As political rivalries and battles over control play out on capitol hill we in the Renewable Energy (RE) industry stand poised for action, hoping that our government will stand behind us in our industry goals. Tremendous support of the RE industry has helped propel this revolutionary technology. Homes, businesses, governments, and non-profits can now invest in reliable energy and feel confident the effects on our environment are positive. So what does the shift in control mean for the coming years?
Most of the focus is being placed on the coming weeks. The senate passed the tax breaks which included an extension of the RE tax grant. We fully expect the bill to pass and the extension will mean another prosperous year for RE. But there is another big question and concern hanging over all our heads... JOBS!
One industry cannot be the sole source of job creation but as a growing industry, one with a lot of expected job creation, we are proud to say that in 2010 the solar industry added 50,000 new jobs, according to the national solar jobs census. To date there are over 90,000 jobs in solar energy alone. The 5 sectors of renewable energy technologies - solar, geothermal, wind, bioenergy, and hydro - are growing and unequivocally adding jobs. yet there remains a perception that clean energy is not adding enough jobs to our economy.
It is difficult to see the added benefits that clean energy adds to our economy when there are over 30 million people unemployed in our nation. That number alone is staggering, which is why 50,000 new jobs in one year can go unnoticed when it's up against a number as large as 30 million. It seems that the unemployment problem is just too big for clean energy to solve alone. Which brings up the next issue - Manufacturing.
Manufacturing jobs in the US have slipped to levels not seen since before 1945. Between 2000 and 2009, manufacturers shed upwards of 7 million jobs. Add to that the staggering unemployment rates and it's no wonder the population is looking to the RE sector for manufacturing jobs. Carrie Cullen Hitt, executive director of The Solar Alliance, an organization that works with companies and legislators to create solar policy, said "The pressure on solar to create manufactuiring jobs is misplaced. Manufacturing is fine, but there are so many other jobs in other aspects of the industry that its a misrepresentation that you're going to get the most amount of jobs out of encouraging manufacturing. There are development jobs, installation, financing and the whole value chain. If you have good policy, all these aspects of development will create jobs in the state."
The RE industry is working very hard to show that we are a real and established economic engine. We are creating jobs and we are improving our environment at the same time. Yet we still seem to have opposition and doubt. One theory is that the fossil fuel lobby is spending large amounts of money to discredit the RE industry and convince the American public that green jobs are a farce. We don't believe that the American public is that ignorant. Let the fossil fuel lobbyists spend their millions of dollars, we'll continue to invest in what is real and tangible; a job and a pay check. The RE industry doesn't have the money to spend millions on lobbyist and special interests agendas, we only have the money to keep this nation moving forward. With the help of regular Americans like yourself and with support from our representaitves on capitol hill we can continue to propel the RE industry into the future.
We at All Energy Solar, Inc hope you enjoyed our op-ed piece. We feel very strongly that we are creating a future fit for our children and that our efforts will have great implications for not only our environment but our economy as well. We referenced several articles in this piece and implore you to read on. View the articles listed below...
We are open to your opinions and suggestions. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us any time at 800-620-3370.