Thursday, February 11, 2016

California and Massachusetts Lead U.S. Solar Boom

Ivanpah Solar Power Facility (Credit: AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Click to Enlarge.
Solar energy is ballooning across the United States with California and Massachusetts leading the way, according to a Solar Foundation report unveiled Wednesday.

The U.S. solar industry now employs slightly over 200,000 workers, representing a growth of 20 percent since November of 2014.  What’s more, last year the industry added workers at a rate nearly 12 times faster than the overall economy.

“We are seeing solar in Arkansas, Virginia, Kentucky, all over the place.  Arkansas in fact just broke ground on their first community solar project,” said Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of the Solar Foundation.

The sixth annual report is based on nearly three months of data collection and evaluated figures of 19,000 companies.  It’s also more detailed than it has ever been, as it now has solar job data for every state and federal congressional district. “Solar jobs is just a metric, but it’s an important metric.  It basically serves as a barometer for understanding whether and where policies are working,” Luecke told ThinkProgress.

California has five times more solar jobs than Massachusetts, the second highest ranking state. That’s not surprising to Luecke, “but for the first time Massachusetts hit the 15,000 mark.  Between the two of them they have 50 percent of all the solar jobs.”

Read more at California and Massachusetts Lead U.S. Solar Boom

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