Source: CVDaily Feed

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah ranks 27th in the U.S. in the most recent National Solar Jobs Census. Andrea Luecke, executive director with The Solar Foundation, which produces the annual report, says 2014 was a year of growth for Utah’s solar sector.

“It went from having 910 solar jobs, to about 1,500 solar jobs and it moved from 30th place up to 27th place,” Luecke says. “So, good things happening in Utah.”

Luecke says the cost of residential solar products has dropped by two-thirds in recent years, which is driving demand and job growth. She also points to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan as the type of policy that will likely grow the solar sector. The Clean Power Plan calls on states to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

Luecke says Utah and other states dealing with the ongoing drought, may also use more solar in coming years, because it uses less water.

“Coal uses a lot of water, and solar PV uses very, very little water,” she says. “In those states as well, water is a big issue especially as populations increase.”

Nationwide, she says the solar industry now employs more than 173,000 workers, with the top sectors being installation, sales and distribution, and manufacturing.