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Solar surge accounts for one in every 50 new U.S. jobs

09 February 2017

Packed with smile-inducing, fact-checked info, it demonstrates how smart policies, at both the state and the federal level, can translate into public benefits, in this case: jobs-an additional 51,000 of them past year.

The new report calculates that for total jobs, solar is now the second largest US energy industry, second only to oil and petroleum and considerably larger than coal.

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But a silver lining in the report from The Solar Foundation shows the state lost only about 400 solar jobs overall.

"Every single one of the states that voted for President Trump, with the exception of Tennessee, had growth, and all battleground states, they all added substantially", said Luecke.

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States where solar jobs contracted in 2016 include Nevada and MA, where changes in policies that support solar dampened demand previous year. "Florida should be a leader in solar, and the passage of this bill brings us one step closer to that reality".

As the solar energy industry grows, more states will figure significantly in solar jobs numbers.

Solar power shouldn't be a hard sell to even the most skeptical allies of Trump, who has given preference to fossil fuels and repeatedly called climate change "a hoax". Compare that with the wages in other industries open to people without college-fast food, retail, home health-and you understand the kind of promise the solar industry holds for America. That grew to 4,408 the next year, propelling Utah to No. 14 in the country for solar jobs. In other words, solar is doing more than its fair share to keep the nation's manufacturing sector afloat.

The solar jobs census follows a U.S. Department of Energy study released last month that found more Americans work in solar than at natural gas or coal power plants. That's more than twice the number now working in the coal industry. "People are seeing friends and family all installing solar, and are much more curious and eager to invest in the technology".

However, state policies will be crucial in supporting continued growth in solar power deployment as well as jobs, Luecke said.