar development easier.
According to Vote Solar, solar photovoltaics and solar thermal generate more jobs per MW than any other energy technology. Those jobs include electrical work, structural engineering, construction, manufacturing, sales, marketing, finance and legal services. By focusing on these areas, states all around the U.S. could see the boom in green collar jobs that politicians and industry advocates are calling for, the organization said.
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