Solar Jobs Double Coal’s Job Total, a Survey by the Nonprofit Solar Foundation Finds
Despite President Trump’s promises to American coal miners, the case for bringing back their jobs continues to weaken. Earlier this month, the nonprofit Solar Foundation released a report showing how the solar power industry is churning out jobs at an incredible rate.
From Fast Company Magazine:
As solar power keeps getting cheaper—and more and more of it is built as a result—the industry is also an increasingly important source of new jobs, adding workers at a rate nearly 17 times faster than the overall economy. Twice as many people now work in solar than in the coal industry, according to a new survey from the nonprofit Solar Foundation.
While 40 coal plants were retired in the U.S. in 2016, and no new coal plants were built, the solar industry broke records for new installations, with 14,000 megawatts of new installed power. Many of the jobs came from constructing massive solar plants like the Springbok Solar Farm, which is being built on a site that sprawls over 12 miles in the Mojave Desert. … Sales, manufacturing, and other solar industry jobs are also growing throughout the country. Overall, 44 of 50 states doubled (or more than doubled) the number of solar jobs in 2016, according to the report. One in 50 new jobs in the country last year was in solar.
Many of the jobs are also accessible to people who might otherwise struggle to find well-paying jobs. An entry-level worker without a degree can conceivably double their salary within a year, from $10-$12 an hour for simple manual labor to $20-$23 an hour. The median wage posted for solar installer jobs in 2016 was $26 an hour.
— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata
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