Solar energy has increasingly provided jobs for the world’s workforce. Every era has a big boom, and the reasons that coal’s has come to an end has been well documented. Solar panels are now positioned to take the spotlight, regardless of regulatory changes, because the best products that do the most good will always win.
Coal power plants closing in mass is just the beginning as the world strives toward a greater percentage of renewable energy resources. It’s only a matter of time before renewable energy becomes the main source of energy for the world.
Here are 10 reasons why solar power will be the economic savior of the world’s workforce within the next two decades:
10. PV Solar Energy Creates More Jobs
According to The Solar Foundation, the solar industry has surpassed fossil fuel jobs in the United States. More than twice as many Americans are employed by the solar industry than the entire coal industry. As of 2016 there was an estimated 10% increase in solar jobs in the United States, and this trend shows no sign of slowing.
The International Energy Agency stated that as of 2017 renewable energy accounted for almost two thirds of the net new power capacity around the world. Worldwide solar capacity has grown by over 50 percent.
Solar additions rose faster than traditional fuels in 2016. Solar panel installation growth has surpassed coal for the first time, giving coal power a run for its money. The growth of solar and other renewable energy is predicted to strongly close the gap between coal-powered energy and renewable energy resources by 2022.
9. Installation Sector Will be Affected By Solar Energy
The National Solar Jobs Census stated that 137,133 new jobs opened up in the United States Installation sector in 2016. The median wage for a solar installer in the US is $26 per hour.
Solar installations require individuals with education, rising the demand for education comparatively. Solar installer jobs require not just electrical expertise, but also mathematical and mechanical understanding.
8. The Manufacturing Sector Is Improved by Solar
Solar related manufacturing jobs in the United States increased by 26 percent in 2016. This percentage equates to 38,121 jobs. Skilled workers are necessary in each step of the manufacturing process to ensure high quality products.
Manufacturing solar panels typically starts out with obtaining and refining silicon. Silicon is formed into an ingot or block which is then shaped into wafers. These wafers are then used to make the cells which together form a solar panel.
7. Sales And Distribution Sector Increase
Sales and distribution jobs in the solar industry came to a grand total of 32,147 in the United States by the fruition of 2016, reflecting an increase of 32 percent.
This includes jobs ranging from door-to-door sales and call center positions to marketing and product deliverers. A wide range of skill sets are involved in these very different jobs.
On-the-job training is normally provided for these types of jobs. In fact, 67% of solar jobs don’t even require a Bachelor’s degree, meaning workers can start earning money sooner and the unemployment gap in our nation can be almost immediately reduced provided unemployed workers seek and are hired for open positions in sales.
6. Project Development Sector Job Opportunities
One of the major facts about solar energy is that project development in the solar industry includes system designers, project managers, master electricians, billing clerks and more. These positions call for a wide range of training and experience.
Project development jobs within the solar sector have increased by 53 percent. A total of 34,400 jobs nationwide opened up in 2016.
5. New Opportunity for the Copper Industry
Because Copper is used in the solar industry, there is a causal link between solar and copper’s increase in demand. This means that those who choose to work in the copper industry have a sure future ahead of them as well.
Copper in the solar industry is mostly used in wiring. Some panels also use copper instead of silicon in the panel themselves. This use of copper in the production of solar panels is also a boon for those working in the copper industry.
The other good news is that copper, like most of the other metals used in solar panels, can be recycled and used moreover. This means that although the mining of copper and other metals isn’t renewable, the metals themselves can be re-purposed from the dross.
Recycled copper is not only good for the environment, but also for the economy. According to an article published by The Balance, copper recycling consumes 85 to 90 percent less energy than new production. The recycling of copper is even more lucrative than the mining and refining thereof.
Copper is a non-ferrous metal, which means it can be recycled an infinite number of times. The recyclability of copper also makes it is an even better option for many electronics.
4. Solar Technology Is Improving
With time, solar technology has changed quite a bit. The rise in competition within the solar sector has not only driven down solar panel prices, but has also improved the technology.
As referenced in our blog, Utah Solar Installs: too many options now what?, the 2017 Fraunhofer ISE Photovoltaics Report shows that panel efficiency is increasing. As time goes on, competition within this sector will continue to drive motivated individuals to create better engineered products to enhance the sun’s potential.
3. Power To Areas That Don’t Have Access To Electricity
In our day and age, it is difficult to go without electricity, but there are some instances where it is impossible or extremely expensive to have it provided in some areas. Using the energy from the sun means you can have power virtually anywhere.
Many homes that don’t have access to the grid are able to have electricity because of solar panels and battery backup. You can now have a home that is an oasis from society without having to sacrifice the luxuries that electricity provides.
Solar-powered battery backup has also been a lifesaver for many camping fanatics. Going on a week-long or even a three day camping trip without being able to charge your phone used to be the reality of life. Now, however, it’s a gnawing necessity.
Many would turn their phones off so they could still use them in an emergency. Now people can use the sun to charge their phones and other electronic devices, thus increasing a lost adventurer’s chances of being rescued (and being able to update his or her social media feed).
2. More Electricity For The Masses
When you produce electricity in a big power plant, it needs to travel to homes and businesses. Normally this is done through the electrical grid. The problem is that energy is lost as it is being transmitted from one location to the next.
Solar panels on your house, however, go directly from the panel to your home, thereby reducing the amount of energy lost. Less electricity lost in transmission means more power for the consumer.
1. Jobs And Electricity For The Underprivileged
Perhaps one of the most uplifting facts about solar energy in the year of 2018 is the fact that there are some people who have to rely on the light of the sun to do daily activities, and solar can elongate that presence. Solar programs give many of them the opportunity to generate their own electricity.
Through programs such as Give Solar from Go Solar Group, people are provided with electricity and light. Go Solar Group uses a portion of their sales in the United States to fund microloans in Uganda.
These loans provide opportunities for female entrepreneurs, elementary schools, orphanages, and low income families. Once the micro loan is paid off, it is then used again to fund another micro loan.
Quality solar products are being made available to those who before were using kerosene lamps as their source of light. Kerosene is not only toxic, but for a family living off of less than a dollar a day it is very expensive. Go Solar Group has provided 3 million hours of extra study time for children in Uganda with their program.
Solar is not only going to help boost the economy, but it will save our planet. Be a force for good in the world and join solar in its mission to make energy clean and sustainable.