WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Solar Foundation today released data on the number of solar jobs in Nevada by city, county, and congressional district, revealing the incredible economic impact of the industry on the Silver State. Nevada now ranks fourth in solar jobs and second in solar jobs per capita, with 8,371 workers in the solar industry. But the Las Vegas metropolitan area was one of only four large metro areas in the country to lose solar jobs last year.
The Las Vegas job losses came after a decision by Nevada energy regulators in December 2015 increased charges for rooftop solar investors and derailed the once-thriving rooftop solar industry in Nevada. The number of jobs in the solar industry in Las Vegas dropped by about 8 percent from the previous year, to just over 7,000. According to the Solar Foundation’s statewide census, Nevada lost more than 2,500 rooftop solar installation jobs, but lost fewer than 400 solar jobs overall thanks to growth of large-scale solar projects.
The Nevada Legislature is considering legislation to restore more favorable rates for rooftop solar investors, increase the percentage of power to come from clean renewable sources, and allow community solar gardens, measures that would help grow the solar industry in the state. Clean energy advocates testified in support of the rooftop solar measure yesterday, saying it would restore the state’s rooftop solar industry and revive solar jobs.
The Solar Jobs Census 2016 found that solar employment nationwide increased by a historic 25 percent from 2015 to 2016, for a total of 260,077 solar workers.