Jobs in Texas' solar industry on the rise

The report - the seventh annual edition to come from the nonprofit - found that there were 260,077 solar workers as of November 2016, which represents almost 25 percent growth from the amount of solar jobs recorded the year prior.

The foundation defines solar workers as those who spend at least half their time on solar-related work.

The state gained 1,162 jobs previous year, growing the total to 7,112 the Solar Foundation said in its 2016 census.

In Texas, there are 9,396 solar jobs and more than 260,000 solar jobs in the nation.

The DOE also points out that the solar industry is interesting because despite all that employment in distributed solar (that is, non-utility solar), utilities still have a lot more solar energy capacity than homes and businesses-roughly 28,081,000 MWh compared to distributed solar's 16,974,000 MWh in 2016.

New Mexico, Oregon and Washington saw growth rates similar to Utah's - at or above 50 percent.

And the group says solar is showing no signs of slowing down.

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Over the next 12 months, surveyed employers expect to see total employment in the solar industry increase by 10 percent to approximately 286,000 solar workers.

Luecke said The Solar Foundation, based on reports from Utah's solar companies, projects the industry will grow by 16.8 percent in the state in 2017.

But the solar industry faces an uncertain future in the U.S.

The new figures were issued on Tuesday morning, courtesy of a new report from The Solar Foundation.

Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp., the largest electricity company in the United States, this year plans to launch a community solar program in SC and seek regulatory permission to do the same in North Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio and in, utility vice president Melisa Johns said.

Trump is a climate change skeptic who has expressed doubts about the role of clean energy in the US energy landscape. As it were, the development to some degree mirrors the way that an ever increasing number of American families and organizations are drifting towards solar.

The solar industry now ranks second in total employment among energy industries, employing slightly more than natural gas and over twice as much as coal.

  • Rita Burton