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Solar Power Industry Now Employs More U.S. Workers Than Coal and Oil Combined


Business  (tags: americans, business, consumers, economy, ethics, finance, government, greenbuilding, investments, labor, law, lies, marketing, money, politics, society, Solar Power )

Kit
- 64 days ago - occupy.com
Solar employs and nuclear destroys; we have ample evidence of that, and with the annual U.S. solar jobs census we now have proof that solar power isn't just providing energy without destroying our oceans and contaminating the earth and air[....]



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Kit B. (277)
Friday February 14, 2014, 8:57 am
Photo Credit: Occupy.com


Welcome to the future, it’s already here. Solar employs and nuclear destroys; we have ample evidence of that, and with the annual U.S. solar jobs census we now have proof that solar power isn’t just providing energy without destroying our oceans and contaminating the earth and air with strontium, caesium and barium, among other chemicals. It is providing more than 143,000 Americans a paycheck.

Since 2012, that’s nearly a 20 percent increase, says The Solar Foundation, which conducts the census. An additional 23,682 jobs have been added —10 times the rate of employment growth as the national average of just 1.9 percent.

In the past four years, 50,000 well paying jobs were added — many of them building and installing solar panels, and this employment rate is expected to continue growing at a steady pace.

Solar installers also make an average of $20 to $23.60 an hour compared to the wages of a coal miner; that isn’t bad, especially considering the payouts to workers with black lung disease amount to billions and the detrimental affects to a worker’s health are almost irreversible.

Comparatively, during the last two years, fossil fuel jobs declined by 8.7 percent leaving 8,500 positions void, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you add up the figures, the solar industry now employs more folks than our coal and natural gas industries combined.

The high cost of solar, which was one factor slowing the industry’s growth is also now quickly changing. More than 51 percent of people are now installing solar not just to protect the environment and avoid another Fukushima disaster, but because it is cheaper.

According to Philip Jordan, vice president at BW Research Partnership, and a partner in the research:

“The study shows both aggressive hiring and clear optimism among U.S. solar companies. Of particular interest are the continued high wages among solar installers; we also found higher than average employment of veterans in the solar industry, a sign that their high-tech skills are valued in this sector.”

SolarCity created more than 2,000 jobs just last year. Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity reminds us that, “when we install solar panels, we create local jobs that can't be outsourced... We’ve barely begun this transformation, but as it advances, the American solar industry has the potential to be one of the greatest job creators this country has ever seen.”

**

Meanwhile, Brandon Baker reporting for EcoWatch writes that the West Coast’s first offshore wind turbine just got the green light for development:

The development of what should be the U.S.’s first offshore wind farm on the West Coast received a boost last week, earning approval to begin building.

The approval of a five-turbine, 30-megawatt (MW) pilot project off Coos Bay in Oregon was announced Wednesday by Gov. John Kitzhaber, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy Beaudreau. The farm would be about 15 miles from shore in about 1,400 feet of water, according to The Associated Press.

Seattle-based Principle Power will use a floating wind turbine technology that has not been deployed in U.S. waters but has been used in Europe and Asia.

Belinda Batten, director of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center at Oregon State University, told The Associated Press that plans for offshore farms on the West Coast had yet to surface because of different technological needs to deal with the Pacific Ocean getting deeper more quickly than the Atlantic or other areas. Turbines off the Atlantic coast will be anchored to the seabed .

The Coos Bay project will use electrical cables and a single power cable to transmit electricity back to the mainland. “We’re not as anxious to commercialize it, but it’s still worth getting the projects into the water and testing them,” Batten said. “As we learn how to deploy and maintain them, the price will come down.”

Using statistics from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Interior estimates that the West Coast is capable of producing more than 800 gigawatts (GW) of wind energ — which equals more than three-quarters of the nation’s entire power generation capacity, according to North American Wind Power. The estimate for the whole country is nearly 2,000 GW.

“The WindFloat Pacific project is the latest in a series of lease initiatives BOEM has undertaken to move forward offshore wind energy development,” Beaudreau said. “On the Atlantic Coast, the five commercial project leases we’ve issued, if fully developed, could generate enough renewable energy to power 1.4 million homes.”

Atlantic coast projects include a pilot project in Maine that developers hope will give way to a 500-MW farm, as well as a wind farm to be constructed off the shores of Cape Cod, Mass., that has been stymied by lawsuits from opposers.
****
(Originally published by Nation of Change)

By: Christina Sarich | Occupy.com |
 

pam w. (187)
Friday February 14, 2014, 9:58 am
What absolutely DELICIOUS news, Kit! Thanks!
 

SuSanne P. (177)
Friday February 14, 2014, 11:21 am
Thank you Kit! This is the most amazing news that has me jumping for joy! I am elated to hear progress like this "popping up" all over the Planet. Many people, who have quite obviously been working together for some time, working to solve so many problems gives me HOPE, as I still believe 'it's too late'. Stories like this make me proud to admit I could be wrong! I am very taken by this short in your post Kit...

" SolarCity created more than 2,000 jobs just last year. Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity reminds us that, “when we install solar panels, we create local jobs that can't be outsourced... We’ve barely begun this transformation, but as it advances, the American solar industry has the potential to be one of the greatest job creators this country has ever seen.”
"We've barely begun this transformation..." The sky's the limit!
 

Arielle S. (313)
Friday February 14, 2014, 11:43 am
This is indeed delicious news! The best I've heard in many a day! Just imagine what could be now if solar and wind got the same kind of help coal and oil get!
 

Barbara K. (87)
Friday February 14, 2014, 12:03 pm
Wow! I was so ready for good news. Thanks, my friend.
 

Roger Garin-michaud (60)
Friday February 14, 2014, 12:16 pm
noted, thanks
 

Jamie Clemons (281)
Friday February 14, 2014, 1:20 pm
Yeah for solar and wind! Yeah for clean energy that doesn't melt down or choke us to death.
 

Kathleen R. (130)
Friday February 14, 2014, 2:21 pm
Great news ... thanks
 

Birgit W. (135)
Friday February 14, 2014, 2:21 pm
There is hope for our environment. Thanks for sharing.
 

Melania Padilla (165)
Friday February 14, 2014, 2:31 pm
Really?? Hard to believe, but if it is true that is so great!!
 

Kit B. (277)
Friday February 14, 2014, 2:35 pm

Solar energy, wind and some geo thermal are all on the way to pushing out the fossil fuel industry. Though it will not surprise me if those Titians of global trashing and mega corporate greed do not find a way of taking over the ownership of these infant companies.
 

Betsy Bee (1355)
Friday February 14, 2014, 3:16 pm
Great news. Very encouraging. Thank you, Kit.
 

SuSanne P. (177)
Friday February 14, 2014, 3:22 pm
Not to be negative, but I agree with you Kit. Cor$ Gr$$d always finds a way!
 

SuSanne P. (177)
Friday February 14, 2014, 3:22 pm
Not to be negative, but I agree with you Kit. Cor$ Gr$$d always finds a way!
 

Ros G. (87)
Friday February 14, 2014, 4:06 pm
Thanks for this great article Kit...very encouraging news..really is the way to go..shame no mention of wave power generated electricity...another technology to spread the load so to speak.
 

marie tc (164)
Friday February 14, 2014, 4:35 pm
Thanks Kit this is such good news
 

Robert B. (57)
Friday February 14, 2014, 5:13 pm
This is CLEARLY the trend for the future. Coal, oil, nuclear and gas are on the slow train to obsolete ville. I just hope that the PUBLIC has control over their own solar and wind power and not the greedy 1%. One of my personal goals is to ease gradually into solar power for my house. A little at a time.
 

Joanne Dixon (34)
Friday February 14, 2014, 5:18 pm
And this is not on the front page of every hard copy and on line newspaper why? Oh, silly me, I forgot myself. Never mind.
 

JL A. (269)
Friday February 14, 2014, 5:29 pm
CA has a budget surplus they are dealing with and clean energy job creation was the economic fuel to return to that after the bubble burst and the recession hit.
 

Sam Dyson (20)
Friday February 14, 2014, 7:17 pm
Awesome news...just the stimulus...and direction, the US needed! Now...to get Australia to follow suit?
 

A F. (126)
Friday February 14, 2014, 7:28 pm
good, thanks!
 

Ros G. (87)
Friday February 14, 2014, 7:37 pm
So true Sam from the Sunshine Coast Australia...but nothing short of a lightening bolt strike will move our Politicians..they enjoy Gina's and Clive's company better
 

Angelika R. (143)
Friday February 14, 2014, 8:37 pm
What can I say, other than thanks Kit-perhaps repeat Joanne's comment, first thing came to mind!
Wish there was a video with this like the one I posted about KXL, no sarcasm needed here, though.
 

Craig Pittman (44)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 4:26 am
Now that solar has been seen to be of economic benefit subsidies are likely to follow. We are finally on the right course. Great news. Thanks Kit.
 

Michael Kirkby (80)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 8:41 am
Noted & posted.
Now how about creating environmental cleanup programs that will offer employment to the unemployed and the homeless who want to work? I've suggested that to Barky and Harper on two occasions. The silence is deafening.
 

lee e. (114)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 11:06 am
I am the constant cynic, but this makes a nice Valentine for mother Earth! I continue to have my doubts, even after reports recently of the lack of jobs that pipelines and the fracking industry are creating, while we all suffer from the weather anomalies that are devastating the planet at huge costs to all! The actions to avert this must be swift and immediate, we simply cannot sit back and take the time to wait for solar and wind and geo to save the Earth, while it is creating storms that we have never witnessed, droughts and fires, earthquakes and floods - there is no longer any safe haven on Earth!
This needs to be on the front pages of all papers and aired to all, but as long as there are deniers and greed, we will continue to watch while a self-created Armageddon destroys our planet! Thanks Kit! Sorry to be so negative -- can't help myself at times, especially being homebound for the past month due to the storms that have pummeled us!
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 11:50 am
Noted & posted
 

John S. (294)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 1:17 pm
Interesting. But the manufacturing process for solar panels is energy intensive with most of this energy coming from burning fossil fuels. Many solar panels are made in China where ‘dirty’ coal makes up much of the country’s power supply.

Where there has been debate is, however, is around the issue of any additional carbon emissions caused by the inefficient use of these back-up plants.I've even seen some claim that the indirect consequences of building wind turbines mean that no CO2 savings whatsoever are realized. But it seems to me that the the debate centers on concerns how the grid as a whole responds to renewable energy, and that this will improve as it becomes more stable.
 

Dianne D. (450)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 1:54 pm
Great news
 

Natasha Salgado (456)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 3:00 pm
Absolutely fantastic to hear this!
 

Bryan S. (96)
Sunday February 16, 2014, 8:55 pm
Great news! One good reason why the claims about "all the jobs" that we must rely on the Keystone XL Pipeline to create is total bull**it! In a addition to wind and solar farms it seems like we should have solar panels and small wind turbins on millions of city roofs.
 
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