A new report has been released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that reveals a quick expansion of solar jobs in both the United States and Internationally.
The report shows an increase in employment in the solar industry by 24.5 percent from 2015 to current, which documents an astounding 17 times faster growth rate than the general U.S. economy. This debunks recent claims by President Trump claiming the solar and renewables industry is a threat to America.
In the area of Solar Photovoltaiscs; there were over 241,000 jobs. There were 13,000 further jobs in solar heating and cooling areas; with the remaining employment being concentrated in solar power. (CSP)
More than 50 percent of the jobs in the United States were specifically involving installation; the report notes. 12 percent were in distribution and sales; 13 percent in project development, and 15 percent were in manufacturing. There was also six percent in other aspects; including research and development.
The solar labor force sat at around 19 percent during 2013 in the United States. By 2016 it had increased to 28 percent; which takes into consideration the more diverse jobs that are now available as the industry grows. The solar jobs increase in sales and distribution have rose a massive 33.8 percent since 2013.
It is hard to dispute these figures. There are more jobs now available in the solar energy industry than compared to fossil fuels and conventional power industries. An important note; is that women still remain underrepresented in employment for solar jobs in the United States.
The report notes a decline in more traditional jobs; more specifically in the ethanol related areas, despite a rise in the productivity of labor. Overall in the U.S. economy in 2016; only 7,000 bio-gas jobs had been reported.
Essentially; the report documents a trend towards fossil fuels jobs gradually disappearing as they become the more expensive options when it comes to both production and consumers.
Renewable energy is factually paving the way for more sustainable jobs in the future for both the U.S. and Internationally. As the technology is being further developed and required more by developing nations; solar / renewable production options will become cheaper.
Additional jobs will become available for blue-collar workers; and compensation will most likely increase when compared to those remaining in fossil fuels. The report by IRENA displays a massive increase in employment opportunities with a further predicted 147,000 jobs appearing in the wind energy industry alone by the year 2020. The wind industry employs about 102,000 jobs currently; which is set to double over the next three years.
Withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement will hurt domestic policy, and cause further unemployment. Elon Musk of Tesla has already cut dealings with the U.S. government as a result of the withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. This will also risk isolating America from the latest booming industry. Nations worldwide; such as China and India, are focusing more towards solar for its cheap production costs and sustainability, also for the healthier implications, such as: Less air pollution, less medical expenses, and a happier citizen.