It’s hard to believe it’s almost Halloween again.
But this year, as the little tykes carve jack-o’-lanterns and figure out which kinds of masks and accessories they want to buy, maybe it’s time to consider dressing your little one up as a solar installer.
That’s right, new numbers out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the solar installer is the fastest-growing job in the country, and it’s not even close.
Remember all of that hype about the need for nurses, physician assistants and personal care aides?
Well, we do need massive numbers of new health professionals, but industry numbers show that when it comes to the quickest growth in American jobs, solar installer and wind turbine service jobs outpaced the growth of home health aides and personal care aides by more than double the necessary volume.
The demand for solar installers is hotter than the demand for statisticians, software developers, physical therapy personnel, and even IT people.
It’s important to really think about what that means, too. The reason that these jobs are so much in demand and that we’ll need so many of them, is because we’re gearing up to really renovate our energy grid and change the ways that we use power for our cars, our homes and everything else.
In the past, solar was often this controversial idea. People had different opinions, and people who put up solar panels on their houses or installed solar at their businesses were seen as either hobbyists, or idealists, people who really wanted to buck the system and forge their own path.
But that’s quickly changing — in the years to come, you’ll see solar panels popping up everywhere. It’s not going to be this notable moment where you say “oh look, there are some solar panels – that’s brand-new technology!”
Instead, you’ll have panels and solar installations going up everywhere — your neighbor or someone you know will probably be working on a roof, or otherwise participating in the solar revolution. They’re even making robots to help install these panels, because we’re preparing to switch over to solar at a tremendous rate.
That’s not to say that solar power is without its challenges — advocates are concerned that some parties in the U.S. might try to manipulate the market with trade cases, and that low-priced panels from overseas could threaten U.S. manufacturers. But in general, everyone’s getting the message — the time for coal has passed. The time for solar is now.
That’s why next Halloween, you might see kids running around your neighborhood with hard hats, utility belts and the tools of the trade. Forget dressing up like a cop or a garbage man, the solar businesses is where it’s at.
Getting in on the ground floor of something like this is always beneficial. If you are in central Virginia, Sun Day Solar can help. We’ve helped large numbers of clients to figure out what’s practical for their businesses and properties, and get renewable energy systems in place to help lower energy bills and protect the future of the planet. Ask us about incentives and any other questions you might have about getting on the solar bandwagon.
We’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at how solar is booming in the state of Virginia — with the governor’s official seal of approval, and big companies coming in to innovate and drive massive operations with renewables. But sometimes it’s also helpful to look at the broader market and how solar energy is taking off in faraway places around the world, as well.
Earlier this month, the Guardian cited the International Energy Agency as estimating that renewable energy made up a full two-thirds of all the recent new power expanding the global grid. In the Guardian’s words, it’s “Time to Shine,” and the report talks about how solar will come to dominate other types of energy consumption.
There’s also the fact that the United States is now the second fastest-growing market for solar energy, although countries like China and India are also working quickly to change over the energy systems that support billions of people, getting solar energy installations on the ground to replace finite, dirty and expensive fossil with an energy source that naturally exists all around us.
When you stop and think about it that way, solar makes even more sense as a virtually unlimited power source. We need the sun to live in more ways than one — but now that we’ve perfected solar technology, the sun can easily power all of our appliances and everything that we do throughout the day.
There’s another big takeaway from this article — you can see the free market at work. The reason that solar is taking off to such an extent is that it’s no longer something that people are doing just to take a stand, or out of the goodness of their hearts. It makes sense. It’s becoming economically reasonable. And that’s why you see Amazon and other major retailers switching their power sources from traditional oil and gas to solar. That’s why you see big regional utilities paving the way for solar growth.
To learn more, talk to Sun Day Solar. We help customers in the Albemarle County and central Virginia area to get their own solar projects in place to benefit from this new renewable power source. Take advantage of grants and incentives. Build the reputation of your small business. Enjoy lower utility bills and up the value of your property. Let us help you with practical, affordable designs for local solar power for the future.
You may have heard about a lot of the new solar initiatives across the state of Virginia, but have you heard how Tesla, the electric car maker, is working with four Virginia schools on solar contracts?
Press releases from the summer show the company opening a second store in Virginia with Gov. McAuliffe expressing support for Tesla, saying “they should be able to sell their cars here.”
However, the company is also working with the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia to add 1.3 megawatts of solar power to four campuses — Lynchburg College, Virginia Union University, Randolph Macon College and Washington and Lee University.
Robert Lambert, president of CICV, is quoted as saying that the event “highlights the leadership of Virginia’s private colleges in embracing renewable energy.”
The project is also being underwritten by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot initiative aimed at promoting solar energy around the country. In Lynchburg, the project will take the form of panels on top of the college’s health sciences building and several parking lots.
When you scratch the surface, this project actually goes a little further than you’d expect — along with the four schools that have officially signed on, there is a list of 12 additional schools that are already in Sunshot grants, and projected to participate with CICV. These include Appalachian School of Law, Bridgewater College, Eastern Mennonite University, Emory and Henry College, and Mary Baldwin University in Stanton.
It’s easy to see how what’s good for Tesla is good for the solar industry — electric cars need electric energy, and drive greater demand for utility power that can be generated from solar infrastructure. Replacing a gallon of gasoline with energy straight from the sun is an excellent way to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and curb fossil fuels consumption. So it’s no surprise that Tesla is among the many companies both big and small looking at solar expansion in the near future.
If you’re a small business, adding a solar infrastructure to your properties aligns you with these big companies and state offices. There is a lot of incentive right now to make a change in your energy consumption model and benefit from renewable, sustainable energy in Charlottesville and around central Virginia. Sun Day Solar can help you to implement this type of project well — looking into government grants? Do you have questions about practical installation? Let us help to guide you through the process of getting your own solar project done to give your business or property more “green value.”
We’ve talked a lot lately about big solar plans by Virginia utilities and energy providers, and some of those big Amazon projects that are adding tons of capacity to Virginia’s solar network, but there are also other very different efforts going on in other parts of the state to help smaller solar systems contribute to the network that brings green, renewable power into the state.
This past summer, the Progress Index reported on a farmer’s forum in Dinwiddie near Richmond, Virginia, in a rural area where local farmers grow crops like tobacco, wheat, corn and soybeans. You see a lot of these idyllic fields as you travel from north, south or west towards some of Virginia’s beaches and recreation areas on the coast. What you may not notice is that more of these farmers are being served with solar energy.
The Progress Index report shows how farmers are considering building-mounted or ground-mounted solar systems to profit from sustainable energy, and quotes Goochland Cooperative Extension representative Bob Whitehead as saying that farmers have “lots of ways” to use solar energy. In addition to providing power for tractors and field vehicles, some of these local agricultural agencies are also recommending other types of systems, for example, solar-powered aquaponics and other innovative projects that help producers bring various types of food to market.
Meetings like this one which was held by Virginia Corporate Extension and funded by the Virginia Tobacco Commission are promising ways to attract farmers to what more and more small business owners and property owners are realizing — that by installing new affordable solar systems, they’re positioning themselves for the future, and able to reap the rewards year after year. Solar customers can source their own power, and even contribute some back to the local energy grid with available net metering systems from utilities like Dominion and Appalachian Power.
You don’t have to be a farmer to get in on the ground floor of Virginia’s solar revolution — talk to Sun Day Solar about any type of custom solar plan to equip your property or business with what it needs to harness the natural power of the sun. We help our customers to find practical ways to implement renewable energy production that will leave the earth in a better condition for our children and grandchildren — to really do our part to help protect the planet for the long haul.