The solar industry is growing fast and provided soon-to-expire rebates are extended, will grow even faster in the foreseeable future. And this rapid advance, naturally, precipitates rapid job growth. In the United States alone, for 2006, over 500,000 people worked directly or indirectly for the solar industry. On a global scale, the number grows to well over 2 million. And it keeps growing.
Aside from helping to solve our current energy crisis, the solar energy industry is a bright spot in our otherwise slow-moving economy. Green collar jobs, or blue collar jobs in the green sector, are blooming everywhere, and solar is playing its part well. Speaking before the House of Representatives, Jamie Resor, CFO of groSolar, used his own company as an example of the industry’s speedy ascent. “In less than two years we have grown from approximately 25 employees to 100 employees.” These jobs include everyone from engineers to construction workers.
Resor also pointed out that many of these new recruits are drawn from across industry lines. Indeed, solar is expected to create nearly 40,000 new jobs and over $8 billion in investment dollars in 2009 alone. This is especially important in lieu of the ever-decreasing job opportunities in the fossil fuel industries. In addition, green collar jobs are typically high-quality jobs that pay well and would be a boon to a struggling middle class.
Given the extension of renewable energy tax credits, green collar job growth can be expected to flourish. Under current incentives, the green industry as a whole generated 8.5 million new jobs and $970 billion in revenue in 2006.
Photo Credit: Nabcep.org