California ranks first in the United States with 43,700 solar energy-related jobs, or nearly 37 percent of the national total, according to a new report by the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit solar research and education organization.
California's total far outdistanced Arizona, No. 2 with 9,800 solar jobs.
The foundation, based in Washington, D.C., said California has a nation-leading installed solar capacity of 2,902 megawatts enough to power 626,000 homes in 2012. The organization said $2.6 billion has been invested in California to install solar technology in homes and businesses.
The foundation released an online U.S. map showing current solar job employment in all states www.solarstates.org.
"The Solar Foundation's map illustrates that solar is an economic engine in California. Pro-business policies that lower solar costs and increase demand are helping to drive solar job growth in communities throughout the state," said Carrie Cullen Hitt, senior vice president of state affairs with the Solar Energy Industries Association, also headquartered in Washington, D.C.
The Solar Foundation's National Solar Jobs Census 2012 said the solar industry employed 119,016 workers nationwide last year, up about 14,000 from 2011.
Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.