See previous answers below. How many coal industry workers could get jobs in renewable energy industries is anybody’s guess.
(Other figures I have seen suggest more like 300,000 jobs dependent on the coal industry – the 89,000 cited in one answer in the links is probably those directly employed in coal mining, milling, and processing, but I am not sure.)
Think about this transition as similar to the transition from horse and buggy to vehicles – people stopped working in the horse and buggy industry but started working in the auto industry. In the short term jobs are finished but in the long term new jobs are created.
Jobs in industry come and go with the new technology of the day. But switching our main source of power for renewable energy is almost certain to create a huge number of jobs. Engineers and technicians will be needed to install solar panels and change infrastructure on a massive scale
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