The rise of renewable electricity into the U.S. energy infrastructure and economy means that weather is playing a growing a role in electricity generation. Since the start of the decade, wind capacity across the U.S. has more than doubled, and the cost to install solar energy has fallen 70 percent.
Solar and wind electricity generation in the U.S. are growing rapidly. Georgia, Maryland, and Nevada have more than tripled solar generation during the 2010s. And Texas has been leading the way in wind power for several years, with generation up 29 percent per year from 2001 to 2017.
Jobs in wind and solar energy are not just confined to the states where the power is generated, as jobs in development, production, construction, operations, and others are all included. But not surprisingly, jobs in the wind energy sector are highest in the Plains, where wind, and thus wind power is more consistent. The solar energy sector provides more than a quarter-million jobs in the U.S., up more than 160 percent since the start of this decade. California is tops with more than 86,000 solar jobs, but there are hotbeds of solar jobs from Massachusetts to North Carolina.