How Is The U.S. Reenergizing Investment In Solar Energy?
Last week, during a visit to Salt Lake City’s Hill Air Force Base, President Obama highlighted, among other clean energy topics, a revival in our country’s solar industry. Not only has the sector seen a growth of 30,000 new workers between 2013 and 2014, upcoming investments and projected job growth points to significant solar industry prosperity over the coming year.
The real news, however, concerns a special jobs and clean energy boosting initiative that could help the U.S. employ more veterans, combat climate change, and put 75,000 trained and skilled Americans to work over the next five years.
More Jobs And Fewer Emissions
This news comes shortly after the Obama administration announced a new target to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent over the next ten years. The Solar Ready Vets jobs initiative that the President discussed in Utah this past Friday may be a contributor to that goal, which would have greenhouse gas emissions cut to levels below those seen in 2005.
Solar Ready Vets Follows SunShot
If you think national solar industry investment sounds oddly familiar, that may be due to the fact that this latest objective is an increase of the 50,000 solar worker goal announced in 2015. That previous initiative sought to incentivize 400 U.S. community colleges to train instructors and students for careers related to the U.S. solar industry.
That program is reported to have played a major role in training more than 30,000 students and advancing the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative.
Getting Vets Into STEM
The recently announced Solar Ready Vets seeks to encourage STEM-based, clean energy career growth among veterans transitioning from active duty to work in the private sector. Apart from installing solar panels seen on more and more homes and businesses throughout the U.S., the new workforce would help get solar projects connected to power grid and help ensure building code compliance.
Military bases throughout the U.S. are expected to serve as the initiative’s job training centers.
Coming Together For A Brighter Future?
Supporters of the initiative are reported to believe that skills acquired in the military could translate to well into the solar industry, which is seeing growing demand for workers and increased demand by U.S. homeowners.
Will the call for high skilled workers, vets in need of steady work, and the imperative to cut carbon emissions all come together to create a brighter future for the economy and the environment?
Tell us your thoughts on this initiative in the comments.