The race for clean energy jobs and industries is on — and it is a race well worth winning. The International Energy Agency projects that in the coming decades, solar power could grow to more than 20 percent of the world’s electricity. Conservatively, this means that there is an economic opportunity worth trillions of dollars for whichever countries claim the lead. The global market for wind turbines is also growing exponentially.
But it’s not just the vast potential of jobs tomorrow — these industries employ a growing number of Americans today. In fact, business groups estimate that America’s solar industry accounts for about 100,000 jobs and the wind industry employs 75,000. Should we simply tell those workers that we’ve given up on them?
A study released last month showed that, in spite of the intense global competition, the U.S. remains a net global exporter of solar technology — with $5.6 billion in exports and an overall positive trade balance of $1.8 billion.