More than 1.2m employment opportunities at stake in the US: study

A new economic study released in the US has indicated that more than 1.2 million employment opportunities, including 440,000 permanent jobs, and $232 billion in investment would be supported in the US by the solar energy sector alone through 2016 if Congress extends the solar ITC for eight years.

The report, issued by Navigant Consulting, shared that by 2016, the solar energy industry would create 440,000 permanent US jobs with much of the direct growth occurring in domestic manufacturing, construction and the trades.

This figure reveals the strength of the solar job creation engine when compared to the current 79,000 direct employees of the coal mining industry and the 136,000 direct employees in oil and gas extraction.

Because solar energy components are manufactured near its markets, extending the ITC would create manufacturing and installation jobs in all 50 states.

By extending the solar investment tax credits, Congress can provide an immediate boost to the floundering US economy, while at the same time driving down energy costs for consumers, said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

"The solar energy industry creates jobs that are the foundation of our economy -- jobs for manufacturers, construction workers, engineers, roofers, electricians, and plumbers. These jobs are needed now and Congress is in a position to extend the ITC and ensure that these jobs are created here in the US," said Resch.