Solar Has Officially Created Twice As Many Jobs As Coal

Solar Has Officially Created Twice As Many Jobs As Coal

September 10, 2012- REC Solar employees Brian Webster, left and Mario Richard, right, install PV modules on a Englewood, Colorado home participating in the Solar Benefits Colorado program. (Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL)

It’s no secret that the coal industry is a dying one. A large part of why it’s dying is because, currently, natural gas is a cheaper source of energy. As solar power has gotten cheaper, the industry has grown and with it, new jobs have been created.

The solar industry is growing jobs almost 17 times faster than the economy as a whole. More than twice as many people work in the solar industry than the coal industry according to a survey by the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit org.

Some politicians are trying to revive the dying coal industry, but last year alone, 40 coal plants were shuttered and none were built. The solar industry, however, added 14,000 megawatts of new power generation.

It may seem like a lot, but solar still only accounts for about 1% of the country’s total power generation. That means there’s a lot of room for the industry to grow and a lot of potential jobs.

Despite Trump’s opposition, solar power will likely grow from its current 39,000 megawatts of installed power to 100,000 by 2021. Of course, progressive policy can help grow the industry even faster, but what’s becoming clear is that the industry will grow regardless of what state and federal governments decide to do.

It’s a popular form of energy too. The survey found that 83% of Republicans and 97% of Democrats want to see more solar installed. The future is looking bright!


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