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

Lower Overhead

Cincinnati has purchased 100 percent renewable energy to operate most of its municipal buildings through at least 2021, cutting its utility rates by more than $100,000 annually.

Independent Action

More than 50 mayors from around the globe have signed the Chicago Climate Charter, intended to guide cities toward reaching greenhouse gas emissions reductions similar to those targeted in the Paris climate accord.

Deadly Cargo

The Iranian tanker Sanchi oil spill in the East China Sea has scientists worried about unknown impacts caused by the toxic nature of the ultra-light, highly flammable oil.

Eco-Villains

A beach cleanup in the Philippines resulted in the finding that Nestlé, Unilever and the Indonesian company PT Torabika Mayora were the top sources of plastic waste there.

Green Team

The Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field recycles 96 percent of all waste, garnering the team Major League Baseball’s Green Glove Award for 2017.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags