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The solar industry is adding jobs 20 times faster than the overall U.S. economy

There are now twice as many solar workers as there are coal miners.

By Thor Benson
The solar industry is adding jobs 20 times faster than the overall U.S. economy
Keith Plume of PayneCrest Electric Company checks that solar panels are lined up correctly at the Ameren O'Fallon Renewable Energy Center in O'Fallon, Missouri on September 18, 2014. When completed the center will have 19,000 solar panels in place and will provide 5.7 megawatts to nearly 700 homes. The Ameren energy center is also the largest investor owned utility scale solar energy center in Missouri. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | License Photo

SAN MATEO, Calif., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The National Solar Jobs Census of 2014, from The Solar Foundation, claims the solar industry is adding jobs 20 times faster than the overall economy in the U.S.

The report states there are over 170,000 workers in the solar industry, which represents a 21.8 percent increase from the previous year. That means there are twice as many solar workers as there are coal miners in the United States.

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"The solar industry has once again proven to be a powerful engine of economic growth and job creation," said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. "It also shows for the fifth consecutive year, the solar industry is attracting highly-skilled, well-paid professionals. That growth is putting people back to work and strengthening our nation's economy."

Elon Musk's SolarCity added 4,000 jobs in 2014, and it is the most successful residential solar company in the country.

Companies like IKEA have latched onto the solar movement by installing solar panels on top of nearly 90 percent of its stores in the U.S.

The industry is expected to add at least 36,000 more jobs in 2015.

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