Strong Growth in the Solar Industry for 2013

New Report Predicts Strong Growth in the Solar Industry for 2013

As the world economy continues its slow but steady recovery from the calamities of 2008, the solar industry is showing signs that it, too, is expanding. This observation is based on information from a recently released 65-page report entitled National Solar Jobs Census 2012. The contents can be viewed in their entirety at The Solar Foundation website.

Aside from a healthy amount of growth in the field, the report also indicates that the industry is transitioning from an initial phase of explosive growth to a period of relative stability. This trend is similar to the one experienced by the US automotive industry in the early years of the 20th century, in which Ford, GM, and Chrysler emerged from amidst a pack of less successful rivals.

Among the more noteworthy facts contained in the report are these:

  • Since August of 2011 the solar industry has added 14,000 new jobs.
  • By far the single fastest growing job title is “installer”.
  • Manufacturing positions actually declined over the past year, although these losses were more than offset by gains in other sectors of the industry.
  • The higher levels of job growth have occurred at the largest companies, indicating that the industry is stabilizing, just as mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article.
  • Considerable growth is expected from September 2012 to September 2013, with another 20,000 workers to be hired. Overall, more than 50% of installation firms are expected to add personnel during the period.
  • 44% of all solar firms will increase their payrolls by September 2013, increasing the number of workers employed in the solar power industry by 17.2%.
  • The day of the “jack-of-all-trades” solar energy firm are nearing an end, as existing companies are increasingly concentrating on a specific aspect of the industry. This trend towards specialization is further evidence that the solar sector of the economy is rapidly approaching a period of stable, long-term expansion.
  • Solar is emerging as a stand-alone player in the energy sector of the economy, with more than 50% of all firms in the industry now deriving all of their revenues directly from solar-related products and services.
  • At the same time, industry employees and contractors are deemphasizing other lines of work to devote their energies entirely to solar power projects. Along with other trends noted above, this indicates that sun-generated energy is diverging from the host of other forms of renewable energy to acquire standalone status.
  • A survey of employers in the industry shows that virtually all of them are gearing up for aggressive expansion and employee recruitment efforts during 2013.

In summary, the report includes multiple lines of evidence pointing to healthy growth in the industry, along with tendencies towards stabilization and specialization. For those who have waited decades for solar to take its place among the major economic players in the US economy, this is good news indeed.

About the author: Renewable Energy Corporation install solar panels and equipment in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia. Visit Renewable Energy Corporation’s website to learn about Maryland Solar Renewable Energy Credits, Net Metering, The Cost of Solar Panels and Solar Tax Credits and Rebates.