California remains ground zero for solar energy in the US
California remains ground zero for solar energy in the United States. The sunny position of the state has created an ideal solar market and it’s at the top of the renewable energy heap. In addition, California has an impressive record regarding environmental policy and its state policy provides lots of support for solar energy. TRS Staffing Solutions (TRS), global engineering staffing agency is sharing an insight on the job market and opportunities in California.
Solar power is a bright point in California’s economy as it creates jobs and contributes to economic development. According to the Guardian, the solar market in California is rapidly growing and is estimated to create more than 1400 full-time jobs by the end of this year, where more than half of the solar jobs involve nationwide installation. The country’s largest solar installer is also becoming a major manufacturer and is planning to build a new plant. Another driver of the employment has been the state’s renewable energy standard, which requires utilities to obtain one-third of their power from renewable sources by 2020.
Although California enjoys more sunshine than other states, the Golden State does not even rank in the top 5 sunniest states. California has the 9th-highest electricity rates in the country, meaning the savings from switching to solar energy are substantial.
California has initiatives to:
1. Install 3,000 megawatts of customer-side solar electricity generating capacity by the end of 2016;
2. Place solar on 50% of new homes by 2020;
3. Make the solar industry self-sufficient within 10 years.
SolarCity (provider of clean energy) is one of the largest solar energy companies in the US. The company designs and installs solar panels on the roofs of homes and buildings, currently servicing about 250,000 customers. In recent news, Tesla's unaffiliated shareholders voted in favor of the $2.6 billion deal with SolarCity, which will allow the companies to move forward with an integrated solar roof and battery storage offering.
In addition for SolarCity, they have partnered up with Hydraflow who together have installed a one megawatt solar power system and 250 kilowatt energy storage project. This has been created with the expectation of saving more than $3.5m over the next 30 years through purchasing affordable power and energy. Not only will the company (Hydroflow) lower its costs by utilizing affordable solar power, it will further reduce energy costs by using stored electricity (minimizing both peak demand and demand charges); aiding the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Governor Gerry Brown has proposed $3.1 billion in his budget request for 2016-2017 and continues to enact policies for additional renewable energy development in California. These funds will be used to improve current programs, increase benefits, address climate change and again further reduce greenhouse gas emissions (California Green Innovation Index).
What other ways can the Solar Industry not only in the US but worldwide, help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere? At TRS Staffing Solutions we are dedicated to find the best solution for you and advise you on every step of the hiring process, industry news and market trends similar to the above. Contact your local office to discuss roles in Power and Renewables or subscribe to our Newsletter for more TRS News.