Hot ‘n Sunny

Cheaper Solar Panels Spur Job Growth




Solar industry jobs are up nearly 20 percent in the 14 months through November 2013 as cheaper panels and rising electricity rates spurred people to turn to solar, according to a report by the non-profit Solar Foundation research group.

At latest count, solar companies employ nearly 143,000 solar workers, up more than 23,000 from September 2012—a job growth rate that’s 10 times faster than the national average and is helping local economies, according to the foundation. The industry is expected to create 22,000 new jobs in 2014, although at a slower pace than 2013. Cuts of 8,500 positions are projected in the sector that generates electricity from fossil fuels.

Solar firms surveyed in the report said that more than 50 percent of their business and homeowner customers turned to solar to save money, while nearly 23 percent said they invested in panels because costs are now comparable with utility rates. The report noted that the cost of solar equipment has fallen about 50 percent since the beginning of 2010, motivating more people to go green.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

‘Sink’ Setback

Logging, drought and wildfires may be turning forests in Africa, Asia and Latin America into carbon emitters rather than absorbers.

Clear Gain

Scientists have developed a transparent, luminescent solar concentrator that looks like clear glass that could potentially supply two-fifths of U.S. energy needs.

Top Polluters

New research shows that a 100 fossil-fuel producers globally are responsible for 71 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions during the last 30 years.

Waxworm Wonders

Bacteria found in waxworms can digest plastic in mere weeks or months, far outperforming other plastic decomposition processes requiring 10 to 1,000 years.

Wind Harvest

The first floating wind farm in the UK, Hywind in Scotland, will have a 30-megawatt capacity to provide clean energy to 20,000 homes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags