Energizing our future
Reflecting on the last two years and looking onward, the solar industry is poised to continue its upward trajectory as one of the most deployed renewable energy technologies. Among the cheapest forms of generating electricity, Solar will require heaps of workers to install the demand from residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar applications.
Breaking solar records
In 2020, 19.2 Gigawatts or GW (1000 MegaWatt is one Gigawatt. 1000 kilowatts is one Megawatt) of solar capacity installation marked the most solar deployed in one year in the US. Solar accounted for 43% of new electricity generating capacity in 2020.
Solar targets for the US
Under President Biden’s Administration, domestic solar manufacturing is to triple by 2024. Utilizing the Defense Production act to invest in American manufacturing, the current capacity will grow from 7.5 GW to 15 GW. By the end of his term, more than 3.3 million homes will be able to switch to clean solar energy, with a total of 22.5 GW of domestic solar manufacturing.
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), one of the leading organizations for solar energy in the US, has set a target for solar to reach 30% of US generation by 2030. Under the current business-as-usual situation, only 15% of electricity generation will be accounted for by solar. Under the solar provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, reaching 30% by the end of the decade is looking more achievable than ever!
How many solar workers do we need?
Solar industry jobs rank among the top fastest-growing in the nation, paired with the barrier to entering the industry is a high school diploma or GED. The solar industry will need much help to meet renewable energy targets. To meet 30% electricity generation by 2030 will require more than 1 million Americans, up from 230,000 in 2020. According to the Inflation Reduction Act, the workers needed for solar are just a fraction of the necessary workforce to get the renewable industry up to speed with a targeted goal of 9 million workers.
Training and certification organizations
As renewable technologies gear up for higher deployment rates across this nation and world over the next couple of decades, it begs the question of how we will train up the workforce to the challenge. Fortunately, fantastic organizations like Solar Energy International (SEI) and NABCEP will maintain high education and training standards so that the industry can charge forward equitably and with best practices in every install.
The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is the keystone certification organization for the renewable energy industry. NABCEP covers technologies for photovoltaics, solar heating, and small wind. Founded in 2002 as a non-profit 501 (c)(6) corporation, NABCEPS’s mission is “to support, and work with, renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, professionals, and stakeholders to develop and implement quality credentialing and certification programs for practitioners.” Through organizations like NABCEP, the industry and customers are protected by the high standard of ethical and professional practice set forth through the certification process. If you want a certification that puts you one big step in the door for working with renewables, NABCEP is the place to do it.
Solar Energy International
SEI has announced an ambitious goal to train 272,500 people across the globe on renewable energy technologies. By focusing on advancing accessibility to renewable energy education through various in-person and online formats. Building connections between students and employers to steward tailored career counseling and online career database development. And by expanding opportunities to historically under-served communities through their Women’s Training Program, BOSS (Black Owners of Solar Services), Native American partnerships, and Spanish-speaking student outreach.
Start training now at no cost!
SEI offers two self-paced online courses for those interested in learning about renewable energy. RE100: Introduction to Renewable Energy teaches the basic concepts for leading renewable energy technologies worldwide. RE101: Fundamental Math for Solar Applications covers the math skills necessary to succeed in the solar industry and SEI’s other paid courses.
Work with us!
Our experience in the solar and renewable energy industry has led us to call it the “solar coaster.” We pose learning as an essential component of our everyday and long-term goals. Whether in the office or the field, continuous learning helps keep us current with industry best practices and find creative solutions to provide you and our clients the best experience.
We are hiring field workers at all service and solar branches levels. Come work on the front lines of renewable tech installations and set a course on a career that will bring our State and Nation closer to sustainable living.