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The solar job market is booming.
In sharp contrast to the oil industry's 17,000 job cuts in 2015, the solar energy industry added 35,000 jobs last year. That's a 20% uptick from the previous year, according to a Jan. 12 report released by The Solar Foundation's National Solar Jobs Census.
That growth is expected to continue into 2016, the census revealed. Another 30,000 solar industry jobs are expected to be added within the next 12 months.
Which is clear evidence of one undeniable factor…
As growth in the solar market continues, opportunities for investors are surfacing…
Solar Energy Is Growing Tenfold Thanks to Incentives, Demand, and Support
Last year, the clean energy industry attracted a record $329 billion in investments – nearly six times the total in 2004, according to a Jan. 14 report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
So while oil and gas prices were well into their slow descent in 2015, clean energy was actually thriving.
Particularly solar, as evidenced by its flourishing job market.
Here's why this one particular segment of the clean energy market is doing – and is expected to keep doing – so well:
- Government Incentives: The solar energy industry got a huge boost on Dec. 18, 2015, when Congress renewed its spending tax credits on renewables for another five years. Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects this extension will add an extra 20 gigawatts of solar power to the nation, which is equal to the total amount installed via solar panels in the United States prior to 2015. Furthermore, the tax extensions provide a 56% boost to the industry over five years, "catalyzing $73 billion in new investment and enabling as many as 8 million more households to access clean, renewable, affordable energy," reported GreenBiz on Dec. 28.
- Expanding Demand: After the December 2015 UN climate accord in Paris, countries are now looking to renewable energy to meet the pledges they made. For example, India wants to produce more than 10% of all energy from solar sources within just seven years from now, reported USA Today on Jan. 1. The country also intends to produce over 25% of all its energy from solar by the year 2030. Because of this incentive, investment opportunities abound in the region. Competitive bidding on India's solar projects have allowed companies to offer the lowest-ever price per unit for solar energy in India at $0.07 per kilowatt/hour. And a rising number of startups, encouraged by the government's support, are stepping into India's solar market – because that's where growth and opportunity lies, which brings us to incentive number three…
- Strong Corporate and Investor Support: Renewables are attracting capital. A recent study released by Goldman Sachs on Nov. 30, 2015, claimed the combined market size of low-carbon technologies like solar now exceeds $600 billion. That's roughly the size of the U.S. defense budget. And speaking of the U.S. Department of Defense – the agency is the largest consumer of energy in the world. It invested $7 billion toward advancing solar technology in one day. There are others joining in the investment push as well. For example, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) founder Bill Gates, the world's richest man, hinted at donating upwards of $2 billion of his own personal fortune into solar and other low-carbon technologies, reported The Verge on Nov. 27, 2015. And he is being joined by Chinese tycoons Liang Wengen and Nan Cunhui, who plan to pour $5 billion into India's solar power sector.
Get ahead of solar's payoff – we have the perfect "in" on one tiny company at the center of it all. It stands to deliver early investors 10, 15, 25, even 50 times their money…
- GreenBiz: Congress Extend the Renewable Tax Credit: What Now
- The Solar Foundation: National Solar Jobs Census 2015
- Bloomberg New Energy Finance: Clean Energy Defies Fossil Fuel Price Crash to Attract Record $329BN Global Investment in 2015
- USA Today: The Future Looks Bright for Solar Power in India
- Goldman Sachs: The Low-Carbon Economy