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11 million were employed by the renewable energy sector in 2018, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports — an increase of 700,000 jobs from 2017.

Link to graphic: 2018 renewable jobs worldwide


Solar job Increase

  • As of November 2014, the solar industry paid living wages to 173,807 solar workers, representing a growth rate of 21.8% since November 2013. One out of every 78 new 2014 US jobs were created in the solar industry. In addition, these jobs support 531,200 indirect and induced impact jobs, bringing the combined total to 705,000 jobs.
  • U.S. solar jobs are projected to reach 210,060 by year-end 2015.
  • Average wage for solar installers is $20-$24/ hour; manufacturers pay assemblers nearly $18/hour; salaries for solar sales people range from $30 to more than $60/hour; and solar designers receive between $30-40/hour.
  • 21.6% of 2014 solar workers were women.
  • The solar installation sector is already larger than well-established sectors of fossil fuel generation, such as coal mining (93,185 – 133,870 jobs). In addition, the solar installation sector added nearly 50% more jobs in 2014 than the total created by both the oil and gas pipeline construction industry (10,529) and the crude petroleum and natural gas extraction industry (8,688).[1 scroll down]
  • The solar industry will add roughly the same number of jobs in 2015 (36,153) as the much larger fossil fuel industry (37,206).
Chart of Job Growth in the Solar Industry
Click chart for a link to the full factsheet.
  • Presently, there are 2,226 solar companies at work throughout the California, employing 54,700.
  • The California residential solar panel market continued to flourish in Q1, 2015 with installed system prices dropping 4 percent year-over-year – and down nearly 50 percent since 2010. The upswing in residential installations is expected to continue in the foreseeable future, especially in light of a recent report by the California Energy Commission, which shows that more than a quarter of all new homes being built in Southern California are being constructed with solar energy systems.
  • With potential markets (California, etc.)  for power  generated by Montana coal-fire facilities drying up, and with California requiring more (50%) renewables in the mix of power sold there, Montana will need to provide a greater percent of green electrons than now available if it is to sell power out of state.
wind & jobs 2030
Click the picture to be taken to the “Wind Vision” report.
US Wind capacity March 2015
US Wind capacity March 2015

A wind farm or factory suppling the industry now exist in every state. Turbine technician remains the 2nd fastest growing US career. More than 114,000 Americans worked in wind power as of 1/1/19.

The U.S. wind industry drove $12 billion in private investment in 2014, for a total of more than $100 billion since 2008.

Permanent Workforce at Judith Gap, MT Wind Farm
Permanent Workforce at Judith Gap, MT Wind Farm. Click on the photo to sign the 80% renewable electricity by 2050 petition & support additional retaining and unemployment benefits for fossil fuel & transportation workers displaced by the transition to renewable energy.
Permanent Workforce at Judith Gap, MT Wind Farm

For a full report on US & Montana wind potential click here for the US Department of Energy’s March 2015 Wind Vision Report


The hydropower industry currently accounts for approximately 200,000-300,000 jobs according to a study by Navigant Consulting Inc. And according to the same study, with the right policies, the industry could add 1.4 million new cumulative direct, indirect and induced full time equivalents (FTE) jobs by 2025.

To show you want climate justice for fossil fuel workers as well as the rest of us during the transition to 80% renewable electricity by 2034, please sign  to support this ballot initiative when the paper version becomes available for signing by clicking HERE.

Page partially updated 9/9/19



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MTCares is a Montana nonprofit working to create a brighter and better future for all Montanans. 

Initiative 187

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