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article imageThe U.S. solar power industry now employs over 260,000 workers

By Karen Graham     Apr 18, 2017 in Business
The solar power industry has done amazingly well in the United States over the past nine years, seeing a 30-fold increase in photovoltaic (PV) sales. Perhaps more significant is the number of people working in the solar industry - Over 260,000 to date.
According to Green Tech Media, the solar industry is continuing its growth spurt even through the first quarter of 2017. China, the United States, India and Japan, the industry's top four markets, are expected to account for 73 percent of the world's total installations in 2017.
However, here in the U.S., solar now employs over 260,000 workers, and that is more than Apple, Facebook, and Google combined, reports Futurism. But there is an even more impressive set of statistics.
In its annual report, Solar Jobs Census 2016, reports: "Solar employs slightly more workers than natural gas, over twice as many as coal, over three times that of wind energy, and almost five times the number employed in nuclear energy. Only oil/petroleum has more employment (by 38 percent) than solar."
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U.S. Department of Energy
Solar power does deliver jobs in America
It is difficult to reconcile President Trump's promises to put Americans back to work by reviving the coal mining industry when we look at the job figures that have come out recently. In 2016, California had a little over 100,000 people employed in the solar sector, a one-third increase over 2015 figures.
In the U.S., in 2016, 50,000 solar jobs were added. And by the end of 2017, the U.S. is expected to add an additional 26,258 workers for an annual growth rate of 10 percent. This is a faster job growth rate than what is projected for the U.S. employment growth rate over the next 12 months.
According to a report published by the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) Climate Corps program in January 2017, the solar and wind industries are creating jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the American economy.
Solar energy has seen a big growth spurt in the U.S. southeast.
Solar energy has seen a big growth spurt in the U.S. southeast.
Duke Energy
Another statistic on the solar industry is the number of women and minorities working in the sector. Women now represent a greater proportion of the solar workforce than in previous years, having risen from 18.7 percent in 2013 to the 28 percent reported in 2016.
So all the data is showing that solar, a renewable and clean source of power generation, is gaining in popularity and in the number of jobs it has created in this country. No one needs to be reminded that as climate change continues to impact on our environment, we must not continue using fossil fuels.
More about solar industry, Clean energy, Fossil fuels, PV sales, growth spurt
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