Pennsylvania second only to California in solar jobs

    A new report finds Pennsylvania is the No. 2 state in the country when it comes to jobs created by solar power.But an industry advocate said the picture will change quickly if state lawmakers don’t pass new energy standards next year.The National Solar Jobs Census shows California is the runaway leader for solar jobs, with about 36,000. Pennsylvania comes in second, with an estimated 6,700 employees working in the industry.Maureen Mulligan, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industries Association, said the state’s 2004 alternative energy portfolio is a main reason for the strong showing.But she warns that the solar industry is now producing more power than the measure requires Pennsylvania utilities to purchase, so the legislation needs to be updated.”Solar is in this state of limbo, and until the requirement is increased in year 2013 and 14, we’re going to have a very flat market here in Pennsylvania, unless the Legislature acts, and acts now,” said Mulligan.Advocates also credit solar grants and rebates in the expiring federal stimulus package with boosting the solar economy.Mulligan said the solar industry still needs government incentives and assistance as it develops into a mainstream source of energy.

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