You’ve heard the discussions. When it comes to solar power systems, the conversation is pretty standard.
“Solar power is great for the environment, and it’s sustainable.”
“Yeah, but the cost. That’s just a lot of money right now.”
“Yeah, but the prices are coming down! And the environment! Don’t you want to help the Earth?”
“Yeah, but the economy…”
Normally, this is where things get really cyclical, with the environmental benefits being weighed against economic issues. If only there was a way to move this discussion past these top-level issues. Well the good news is that according to research and data, there is another way to move this conversation forward.
Solar power is a massive job creator. How’s that for the economic concerns?
A Growth Industry
In places like California’s Central Valley, the ongoing drought has had a big impact in diminishing the number of available jobs for agriculture workers. With less water, there are simply fewer crops to pick and process, so there are fewer people fully employed in the industry.
The one thing that never goes away in California is sunlight. So today many agricultural workers are being retrained in renewable energy jobs. The advantages of this are twofold; by being trained for higher paying jobs in a growing technical sector, these workers can earn better paychecks, while helping the state weather the economic damage inflicted by the drought.
Marco Lizarraga, executive director of La Cooperativa Campesina de California, said recently that “between 60 percent and 70 percent of those trained get placed into related permanent jobs.”
With homeowners across California and around the country realizing the benefits of solar power in growing numbers, it appears that the opportunities for retraining will only continue to grow.
The other large benefit of the massive growth in solar power is the expansion of manufacturing efforts. After all, with more houses realizing that solar is a viable option now and into the future, companies have had to increase production of solar components at an incredible rate.
One project in New York is bringing 1,000 jobs and a massive investment to the Empire State to meet the incredible demand for solar power systems. For New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, this is the kind of investment that will only grow with the solar industry.
Projects such as those in New York are continuing at a steady rate as companies attempt to keep pace with the growth of solar nationwide. It’s another layer to the growing economic benefits of this green energy.
By the end of 2016, there will be enough solar energy in the United States to power 8 million homes, offsetting nearly 45 million metric tons of carbon emissions. At this pace, a whopping 50,000 more megawatts of solar power is projected to come on-line before 2020.
That’s a lot of jobs.
So next time you hear that standard solar-or-not discussion, don’t let it get stuck in the standard loop. There’s more to solar than the effects it has on one household. With increasing regularity, growth in solar affects the entire economy.
If you’d like to find out how installing solar panels on your roof can help you drive your electric bill down to zero, contact us today for a free quote.