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New Solar Jobs Report Shows Arizona Lost 2,248 Jobs in 2015

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 3.39.43 PMNEWS RELEASE

(Editor’s note: News releases are published as submitted, with no editing unless they contain factual errors.)

PHOENIX, AZ, February 18, 2016 The Solar Foundation released last week the Arizona Solar Job Census 2015 and reveals that Arizona lost 2,248 solar industry jobs last year, a nearly 25% drop from 2014. These losses resulted in Arizona dropping four places in the national rankings from third to seventh place. Nationally, the solar industry added 35,052 jobs, which is a 20.2% increase over November 2014 and 115,000 (123%) since 2010.

“While the rest of the country, including neighboring states, are growing their solar industry by over 20%, it is noteworthy that Arizona lost almost 25% of its jobs,” said AriSEIA president Tom Harris. “These significant losses are no surprise, given the regulatory and legislative hurdles facing our industry. One would hope this industry, the only one to create 10,000 new, high-paying jobs during the recession, would receive significant support from our elected officials.”

The Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2015 report cites increases in utility fees approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission and the state’s largest municipal utility, SRP, which itself recorded a devastating 75-95% drop in solar installations in their service territory, as the likely reason for the decline.

Lucy Mason, AriSEIA’s Executive Director added, “At a time where our Governor is saying we should be supporting small business and reducing regulation, we now have clear proof of the damaging effect increased regulation and government interference have on high technology employment in Arizona; a sector critical to our state’s long term economic success. We call on Governor Ducey to stand up for this industry and these jobs, not stand down and watch them evaporate.”
“Small business is the growth engine of our economy. No other state in the country has higher rates of solar insolation (the amount of sunlight hitting the ground) than Arizona,” said Harris. “That Arizona is not fully utilizing this significant competitive advantage and these job opportunities sets a dangerous precedent and is neither the legacy we believe the Governor and the ACC want to leave nor the message they want sent to the business and investor community.”
Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2015:
Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2014: 

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February 2016