Brad Plumer, from Vox , has reported on another big number: The non-profit Solar Foundation says there are now 174,000 people working in the solar industry. According to Plumer, the solar industry has created so many jobs, from solar panel manufacture to installation, that it now employs just about as many people as the coal industry does. Plumer’s comparison pits Solar Foundation’s numbers against the 80,000 who work in coal mining, plus the number of people involved in coal transportation and coal power plants. Those later numbers, he notes, are based on 2006 estimates, so solar power may employ even more, as many older coal plants have closed since then. On the face of it, this may seem like a win for solar power supporters. But Plumer also considers some of the downside.
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