image credit: Duke Energy (Flickr CC)

Despite the well-publicized bankruptcy of California-based solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, solar power is a growth industry in the United States and is set to boom, according to the US National Solar Job Census.

The new survey shows that job growth in the United States’ solar energy sector grew by 6.8% over a one-year period ending in August, compared to less than 1% for over-all job growth in the US.

The industry believes that solar jobs will grow by another 24% over the next year. A quarter of American jobs in the solar power industry are currently located in the State of California.

From the Los Angeles Times:

In August, California had an estimated 25,575 solar-related jobs out of 100,237 for all 50 states, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2011. The census is scheduled for release Monday by the Solar Foundation, a research and education organization in Washington.

Another sunny state, with plenty of space and rooftops, perfect for solar power generation, is Texas. Yet the traditional oil state has not yet exploited its solar capabilities, generating just 1% of its power from the sun.

But solar energy in Texas is set to change.

From the Star-Telegram:

[…] industry professionals and advocates of renewable energy say that Texas potentially could become the No. 1 generator of solar power in the U.S. within several years, thanks to its size, wide-open spaces, sunshine and a large, fast-growing population that will need more electricity.

And if you think solar power stations are just for the developed world, think again. Check out this report on how the West African nation of Mozambique is planning three solar energy plants, with the aim of supplying power for 50,000 people.