Solar energy continues to catch on with the public, and its popularity is soaring. Jobs in the solar industry are up 20% in the past 5 years, bringing the total number employed in the solar field up to 209,000. In 2015 alone, there were 35,000 jobs added. This industry is booming and it could not come at a better time.
The energy industry that revolves around oil, for now, is in serious turmoil. Oil prices are at multi-year lows as an oversupply of oil continues to poor into the global market. Oil and gas companies are forced to lay off employees and cut back on the purchasing of new equipment. With over 17,000 employees in the exploration and production for oil extraction being lost in 2015, a new booming energy market is what these companies will need to look toward.
It’s inevitable that the oil age will eventually end. Either due to the public’s stance on this greenhouse gas emitting fuel, or the limited supply of the finite resource, oil will not be the energy choice forever.
The solar energy industry shows promise in regards to new infrastructure initiatives and employment opportunities. It could benefit the oil industry to start investing into new solar projects to offset the troubles associated with the now turbulent oil industry.
Along with the growth of the solar industry, the employment opportunities are rewarding. With average compensation for a solar panel instillation professional at $21 dollars an hour, up 5% from last year, the industry is a great choice for those seeking employment.
If the solar industry continues to expand at the current rate, manufacturers and the supply chain will have their work cut out for them. As more solar projects continue to pop up around the country, there is a need for more manufacturers to supply the industry with the equipment it will need. As the oil industry contracts, solar equipment could make up for the lack of new orders. If oil producers start to venture into solar territory, this could open up even more opportunities for not only their business but the entire supply chain.
New incentives all over the country are also adding to the popularity of solar power for businesses and homes. Some states offer 30% tax credit to any business or private residence that installs solar panels on their property. Not only do the panels drastically reduce energy bills but it also puts any excess energy produced back into the grid, sharing the environmentally friendly energy with the rest of the community. New solar panel technology can also generate energy from indirect sunlight, allowing businesses and residences in more places to make use of solar panels.
Solar is a fast growing industry, and with the oil industry contracting as prices fall, the solar industry could make up for lost orders and help to employ more individuals. Companies that invest in solar now will have an easier time keeping their head above water if the price of oil continues to fall. Manufacturers can look to solar to help offset the lack of new orders coming out of the oil industry as well. It might be time to start looking at new alternative energy industries for new business opportunities.