NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: JOBS IN THE SUN

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

December 7, 1941: Time to forgive but not forget.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How To Balance Competing Solar Interests
  • QUICK NEWS, December 6: Sliver Of Hope? Al Gore In Climate Change Meet With Donald Trump; The Opportunity In New Energy; Google Seizing New Energy Opportunity
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: A Way For New Energy To Meet Peak Demand
  • QUICK NEWS, December 5: Trial Of The Century Coming On Climate; The Wind-Solar Synergy; The Still Rising Sales Of Cars With Plugs
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: Trump Truth And Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: The Daily Show Talks Pipeline Politics
  • Weekend Video: Beyond Polar Bears – The Real Science Of Climate Change
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Aussie Farmers Worrying About Climate Change
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 1
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 2
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy And Historic Buildings In Europe
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 1:

  • TTTA Thursday-First Daughter Ivanka May Fight For Climate
  • TTTA Thursday-Low Profile High Power Ocean Wind Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-A Visionary Solar Power Plant
  • TTTA Thursday-EVs Have A Growth Path
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How The Clean Power Plan Drove The Utility Power Mix Transition
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How Utilities Are Answering The Distributed Energy Resources Challenge
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Looking At New Rates To Unlock The Utility Of The Future
  • --------------------------

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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, December 7:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Turning Distributed Energy From Threat To Opportunity
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Solar Policy Action Heats Up
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Maine’s Almost Solar Policy Breakthrough

    Monday, February 15, 2016

    TODAY’S STUDY: JOBS IN THE SUN

    State Solar Jobs Census Compendium

    February 2016 (The Solar Foundation)

    Introduction & Overview

    The Solar Foundation’s State Solar Jobs Census 2015 provides current employment, trends, and projected growth in the solar industry. This year’s State Census is comprised of individual reports for 14 states, an interactive districtlevel map at www.SolarStates.org, and this Compendium, which includes summaries of all states and regions based on the nine U.S. Census Divisions.

    This work follows the January 2016 release of the National Solar Jobs Census 2015. The National Census found that as of November 2015, the U.S. solar industry employs nearly 209,000 solar workers, representing a growth rate of 20.2% since November 2014, and 123% since The Solar Foundation first started tracking solar workers in 2010. In 2015, the solar industry added workers1 at a rate nearly 12 times faster than the overall economy, accounting for 1.2% of all jobs created in the U.S. Over the next 12 months, employers expect to see total employment in the solar industry increase by 14.7% – which is 13 times faster than the U.S. workforce as a whole is expected to grow2 – to approximately 240,000 solar workers.3 Nationally, solar power currently produces approximately 1% of U.S. electricity generation, but that too is expected to increase in coming years.4

    Factors that Differentiate Solar Power Among States

    This section addresses key factors that help to differentiate solar power employment and development among the states. Such factors include:

    • Customer demand

    • Solar radiation/resource

    • Grid access

    • Installation costs

    • Energy prices

    • Local and state policies

    More populated states generate greater residential, commercial, and industrial demand for electricity, including solar power. While California, the nation’s most populated state, leads the country in solar power, the next four most populated states – Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois – do not rank in the top five for installed solar capacity, and only New York joins California as a top five state for total solar jobs.

    Some states receive far greater solar radiation in a given year than others, as seen in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory map below. The sunny, dry Southwest has the greatest natural solar resource, generating on average more electricity from photovoltaic cells per square meter than in other part of the country. Not surprisingly, the four states with the best solar resource – Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico – rank in the top ten for solar jobs per capita. Nonetheless, regions that receive less solar radiation can also generate ample power. Germany’s solar resource is less than that of any U.S. state except Alaska, yet Germany boasts 40 GW of installed solar capacity, more than all U.S. states combined.5 Closer to home, even a system in Portland, Maine can produce over 90% of the solar electricity, on an annual basis, as a comparable system operating in Miami, Florida.

    Solar power systems typically require access to the grid. Large, utility-scale solar generation, for example, must have access to the electric grid to sell bulk power to consumers. While it may be preferable to locate utility-scale solar projects in remote areas, such areas often lack transmission lines that allow access to the grid. This disconnect can limit the potential for high radiation regions with ample open space to support more populated regions. However, the growth of distributed solar power could decrease the need for additional bulk power generation and related transmission lines.7

    The general decline in installation costs has been essential to solar market growth. Since 2010, U.S. average installed costs have declined 35% for residential, 58% for nonresidential, and 67% for utility-scale installations.8 However, among the states, there is a considerable amount of variability in these costs. A 15-state study of smaller (<15 kW) PV systems found that installation costs ranged considerably among states.9 Factors that influenced installation costs include (1) potential electric bill savings, (2) government incentives, (3) number of installers in the local market, (4) installer experience, (5) installation size, (6) installation ownership (customer of third party), (7) construction type (new construction or retrofits), (8) PV materials (thin film or crystalline silicon), and (9) source of materials.

    Installation costs typically range from $2.00 to $4.00 per watt, with residential systems costing more, and varying more, on average than non-residential and utility-scale systems.10

    The economic benefit of solar power tends to be greater in states with higher average electricity prices. Mainland U.S. electricity prices range from a high of 16.73 cents per kWh in New England, to a low of 8.48 cents per kWh in the West South Central Division of the U.S. Some of the highest prices for electricity can be found in populous states such as California, New York, and New Jersey, while prices are highest in Hawaii, at 26.81 cents per kWh. As of September, average electricity prices for 2015 were 10.51 cents per kWh nationwide. Due to the increased economic benefits of solar in states with traditionally expensive electricity, nearly all of the high-rate states have seen significant solar development in recent years.

    State and local policies and incentives can differentiate solar development among states. Chief among these are net metering and interconnection. A majority of states offer net metering, which allows owners of residential and commercial solar energy systems to sell excess power back to the utility. For most states, customers can sell the excess power back to the utility at the retail electricity rate. For other states, such as Hawaii and Nevada, excess power is credited at a lower wholesale rate, decreasing investment return on solar installations in those areas. States may also have aggregate system caps, meaning that utilities will only purchase a fixed amount of distributed power in a given year. Finally, there may be interconnection charges or fees for hooking distributed power up to the grid. Almost half (22) of all states received an “A” or “B” grade for net metering and interconnection as shown in the table on the next page.

    There are numerous state incentives, such as rebates and tax credits, that encourage solar development. Such incentives are often influenced by broader goals for renewable portfolio standards (RPS) – in which case states commit to derive a specific percent of their power generation from renewable energy sources by a specified year. RPS designated renewable energy sources typically include hydro-electric, wind, solar (PV & thermal), biomass, and geothermal. States typically designate 15% to 30% of their electricity generation from renewable sources by a year in the relatively near future. Some states such as California, New York, Maine, and New Hampshire have set aggressive RPS goals that will help to drive solar development in those states for years to come.

    There are policy developments related to technological changes that can differentiate solar power among states. Demand response tools, such as “automated load control, smart grid and smart metering, real-time pricing, and time-ofuse tariffs,” can provide flexibility for intermittent power sources, such as solar, to more efficiently meet demand.11 Efficient battery storage could further leverage these demand response tools. Additionally, the growing use of electric vehicles will increase demand for electricity. States that are quick to accommodate electric vehicles will experience a correlated growth in electricity demand, which may serve as an additional driver for increased solar development.

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