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Michelle Kinman,
Environment California

New data shows solar jobs growing in metro areas all over California

For Immediate Release

Los Angeles, CA - The solar industry now employs significant numbers of people in eight California metro areas, according to new data released today by the Solar Foundation. The data breaks down solar jobs in California by county, congressional district and metro area.

According to the data, the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area employs more people in the solar industry than any other metro area nationwide with 26,056 jobs in 2016, a 67 percent growth from 2015. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area follows close behind with 23,622 solar jobs, an 11 percent increase from the year before.

As detailed in the table below, six other metro California areas make the list, including the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos area with 11,306 jobs; Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville with 7,420 jobs; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara with 6,139 jobs; Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario with 5,077 jobs; Santa Rosa-Petaluma with 3,476 jobs and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles with 3,409 jobs.

The new numbers come from the Solar Foundation’s 2016 solar jobs census, which shows that solar employed more than 100,000 Californians at the end of last year. In 2016, solar jobs grew in 44 states, including California; solar now employs over 260,000 people nationwide.

The growth in solar jobs reflects the growth of solar itself. In 2016, solar was the number one new source of energy capacity installed in the United States. As solar grows, it has also reduced climate-warming emissions and helped to combat air pollution in California.

Michelle Kinman from Environment California released the following statement:

“Lately, Americans have had a hard time agreeing on some important issues facing our country. But I think we can all agree that solar energy is good for our economy, good for our environment and good for our local communities.

“As the numbers released today show, solar continues to grow rapidly throughout California, providing good local jobs for Californians that also help to protect the environment.

“Every solar job we add in California, means we will continue to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and protect public health -- all  while putting people to work in their communities.

“Ultimately we know we can and must re-power our lives using 100 percent renewable energy in California and across the country. The California legislature should quickly pass SB 584 (De León) to commit to a 100 percent renewable energy future. We encourage leaders in all sectors to help solar continue to grow and meet this challenge. In doing so, Californians will continue to benefit.”