Study: Solar industry could add 14,500 jobs in Oregon

If federal incentive programs are extended through 2012, just over 14,500 new solar jobs could be created in Oregon by 2016, according to a report out Thursday from the Solar Energy Industry Association.

The study, by German research firm EuPD, took a look at the economic impact of the Department of Treasure Grant Program and the Solar Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit programs, both established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The study examined various scenarios but found that extending the grant program by two years and including solar manufacturing in the industry's existing tax credit would significantly increase domestic employment — to the tune of more than 200,000 new jobs nationwide, 14,523 of them in Oregon.

"Extension of the Treasury Grant program is essential to continuing our nascent economic recovery and moving to a cleaner, more distributed 21st century energy system," said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., in a press release.

Washington would stand to gain just over 5,000 jobs under the report's extended grant and tax credit scenario.

The report also found that the extensions would result in 10 gigawatts of solar installations by 2016 — enough to power 2 million homes.

A link to the full report and further analysis is available via the SEIA website.

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