The solar industry has seen substantial growth over the past few years which in turn promotes job creation. How rapid is the industry growing exactly? In 2013, the U.S. installed 4,751 MW of solar PV, which was up 41% from the previous year. Going back even further, 2013 produced 15 times as much solar PV as back in 2008. We are growing more and more dependent on solar energy; in the past year, 29% of all electricity generation can from solar. Seven states have even gotten to 100% of all new generation being derived from solar energy, (Pierre Bull, GreenBiz.com.)
A report released last month from the Truman Project's Operation Free and the Solar Foundation presented interesting statistics regarding veterans' employment in the solar industry. Of the near 143,000 member solar industry workforce, 9.2% of positions are held by veterans, as compared to only 7.6% of the workforce nationwide.
The growth of solar power technology and increase of available jobs does have something to do with the growing number of veterans in the industry, but when asked what brought them to work within the solar field, their answers carried much more weight. Bull's report found:
1. Veterans view climate change as a threat to national security. Working in solar is one way for them to continue in their service as defenders of our nation.
2. Energy independence — especially a reliance on clean, domestic sources of power — is vital for our country's security.
3. Working in solar allows veterans to continue their powerful experiences of service to the nation.
4. Solar and veterans are a good fit, because many skills vets learned in the military are just the skills they need to thrive in the solar industry.
Read more in depth here.
For these men and women, it is clear that working in the solar industry is far more than a job, but a continuance of their commitment to their country. They see the value that solar technology brings to the U.S. and how it is more than a means to cut utility costs, rather a crucial step toward political independence.
Source: Pierre Bull, GreenBiz.com