Solar growth continues in America

Millie HennickSeptember 26, 2018 2129 0

Solar growth continues in America

American solar power is continuing its accelerated growth, adding new jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the economy, while saving consumers tens of millions of dollars per year on energy bills. This is happening despite the Trump administration’s energy policy. So far, the administration is attempting to gut clean air laws, touting “clean coal,” an oxymoron if there ever was one, and even nuclear power. Placing tariffs on Chinese solar panels is just the latest in a string of policies that ignore the reality of global warming. Now there are only a few knuckleheads to fight on energy policy. Now at least climate science has a seat at the table for some of the world's most important discussions.

The fact is that fossil fuels will be gone very soon, so there are powerful interests who want to drill for all the oil remaining as soon as possible. The Trump administration wants to drill off the coast of California, but Governor Jerry Brown says, "over my dead body." The governor recognizes what a precious resource the Pacific Ocean is and to drill there when renewable energy is available everywhere stretches credulity. Trump also wants to drill for oil in the precious Arctic region, one of the most ecologically sensitive parts of the planet.

 Fortunately, U.S. solar energy capacity has grown thirtyfold in the past four years. Across the United States, there are now over one million solar energy projects running. Solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars annually on their electricity bills. Rooftop solar customers will experience savings every year for the 30-plus years their solar energy system is in operation.

These savings are bolstered by a skilled, flourishing workforce that is also growing at an impressive rate.  The solar workforce is growing at a rate 12 times faster than the overall economy and now boasts nearly 300,000 workers.

Highly skilled workers dominate the solar industry


Since The Solar Foundation began tracking solar workforce trends in 2010, the solar industry has added many highly skilled jobs to the U.S. economy every year. Even as unemployment levels reached all-time highs, the solar business was able to add jobs and serve as an encouraging point in a sluggish national economy. From New York, where solar workers are saving their neighbors approximately $11 million per year through solar, to Arizona, where solar customers are saving approximately $13 million, Americans laboring in the solar industry are having a noted impact on our nation’s economy. Solar projects have encouraged innovation and inspired the creation of new businesses and employment opportunities throughout the country. Today, there are thousands of thriving solar small businesses throughout our nation that leverage American ingenuity to ensure that more of us have an opportunity to achieve the American dream. In addition, solar jobs offer competitive earnings. On average, solar installation workers -- the industry’s biggest sector -- earn a median wage of $21 per hour, while solar designers earn $27 per hour while sales and marketing professionals earn $29 per hour. By continuing to drive the creation of new small businesses and providing high-quality living wage jobs, solar’s dramatic growth permits more Americans to provide for their families while also helping the United States to achieve its clean energy and climate goals.   

There has never been a better time to install a solar energy system!

Solar power is here to stay, and the sooner you explore how much you can save, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits of residential solar power. Please visit our solar blog to find out more about the benefits of going solar.

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