NEWS

One-Third Of The Nation's Solar Jobs Are In This State

Feb 13, 2014 12:36 PM EST by Michael Thrasher

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If you're getting into the solar energy industry, the west coast is where you want to be. 

California is home to nearly one-third of the nation's solar industry jobs with five times more than the state with the second most, according to the Huffington Post.

The Solar Foundation released its California Solar Jobs Census Tuesday, showing California had more than 47,000 solar jobs in 2013, up 3,500 from the year before. It's not surprising that approximately half of those employed work in installation, but where the hotbed for the industry might be. One might guess that Southern California has the highest concentration of interest in solar energy. In actuality, the San Fransisco Bay area is where more than 21,000 of the solar industry employees are located.

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While 3,500 jobs represents a very positive percentage gain, it is the projected longevity of the job growth that California is looking forward to.

"The California Census indicates that the future remains bright for in-state job creation, as the industry expects to grow another 20 percent and add nearly 9,000 new jobs over the next 12 months," the foundation's executive director and president Andrea Luecke announced in a press release. "With that level of optimism, it is clear solar power will continue to play an increasingly important role in California's economy." 

Following California was Arizona with 8,558 employed, New Jersey with 6,500, Massachusetts with 6,400 and New York with 5,000 in the industry.

The boom in the industry is mirrored by one in solar energy production. Last month, the California Solar Energy Industries Association announced that the state installed more megawatts of solar energy in 2013 than it did in the last 30 years combined, according to the Huffington Post. 

Federal funding coming in will likely to continue to grow that energy output.

"Just last week, Energy Secretary Moniz announced $30 million in federal funding for solar energy projects, nearly $2 million of which was directed to my Silicon Valley congressional district," Rep. Anna G. Eshoo said in a statement. "Solar energy is a forward-thinking approach to our energy needs that will benefit our communities and our country with a tremendous return on our investments." 

In 2007, the state launched the California Solar Initiative, a 10-year incentive program for residential and commercial buildings with solar panels.

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