How Solar Can Boost U.S. Jobs in 2019
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Solar has had a lot of hype; as a result, many states have decided to improve solar policy. For many across the country, the rewards associated with solar are irresistible. The question is, will this trend die down or should we expect long-term jobs?
A Reaction to the 2018 Solar Panel Importation T
How well a business does during difficult spells is telling of its future. In 2018, the imported solar panel tariff was this testing period. Although some companies did fall, the industry as a whole has continued to blossom.
Creation of More U.S. Panel Manufacturing Plants
One of the keys to a lasting market is the ability to adapt. As a direct result of the importation tax, panel manufacturers grew in the United States. There are currently 24 US manufacturing facilities; of that total, 13 are new or expanded.
This increase in US panels has saved many installers and provided more jobs in the industry. In fact, as a result, there are 10 new panel manufacturing-specific jobs that have emerged.
The best part is that these jobs all require different skill levels. Manufacturing plants need everything from materials scientists to CNC operators.
Resilient Market Will Increase Job Security
Job security is found in markets that have proved their resilience. The tariff has weeded out companies that were using unwise business practices.
Although this has caused some headaches, in the long term it has saved the industry. Businesses that can’t handle a little bump in the road won’t be able to handle the mountains that are sure to arise.
Solar is a product meant to last 25 plus years. Customers need to know their solar company will be there in the future—this hurdle has weeded out companies that weren’t going to make it.
Innovation in the Solar Sector
In order to progress in this day and age, you have to keep up. Technology is constantly changing and improving, and the solar industry is no exception.
Solar Panel Technology
There is always a new gizmo or gadget in the news. These innovations need a person behind the design testing and improving it. The truth of the matter is that the race to develop better solar tech is also creating jobs.
The solar industry has made leaps in efficiency, affordability, ease of acquisition and aesthetics. These changes have increased solar purchases — encouraging the market to work even harder to improve. As this cycle continues, so will job growth within solar innovation.
Improved Manufacturing Practices
Because panels last so long, the manufacturing process has been ignored in the past. This process, however, in and of itself is not the cleanest. The good news is that this is changing.
New manufacturing practices are being experimented with and improved upon. As we continue to improve, this process sales will continue to climb which in turn means more jobs.
Improving Infrastructure to Accommodate Increase in Renewables
Infrastructure can either help or hinder an industry. Solar has hit some infrastructure snags, but this isn’t stopping us from finding solutions.
Creating Panel Recycling Policy
One of the issues that the United States is facing is panel recycling. Because of the materials inside panels, leaving old or broken solar panels at the dump could harm the environment.
In response to this issue, the solar industry has responded with the birth of panel recycling facilities. Although still in their beginning stages, as state and federal panel recycling policy evolves more will pop up. And with more panel recycling facilities comes an increase in recycling jobs.
Implementing the Smart Grid
Currently rooftop solar works. There are, however, some cracks in the foundation of the grid that makes solar a challenge.
The main struggle is that solar requires two-way communication from a one-way model. How to calculate power both put on the grid and pulled from it is a struggle. Net metering has been the nation’s band-aid fix, but it doesn’t give utilities a full picture.
The smart grid, on the other hand, allows for fast two-way communication and real-time problem-solving. There are several technologies that go into the composition of the smart grid. The implementation of these technologies, in turn, creates more job opportunities for smart grid personnel.
In conclusion, solar is providing and promoting jobs across the nation. As the industry continues to thrive so will these job opportunities.