Guest post by Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation
In the last decade, the solar power industry has grown an average of 68% annually. Nearly 260,000 Americans work in solar at more than 9,000 companies across the country.
One state in particular, Michigan, created more than 5,600 new clean energy jobs in 2016 and is proving to be a contender against traditional energy hubs like New York and California. Ranking third out of 11 Midwest states for clean energy employment, Michigan has more than 92,000 people working in solar and wind combined. And, the state’s clean energy jobs are growing three times the rate of other job sectors.
So, what is driving this solar power growth in a state traditionally known for automobile manufacturing? Much of this growth is in tandem with Michigan’s century-old mobility industry as automakers transition toward clean vehicles that charge via energy subsectors such as solar and wind. The development of Michigan’s solar power industry is also reflective of the state’s larger commitment to renewable energy.