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Solar Industry Shines On California

Aired 10/18/11 on KPBS News.

A new report finds growth in the nation's solar industry outshines job growth in the rest of the economy. California has a huge share of the solar job pie.

— More than one in four of the nation's solar industry jobs is held by a California worker.

The National Solar Jobs Census found the industry created more than 100,000 jobs linked to the solar industry. California has 25,000 of those jobs. Colorado has the second most solar industry jobs with just over 6,100 positions.

Solar Thermal Farm
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Above: Solar Thermal Farm

"That includes jobs from assembly, to manufacturing, and installation to sales and distributions and also research and development," said Michelle Kinman of Environment California.

The industry grew by nearly 7 percent from August a year ago to August this year. The rest of the economy only grew by 1 percent.

"What this report is really showing is that U.S. solar companies have added jobs over the past 12 months at a pace that is so much faster than the general U.S. economy and the future for solar is quite bright," said Kinman.

The solar industry expects to add another 24,000 jobs around the country in the coming year.

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