Solar industry drives renewable energy job growth worldwide
Renewable energy employs nearly 10 million people worldwide, far above levels in 2012, when the International Renewable Energy Agency did its first jobs survey.
The number of jobs in the solar and wind industries have particularly driven the international spike in renewable energy work — in the last four years, jobs in those two industries alone have grown nearly 40 percent to 9.8 million from 7.1 million, according to the agency’s latest report, released Wednesday.
Could trade in solar panels be fairer? Yes. It might also cost US jobs
Last year, a record, the industry installed so many new photovoltaic (PV) panels that the United States added more electric-generating capacity from solar than any other source, even natural gas. Since 2012, employment has more than doubled, to more than 250,000.
That is why the industry, by and large, wants the White House to ignore the Suniva case. But the case is also a window on the tricky economics of trade. Where some experts say this case counters the notion that “made in the USA” means more US jobs, others see a question of fair play that goes beyond this one firm, because subsidies for current technologies may stifle the next wave of solar innovation.
Solar jobs growing 17 times faster than US economy
Solar employment expanded last year 17 times faster than the total US economy, according to an International Renewable Energy Agency report published on Wednesday that cited data from the Solar Foundation. Overall, more than 260,000 people work in the solar industry, up by 24% from 2015.
The solar business has benefited from the falling cost of solar energy and generous federal tax credits that make it more affordable for businesses and homeowners to install solar panels.
Look to the sun: A conservative’s case for solar energy
Energy is the driving force in our economy and world today. And as important as it was to our country just a few years ago, it’s even more important to its livelihood and growth now.
As a former congressman from South Carolina, I was able to learn first-hand about the critical energy issues that face our nation. We are now at a crossroads. Either we continue romanticizing about the bygone days, or we embrace innovation and lead our country down a path of resource security and economic prosperity with solar energy.