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Solar Shines in Job Creation

Sullivan Solar Power

The clean energy job sector is on an upswing, and the solar power field in California is right at the forefront of that trend.

A report from Environmental Entreprenuers, a coalition of business leaders that focuses on environmental issues, recently released a report that analyzed the clean energy industry in 2012. The report found that more than 300 energy and transportation projects were started that year, and the resulting number of jobs created for those projects could reach 110,000.

Of the top 10 states in the clean energy study, California tops the list. (In ascending order, the other states were North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Connecticut, Arizona, New York, Michigan, Texas, and Oregon.)

For 2012 job announcements, California notched 38 announced projects, 1,640 projects in operation, 21,126 projects in progress, and another 3,588 projects that were in other stages of development. The 26,354 total was more than double the second-place state, North Carolina. Of the 38 projects announced in California, 15 were in the solar industry.

Throughout the United States solar was called a "consistent job creator" in the report. In 2012, there were 19,100 jobs created in solar power generation and manufacturing. While several clean energy industries experienced good numbers, the report noted that "solar energy's job announcement gains were noteworthy for their relatively high and steady numbers in every quarter." Solar power projects led the power generation category in terms of projects announced and in development, and were second, behind advanced vehicles, in the manufacturing category.

Judith Albert, the executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs, urged lawmakers to continue helping clean energy grow.

“It's now crystal-clear that clean energy and clean transportation are helping our economy recover,” Albert said. “Smart policies and regulatory certainty—at both the federal and state levels—drive economic growth. If 2012 taught us anything, it's that if America wants to keep creating good, clean energy jobs, we need good, clean energy policies.”

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