Solar jobs fall short of projections in Michigan

February 13, 2012

In 2010, the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic growth patted itself on its back for its touted solar program, claiming it had created more than 20,000 jobs, yet two years later those numbers are looking less impressive.

Solar and renewable energy was a major platform of former Democratic Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, now an anchor on Current TV. An April 12, 2010 DELEG presentation claimed "total job creation projection of 21,592."

From the Mackinac Center for Public Policy:

Michigan created 218,137 jobs in the second quarter of 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced last week. If all 21,592 of those projected jobs created in the solar industry had actually been created, they would amount to 10 percent of the jobs created in just one quarter in Michigan. (During the same period 200,177 other jobs disappeared from Michigan - part of the constant "job churn" characteristic of a dynamic economy like that of the U.S.)

But those 21,592 solar green job projections included "indirect jobs," which means those jobs that are created outside the actual company — such as assuming a coffee shop will open across the street from a new plant. […]

Clairvoyant (751 direct jobs), Evergreen Solar (596 direct jobs), GlobalWatt (500 direct jobs), Suniva (500 direct jobs), United Solar Evonics (700 direct jobs) all failed to produce the jobs the state projected.