As solar power keeps getting cheaper—and more and more of it is built as a result—the industry is also an increasingly important source of new jobs, adding workers at a rate nearly 17 times faster than the overall economy. Twice as many people now work in solar than in the coal industry, according to a new survey from the nonprofit Solar Foundation.
First let’s dispense with the notion that “nonprofit” means not biased. They’re only not biased by the profit motive.
Secondly, let’s understand that Solar produces far less energy than coal by any reasonable measure, and as noted in the article, the major reason for the huge differential in labor is the need to build out large-scale solar systems.
Coal is an infrastructure that is, for the most part, built out.
So what happens when solar hits its peak? The article assumes there’s a lot of room to go because the number is around 1% now, but what if solar in the US is meant to peak at… Say… 3%? Then what?
Solar is a bubble propped up by feel good laws, tax incentives, and huge subsidy checks. Unlike coal and oil, solar, like most green energy, gets huge direct checks from the government as do its customers. The reason for its comparative labor size is obvious: it’s a gold rush, and as with most gold rushes, it will come to an end at some point.