According to the last report put out by the Solar Energy Industry (SEIA), solar, specifically solar pv is the fastest growing industry in the US.
So what? What does this mean for your business or job prospects? How you can you use this information to your advantage?
Here are 5 important takes aways from this report for small businesses and professionals.
1) Prices are plunging, and investors don’t like it. A great article on Alternative Energy Stocks describes how although solar has been the highlight of the world economy in the past few years in terms of growth, solar stocks take a beating. Why? It’s very competitive industry (good for installers and customers) and there is still a huge amount of supply, much more then demand. The fact that investors weary of solar manufacturers because of competition is a good thing for you, the installer and your customers.
2) More Political Support. The report highlights that the number of green jobs is increasing drastically which is increasing the amount of political support solar is receiving. A virtuous cycle for sure. For example, in Pennsylvania there are the same number of coal miners and solar installers, 7,000 to be exact. However, solar installers are increasing while coal miners continue to die off. The benefit of solar, like wind, is that it is very public and politicians love to visit installations. If you’re an installer, invite your local representative to an installation and get much needed PR for all of us 🙂
3) Even growth across segments. Just from skimming the executive summary of the report you can see that there is steadily and equal growth among utility scale, commercial and residential solar projects. Good news for entrepreneurs and contractors who are you looking to enter the industry in residential or light commercial or existing business looking to scale, there is demand in each segment.
4) Regional Activity. A negative, or postive depending upon where you live. Except for Colorado, the majority of solar activity and installations is happening on the west and east coast not the middle of the country. If your a small business, your opportunity in solar will depend on if you’re in a good region or not.
5) HUGE opportunity still exists. The one item that struck me about the report, is that industry is growing so quickly because it was SO SMALL before. Also, if you look at the share of the global market the US is still far under 20%. Try to find a roof wit solar on it! It’s still hard, this just means opportunity.