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Which States Have the Most Solar Jobs?

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Building on its National Solar Jobs Census report, The Solar Foundation (TSF) today released "deep-dive" data on the solar job markets in California, Arizona and Minnesota, as well as updated estimates of employment in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

With 47,223 employees, California has more than five times the amount of solar employees than any other state in the U.S. Arizona is second with 8,558.

Graphic credit: The Solar Foundation

Solar employment across the country grew by 20 percent to nearly 143,000 in 2013. Eighteen southern, Mountain and Midwestern states more than doubled their solar employment last year. California, Arizona, New Jersey, and Massachusetts account for half of all solar jobs in the U.S.

Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said the numbers released today back up what his organization has been saying all along.

“By any measurement, these state-by-state jobs numbers represent a huge return on America’s investment in solar energy," he said in a statement. "Smart, effective and forward-looking public policies—such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Net Energy Metering (NEM)—are driving solar deployment in all 50 states.

"Today, solar is generating enough clean, reliable and affordable electricity to power more than 2 million American homes – with double digit annual growth expected for the foreseeable future."

While the top four states remained the same from 2012 to 2013, Florida and North Carolina made huge improvements, jumping five and eight spots, respectively.

Despite its second-place ranking, Arizona lost nearly 1,300 solar jobs in the past year. California, meanwhile, should remain secure next year—TSF estimates that the state will add 10,500 solar jobs by the end 0f 2014. By comparison, Arizona had less than 10,000 total workers before it lost 1,300 in the past year.

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

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Aerial view of Ruropolis, Para state, northen Brazil, on Sept. 6, 2019. Tthe world's biggest rainforest is under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation. JOHANNES MYBURGH / AFP via Getty Images

By Kate Martyr

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest last month jumped to the highest level since records began in 2015, according to government data.

A total of 563 square kilometers (217.38 square miles) of the world's largest rainforest was destroyed in November, 103% more than in the same month last year, according to Brazil's space research agency.

From January to November this year an area almost the size of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was destroyed — an 83% overall increase in destruction when compared with the same period last year.

The figures were released on Friday by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and collected through the DETER database, which uses satellite images to monitor forest fires, forest destruction and other developments affecting the rainforest.

What's Behind the Rise?

Overall, deforestation in 2019 has jumped 30% compared to last year — 9,762 square kilometers (approximately 3769 square miles) have been destroyed, despite deforestation usually slowing during November and December.

Environmental groups, researchers and activists blamed the policies of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro for the increase.

They say that Bolosonaro's calls for the Amazon to be developed and his weakening support for Ibama, the government's environmental agency, have led to loggers and ranchers feeling safer and braver in destroying the expansive rainforest.

His government hit back at these claims, pointing out that previous governments also cut budgets to environment agencies such as Ibama.

The report comes as Brazil came to loggerheads with the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) over climate goals during the UN climate conference in Madrid.

AOSIS blasted Brazil, among other nations, for "a lack of ambition that also undermines ours."

Last month, a group of Brazilian lawyers called for Bolsonaro to be investigated by the International Criminal Court over his environmental policies.

Reposted with permission from DW.

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