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In light of a new report, industry leader says solar jobs could be growing more quickly in Maine

Dave Kolpack
Associated Press/via Bangor Daily News

A new report shows that Maine ranks 33rd in the nation for solar jobs per capita.

A report releasedon Tuesday by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council shows that the solar industry added more than 20,000 jobs nationwide last year, and employed more than 250,000 people. California, Florida and Massachusetts are the states with the most solar jobs.

Phil Coupe, the co-founder of Revision Energy, said the industry could be growing more quickly in Maine. He said in the past, the biggest obstacles were challenges from the fossil fuel industry, and changing state and federal policies. Now, the problem is much more basic.

"The lack of a skilled workforce has become the biggest obstacle that Revision Energy faces in the clean energy transition," Coupe said.

The report did show that solar employment in Maine grew by 15% last year, which was more than then national average.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.