Solar Jobs Outnumber Texas Ranchers and US Coal Miners
There are now more solar energy workers in the state of Texas than there are ranchers, according to solar research group The Solar Foundation.
The group's data mapping out solar jobs across the nation also showed that there are more solar jobs in California than actors, and more solar workers than coal miners nationwide. Sunny states like California and Arizona topped the list. Wyoming came in last, with just 50 workers, while Utah showed a mere 290 solar workers despite being one of the country's sunniest states.
Even the states with less sunshine like New Jersey and Michigan showed a high number of solar jobs—thanks to favorable tax and regulatory policies that help attract developers to cope with high electricity prices.
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The study also showed that almost half of solar jobs involve installing solar panels, paying around $18 and hour ($38,000 a year), which is higher than the median national wage of $34,750, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
About another quarter of those jobs involve the manufacturing of solar panels, lending the other quarter to development, sales and marketing.
Nationwide, some 119,000 people are employed by the solar industry, marking one of the fastest growth rates for any industry in the country.
Toyota unveils electric van and Volvo opens fuel cell lab
Toyota is launching its first zero emission battery electric vehicle, the Proace Electric medium-duty panel van, across Europe.
The model, which offers a choice of 50 or 75kWh lithium-ion batteries with range of up to 205 miles, is being rolled out in the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
At present, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs, including battery electric vehicles) account for only a fraction – around 1.8 per cent – of new light commercial van sales in the UK, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines.
Low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in ecommerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.
Meanwhile the opening of Volvo's first dedicated fuel cell test lab in Volvo Group, marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s ambition to be fossil-free by 2040.
Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with water vapour being the only by-product.
Toni Hagelberg, Head of Sustainable Power at Volvo CE, says fuel cell technology is a key enabler of sustainable solutions for heavier construction machines, and this investment provides another vital tool in its work to reach targets.
"The lab will also serve Volvo Group globally, as it’s the first to offer this kind of advanced testing," he said.
The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of cell centric, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group’s overall ambition to be 100% fossil free by 2040.