Solar Power Workers Outnumber Coal Miners in U.S.

by Christopher Freeburn | April 24, 2013 11:47 am

Solar Power Workers Outnumber Coal Miners in U.S.

solar panels 630px 300x180 Solar Power Workers Outnumber Coal Miners in U.S.[1]With renewable energy promotion rising steadily, a number of states now boast growing numbers of people employed in the solar power industry[2].

In fact, according to TreeHugger, data from the Solar Foundation and the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that there are now 119,000 people across the U.S. Working in solar energy production. That compares to 87,529 employed in the coal mining business last year[3].

Not surprisingly, the solar power industry is most prevalent in sunbelt states like California and Arizona. California, for instance, employers 43,000 solar industry workers, while Alaska has only 80 people working in solar power.

In fact, solar power workers outnumber even actors in California. There are also more people working on solar power in Texas than there are ranchers.

In Arizona, solar industry employment has almost doubled from 4,768 jobs in 2011, to 9,800 in 2013.

Earlier this year, iconic investor Warren Buffett gave the industry a boost[4] when MidAmerican Energy Holdings, owned by Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A[5], BRK.B[6]) spent more than $2 billion to buy two large scale power projects from SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR[7]).

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/solar-panels-630px.jpg
  2. growing numbers of people employed in the solar power industry: http://www.treehugger.com/green-jobs/america-now-has-more-solar-energy-workers-coal-miners.html
  3. coal mining business last year: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_212100.htm
  4. iconic investor Warren Buffett gave the industry a boost: http://investorplace.com/2013/01/buffett-sees-bright-days-for-solar/
  5. BRK.A: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=BRK.A
  6. BRK.B: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=BRK.B
  7. SPWR: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=SPWR

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