13.2% US solar job growth in the last year - New PV installations in 2012 will grow by around 11% on 2011 to 31GW worldwide
The Solar Foundation (TSF) announced statistics that show despite recent setbacks and reports of layoffs, the U.S. solar industry is expanding at nearly six times that of the overall economy. The report, National Solar Jobs Census 2012, states that 13,872 new jobs have been added by the solar industry in the U.S., bringing the total number 119,016. Compare that with an overall U.S. economy rate of 2.3% and -3.77% for fossil fuel electric generation industry, which lost 3,857 jobs in the same period (coal industry is relatively small, employing just 86,000 people in 2011 - that is less than 0.06% of all US jobs). The report states that manufacturing compromises just under 14% of total jobs, while sales and EPC services rounds up most of the remaining positions. These are distributed clean-energy jobs all over the country.
The U.S. now has enough installed solar capacity to power nearly a million households. Currently, total installed solar capacity in the U.S. adds up to 5.7 gigawatts (5,700 megawatts). By the end of 2012, it is expected that another 3.2 gigawatts will be added, nearly doubling last year’s growth. Estimates indicate that 2013 will see the addition of another 3.9 gigawatts of solar capacity in the U.S.