We might expect to hear that the solar power industry is doing well in California and it is, but the latest news is that it is growing fast in other states as well. North Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Georgia, and Florida are all experiencing their own big increases in solar power. This is great news for them and for the whole country.
Massachusetts and Arizona have about 9,000 solar jobs each.“The clean energy economy in Massachusetts is thriving, spurred by the Commonwealth’s innovative spirit, a diverse clean technology industry, strong public-private partnerships, and world class academic institutions,” explained Governor Charlie Baker in a statement.
Imagine for a moment how many people 18,000 is. When was the last time you attended a sports event or rock concert with an audience of that size? Now imagine all those people working in the solar industry, and this is just for two states.
The solar power industry has quietly been adding new jobs to state economies for some time, but you probably won’t hear much about that from the mainstream media. News reports lately have been about the national economy adding new jobs, but they typically don’t dig deep into exactly what kind of jobs have been created. Many might be unskilled positions at junk food establishments or temporary jobs in offices doing data entry or answering phones.
Solar power jobs tend to be skilled, so they require more knowledge and they can be satisfying. Construction workers sometimes get trained to install home solar power systems, and their skills are transferable. Solar jobs also tend to pay much better than retail or food services.
“From coast to coast, solar is having a huge impact on both our economy and environment. Today, the solar industry employs nearly 175,000 Americans and pumps more than $15 billion a year into the U.S. economy – and we’re just scratching the surface of our enormous potential,”explained Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
$15 billion a year is obviously and clearly an enormous amount of money, and yet too often is seems that the press is reporting about some negative situation related to solar. Why don’t we hear about all the positive contributions solar power is making to American society? Typically, solar power is talked about by the media as having some environmental benefits, with very little to no information about the economic advantages.
Solar power could fall again in cost by another 40% in the next two years. At this point, it will simply be a “no brainer” to invest in home solar systems because they will save money and pay themselves off and then make money by producing free electricity.
The public does not seem to yet understand that rather than being unaffordable, solar power has never been lower in cost. It also can be a money-making investment.