Forecasting Change: Solar power industry growing

Growth also expected in the Sunshine State

Where solar energy shines
Where solar energy shines

ORLANDO, Fla. – In recent years, a lot of progress has been made to allow for a much better job of harnessing the power of the sun.

In 2019, solar made up 45% of the global capacity added. In 2020, solar and wind became the cheapest source of electricity for two-thirds of the world. The cost per megawatt has dropped in the past decade from more than $300 per megawatt to below $30 per megawatt.

In the USA this graphic shows the area that gets the most sunshine.

Where solar energy shines

By looking at the days with sunshine, you would expect the Southwest to do well with solar and be a leader with solar jobs. Because of sun exposure and physical size, Texas and California are the leaders in the country.

But Florida is looking to do very well in the solar industry as well. The change in jobs is expected to grow by 21 per 10,000 people during the next 30 years.

Change in solar jobs by 2050

And even parts of the country that are not leaders in sunshine received this turn to solar power that will lead to more jobs. The manufacturing of solar panels and equipment will actually outpace solar construction jobs.

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About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.