Repairing the economy
The U.S. solar industry employs more than 250,000 people - about three times more than the coal industry - with about 40 percent of those people in installation and 20 percent in manufacturing, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Panel manufacturers First Solar (FSLR.O) and JinkoSolar (JKS.N), for example, have announced plans to spend $800 million on projects to increase panel construction in the United States since the tariff, creating about 700 new jobs in Ohio and Florida. Just last week, Korea’s Hanwha Q CELLS HQCL.O joined them, saying it will open a solar module factory in Georgia next year, though it did not detail job creation.
Solar developers completed utility-scale installations costing a total of $6.8 billion last year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Those investments were driven by U.S. tax incentives and the falling costs of imported panels, mostly from China, which together made solar power competitive with natural gas and coal.
President Donald Trump’s tariff on imported solar panels has led U.S. renewable energy companies to cancel or freeze investments of more than $2.5 billion in large installation projects, along with thousands of jobs, the developers told Reuters.
“I Feel More Confident Than Ever That The Power To Save The Planet Rests With The Individual Consumer.”
— Denis Hayes
100% American Energy
Solar power systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun. Installing solar panels on your home helps combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduces our collective dependence on fossil fuel. Traditional electricity is sourced from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. When fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity, they emit harmful gases that are the primary cause of air pollution and global climate change. Not only are fossil fuels bad for the environment, but they are also a finite resource. Because of this, the price is constantly fluctuating and can increase in a short period of time.
Renewable energy also improves public health. Coal and natural gas plants produce air and water pollution that is harmful to human health. But replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, such as solar power, can reduce premature mortality as well as overall health care costs.
Although fossil fuel production requires significant water resources and causes water pollution, solar energy requires little to no water to operate. So, not only does solar power not pollute water resources, it also doesn’t put a strain on the world’s water supply.
Solar power also works during a drought or heat wave. Coal, natural gas and nuclear power use large amounts of water for cooling. During heat waves or severe droughts, as we’ve experienced in recent years, electricity generation is at risk. But solar power systems do not require water to generate electricity.
In addition, solar power creates jobs in clean energy. The U.S. has been leading the world in clean energy. Hopefully this trend will continue, in the face of government budget cuts to EPA and DOE, as innovative and forward-thinking companies continue to embrace the changing landscape of energy production and move to renewables.
America Needs a Green New Deal
“It’s difficult enough operating a business and having additional unnecessary overhead definitely doesn’t help. I was spending $12,000-$15,000 per month On Electricity. In just the last 10 Years I Spent Almost $1,800,000 on Electricity. After Eliminating This Expense I Was Able To Hire More Employees and Purchase Equipment To Help Us Expand and Further Increase Our Profit Margins.”
— Houston Business Owner
“Whoever Controls Your Energy, Controls Your Destiny. 100 Percent Renewable Is 100 Percent American.”
— Mark Ruffalo
“I believe that by 2050 we can transition to a healthy and prosperous economy relying virtually entirely on renewable energy. That’s my goal… What we’ve been missing is a leader willing and ready to take advantage of those opportunities.”
— Janet Mills, Governor of Maine
As governor, I will bring all stakeholders to the table to put Illinois on a path toward 100% clean, renewable energy and make sure that every community justly benefits during this transition.
— J.B. Pritzker, Governor of Illinois