While the construction industry has suffered tremendously over the last few years, one bright spot has been renewable energy. The Solar Foundation recently released its Solar Jobs Census for 2011, reporting that U.S. solar jobs increased at nearly 10 times the job growth rate of the rest of the economy. Further, solar employers expect to increase the number of solar jobs by 24 percent from August 2011 to August 2012.
Colorado has been a leader in the solar industry, coming in second to California in total solar jobs (and leading the country in total solar jobs per capita). Abound Solar, a Colorado-based company that employs about 350 people, recently announced it will use a $400 million loan from the Department of Energy to help pay for the construction of a thin-film solar module manufacturing plant in Indiana. In addition, General Electric, Inc. has announced that it will construct what will be the largest solar factory in the United States in Colorado. The facility will manufacture solar panels and will eventually employ 400 workers.
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