Montana Takes Giant Leap In Solar Energy Job Growth – Up To 22nd In USA
In 2016, Montana languished in 40th place among the states in renewable energy job growth, specifically solar, but the first half of 2017 has been gangbusters, vaulting the state all the way up to number 22 in the country.
Skye Borden with Environment Montana doesn't have the specific reason why the big jump has taken place, but says the momentum is clearly on the rise.
"Quarterly job data came back from a group called the Solar Energy Industries Association, and Missoula and Montana are growing by leaps and bounds when it comes to solar related job growth," Borden said. "We were number 40 in 2016, but for this quarter, we've bumped all the way up to number 22, and that's good news."
Borden provides some numbers for solar energy production in Montana.
"Right now, the state is only generating .04 percent of its electricity from solar," she said. "We've got nowhere to go but up. One of the things we're looking at is a net-metering study by Northwestern Energy that's going to be happening at the Public Service Commission, and we're a little worried that all the benefits of solar are accounted for in that study. We're also keeping an eye on Governor Bullock, who has said great things about renewable energy, and we're going to hold him accountable for that as we head into 2018."
Borden is convinced that solar is the energy source of the future, and wants Montanans to be bold and realize that a 100 percent renewable energy future is 100 percent possible.