Every two weeks, the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Campaign will ask key stakeholders and members of the community to weigh in on why environmental work like this is so important to them.
In line with this week’s theme, SOS: Save Our Solar, we’ll hear from David Murray, Executive Director of MDV Solar Energy Industries Association. Read below on why he does this work to Save Our Solar.
“A solar installer is one of the fastest growing jobs in this country, and for good reason: the average solar worker earns $19 an hour. Everyone has a different reason for wanting more: long term savings, energy independence, fuel diversification, cleaner air and water, fewer carbon emissions, a resilient grid – the list goes on. But something we don’t talk enough about is disruption: just like Uber disrupted cabs and AirBnb disrupted hotels – our era is defined by consumer choice taking a wrecking ball to monopolies. After decades of powerful utilities shirking economic and environmental responsibility, it’s time we empower citizens to choose where their energy comes from – no matter where they live.
By passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act, we’ll unlock the potential of solar power for all Marylanders. We have 5,400 solar workers in the state, but we are already starting to lose jobs to other states. Why? The industry has stagnated because we have already met our targets in the Renewable Portfolio Standard. To make matters worse, President Trump just issued trade tariffs on solar panels, a move that’s estimated to cost the national industry 23,000 jobs. As Washington abdicates climate leadership, its time for Maryland to step up and double down on its commitment to solar and other forms of advanced energy.
The Clean Energy Jobs Act guarantees nearly 15% of Maryland’s electricity would come from solar power – right here in the state. This would create 20,000 jobs through 2028 and attract billions of new investment to local businesses. It would send a signal to the rest of the country that Maryland is ready to reclaim leadership on advanced, growing industries like solar and move away from traditional, polluting forms of generation. I urge you to join the campaign to save Maryland’s solar jobs and create a strong industry for the next generation of energy leaders. Solar is critical to the Maryland Economy, and saving our solar is why I do this work.”