The solar industry has been growing in the United States at a steady pace. Many will point to the presence of solar panels on various homes as a sign of growth. To a degree, this is true. The more solar panels installed in homes, the more customers the solar industry is reaching. True growth, however, is measured by profits. A boost in solar panels on neighborhood homes might not necessarily indicate profits are booming. The news that the US solar industry has experienced a 25% growth level in employment definitely hints strong profits are flowing in.
The total number of the jobs added is in the range of 260,000. No industry adds that many jobs unless demand for products and services are huge. An industry has to remain solvent, which means hiring must be done prudently. Such job hiring stats show solar — for now — seems to be doing well.
Is solar in a bubble though?
Such a question is not asked out of a sense of cynicism. Any examination of a successful industry should come with concerns over whether or not growth has long-term potential or not. Many may be interested in solar energy because it is new. Will the interest remain in five years?
The answer depends on how successful the solar industry is in delivering on all promises. If those who invest in solar panels report they have saved money on energy expenses, more are likely to follow their lead. That means more customers end up with a positive attitude towards purchasing new solar panels.
Employment opportunities may continue to be strong as long as the industry is healthy. The auto industry is a perfect example of this. During the glory days of the 1950’s and 1960’s, the auto industry of Detroit became the source of fantastic jobs and income streams for those interested in working in car production. Things did change over time as no industry is expected to remain perfectly healthy and stable year after year.
For now, the health of the solar energy industry seems to be on good footing. Barring any major changes in the industry, this solid growth level should remain consistent for the near future.