Combined solar and energy storage could bring 27,000 new U.S. jobs by 2021

The Solar Foundation released a report today at the Intersolar North America trade show which finds that the addition of solar could add 9,000 energy storage installation jobs in the United States in 2021, and that the addition of energy storage could add 18,000 solar jobs in the same timeframe.

The report includes only installation jobs, and does not mention manufacturing, sales or distribution jobs.

These jobs are in addition to the sharp growth of both solar and energy storage jobs in the United States, with storage expected to grow 9x by 2021. “We had to make a lot of assumptions,” notes Solar Foundation Executive Director Andrea Luecke.

Luecke says that there are a number of factors that lead to the increased employment, including the induced solar market when you add storage. “When you have new storage available, you are going to attract a new kind of PV customer,” notes Luecke.

This is the first time that the Solar Foundation has released a report on energy storage, and marks the increasing importance of energy storage to the solar industry. Luecke predicts that 39% of the energy storage deployed in 2021 will be to accompany solar.

At an energy storage breakfast session, GTM Research also released a new white paper, titled Smart Solar: Solar and energy management, that looks at the convergence of technologies, market structures and business models.

The company predicts that the U.S. solar + storage market will grow to $915 million this year, and to over $6 billion by 2021.