The number of jobs in Iowa’s solar power industry grew by 4 percent in the past year, the Solar Foundation reported. 

The National Solar Jobs Census 2018 found that 844 people work in Iowa solar jobs, and nearly 100 businesses are in the supply chain. 

“The new census reaffirms what we are seeing in the field — solar energy is creating jobs and providing economic impact to rural and urban communities across Iowa,” said Tim Dwight, president of the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association.

Dwight said his group wants to guard against legislation that would favor utilities’ large installations at the expense of allowing residents, farmers and businesses to install solar on their individual properties. 

Solar jobs increased in 29 states in 2018. State policies and a drop in the cost of solar technologies have helped boost jobs, the report indicated. 

Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan were among the states in our region that gained jobs, even as the national total fell slightly, to 242,343.