The American solar industry now employs more than a quarter of a million people, after a breakneck year that saw employment grow by a record 25 percent — and that growth is expected to continue into 2017, as low-cost solar panels nudge coal and natural gas out of the electricity marketplace.
California led the country with 100,050 solar jobs in 2016, according to a report released Tuesday by the nonprofit Solar Foundation. That was up from about 75,600 solar jobs in 2015. Nationwide, the group found, the solar workforce grew from 209,000 in 2015 to more than 260,000 last year — the fastest growth the Solar Foundation has seen in the seven years it’s been publishing this data.
“The solar industry currently has more (U.S.) workers than Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon combined,” said Andrea Luecke, the Solar Foundation’s executive director.
California Hits 100,000 Solar Jobs as Industry Grows at Record Pace, by Sammy Roth, The Desert Sun, February 7, 2017.