Maryland added 1,160 solar jobs in 2016

Maryland added 1,160 solar jobs in 2016, according to the National Solar Jobs Census

Maryland added 1,160 solar energy jobs in 2016, up 27 percent from the year before.

Maryland had a total of 5,429 solar energy workers in 2016, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2016, an annual report by the nonprofit organization The Solar Foundation.

Nationwide, solar jobs grew 25 percent last year, for a total of 260,077 solar workers, the largest annual increase since the report began tracking solar job growth in 2010.

The report defines solar workers as those who spend at least half their time on solar energy-related work.

The Solar Foundation attributed the increase in solar jobs in part to rising demand for solar energy, as solar panels become more affordable.

"More than ever, it's clear that solar energy is a low-cost, reliable, super-abundant American energy source that is driving economic growth, strengthening businesses, and making our cities smarter and more resilient," Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of The Solar Foundation, said in a statement.

California had the most solar jobs in 2016, followed by Massachusetts and Texas.

Maryland ranked 12th in the number of solar jobs and ninth for solar jobs per capita.

The report was part of the U.S. Department of Energy's U.S. Energy and Employment Report data collection, which conducted a survey including 500,000 telephone calls and 60,000 emails to energy organizations between October and November.

sarah.gantz@baltsun.com

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