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U.S. Solar Industry Now Employs 100,000 People, Grew 6.8% Since August 2010

by Brian Merchant, Brooklyn NY

That's a net gain 6,700 jobs in one year
Don't let the Solyndra talk fool you: The clean energy sector is still booming. And even booming industries -- maybe especially booming industries -- see a fair share of once-promising companies go belly up. It's unfortunate that the Obama administration once touted Solyndra as an example of the fast-growing renewable power sector, but its bankruptcy is a poor reflection of the industry's health as a whole. In fact, renewable energy remains one of the few sectors to see consistent growth over the last couple years.

A new report highlights that health, revealing that the solar industry employs over 100,000 people, and added over 6,700 jobs in the last 12 months alone.

The 2011 National Solar Jobs Census brings the good news to a sector that could certainly use some. Renewable Energy World has the breakdown:

 

    • "As of August 2011, there are 100,237 solar workers in the U.S. in all 50 states.

 

    • Across the solar supply chain, from installers to balance of system (BOS) manufacturers, to yes, even solar PV manufacturers, that's a 6.8% growth rate since August 2010.

 

    • In terms of exact numbers, there were net 6,735 new solar jobs created since August 2010.

 

    • When I say, "net," my sources tell me that these numbers also accurately include the recent job losses from Solyndra and Evergreen."

 

6.8% growth is pretty fantastic for any sector. So take note: Despite a couple high-profile failures, the solar power industry is alive and well.

 

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