While California has long led the nation in bringing new solar capacity on line, several states that might not immediately spring to mind as vanguard renewable energy markets, like Utah, Minnesota, South Carolina, and Georgia, occupied top slots.
Despite an expected drop in the amount of new solar power installations in 2017, the sector is projected to nearly triple in size over the next five years, according to projections by co-author GTM Research, a unit of Wood Mackenzie, which provides global commodities analysis.
Some of that projected slowdown comes in big renewable markets like California, where new construction is slowing following uncertainty over whether Congress would renew tax credits for investment in solar, which it eventually did.
In another indication of the industry's growth, the Solar Energy Foundation said last month that 1 in 50 jobs created in 2016 were in the solar energy sector, which employed a total of 260,000 workers, up from 90,000 a decade ago. The foundation projected the number of solar jobs to jump another 10 percent to 286,000 in 2017.
In a sign of the popularity for renewable energy tax credits, Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said last August in response to concerns that then-candidate for president Donald Trump might support rolling back federal subsidies, "If he wants to do away with it, he'll have to get a bill through Congress, and he'll do it over my dead body."
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