Canadian Investments In Solar Power Tanked For 2nd Straight Year

One out of every 50 new American jobs past year was in the solar industry, which now employs more than 260,000 workers, according to an annual report Tuesday from The Solar Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit.

The National Solar Jobs Census defines solar workers as those who spend at least 50 percent of their time doing solar-related work.

The number of solar jobs increased in 44 of the 50 states in 2016, showing that solar industry growth is truly a nationwide phenomenon.

The Solar Foundation said its "National Solar Jobs Census 2016" found 8,260 solar-industry workers in the state, up from 6,560 in 2015.

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"This bill comes at just the right time to grow the market in Florida, as The Solar Foundation announced today that Florida gained 1,700 solar jobs in 2016", said Scott Thomasson, director of new markets for Vote Solar, an advocacy group focused on solar energy, in a statement.

NY lost about 800 solar installer jobs last year, while employment related to utility-scale solar arrays tripled, the report found. Luecke said delays in getting community solar projects started accounted for the industry's decline last year.

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

Maryland ranked 12th for most solar jobs and ninth for solar jobs per capita. The DOE wrote that it estimates only 20.6 percent of people employed in the solar industry work on utility-level projects-another 54.6 percent work in residential solar, and the remaining 24.7 percent work on commercially-focused solar installations.

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Solar power, like wind and other renewables, faces an uncertain future in the USA because of the Trump administration's strong tilt toward the fossil fuel industry and pledge to dismantle climate change regulations that have helped to boost renewables.

In fact, last year, solar jobs grew nearly 17 times faster than jobs in the economy overall.

"Jobs have almost tripled since we first started tracking them in 2010 and this is the fourth consecutive year that the solar industry increased its jobs number by 20 percent or more", said Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of the Solar Foundation. "Renewable energy use translates to bottom-line benefits such as lower and more stable energy costs for GM in the long term", he said.

Nationally, the solar workforce grew by 51,000 jobs to 260,077.

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