EM­PLOY­MENT SEES A SURGE in the SO­LAR in­dus­try

Industry Leaders - - Imminent Trends -

Yet an­other feat achieved by the U.S is that so­lar in­dus­try em­ployed around 2,60,077 work­ers dur­ing 2016, which is al­most a 25 per­cent jump com­pared to 2015. This jump, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by The So­lar Foun­da­tion, was driven by a tremen­dous in­crease in the so­lar panel in­stal­la­tions.

More­over, it can be no­ticed that the rise in so­lar in­stal­la­tions did not take place just out of the blue. It is caused due to a sig­nif­i­cant de­crease in the costs of so­lar pan­els, and the grow­ing de­mands from cus­tomers, says

Andrea Luecke, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor and Pres­i­dent of The So­lar Foun­da­tion.

An in­ter­est­ing thing to no­tice here is a study re­leased by the U.S Depart­ment of En­ergy (DOE) prior to the so­lar jobs cen­sus. It ob­served that in com­par­i­son to the coal power plants or the nat­u­ral gas plants, more Amer­i­cans work at the so­lar plants. The DOE re­port found that around 3,74,000 Amer­i­cans work in the so­lar in­dus­try. Whereas, in com­par­i­son to this, only around 1,87,117 work­ers are em­ployed at var­i­ous nat­u­ral gas, oil, and coal power plants.

This re­port projects that there is a 10 per­cent in­crease in the em­ploy­ment rate in the so­lar sec­tor dur­ing 2016. One out of 50 new Amer­i­can jobs dur­ing 2016 was in the so­lar sec­tor. Not only this, the so­lar in­dus­try added around 73,615 new jobs to the ever-in­creas­ing U.S econ­omy dur­ing 2016. Fur­ther­more, the wind sec­tor added 24,650 new jobs. Luecke says that these are well-pay­ing and fam­ily sus­tain­ing jobs hav­ing low bar­ri­ers to en­try. Adding to it, she says that the num­ber of so­lar in­dus­try jobs will in­crease no­tably by 10 per­cent in 2017.

There are many com­pa­nies like the Sun­run Inc., Cana­dian So­lar Inc., and the Sun­pow­er­corp. who are hir­ing as a part of their gear­ing process for an es­ti­mated 29 per­cent in­crease in the in­stalled ca­pac­ity dur­ing this year.

This em­ploy­ment boom in the so­lar in­dus­try can be cred­ited to the construction work that is as­so­ci­ated with the ex­pan­sion of gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity. Elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion from nat­u­ral gas saw an in­crease of 33 per­cent dur­ing the same pe­riod, while elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion from so­lar power saw an enor­mous ex­pan­sion by al­most 5,000 per­cent.

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