Renewable Energy World
By nearly any measure, these are boom times for the U.S. solar industry. One of the country’s fastest growing high-tech industries, solar created 51,000 new jobs in 2016, or roughly one in every 50 U.S. jobs created last year. Solar’s contribution to the U.S. energy portfolio has ramped up accordingly, representing the top source of new U.S. electricity generation in 2016. The industry now employs 260,000 Americans, including 38,000 workers who manufacture racking systems, inverters, trackers, mounting products and more.
Why are participants in this $23 billion industry bracing themselves at this very moment for the possibility of an industry contraction? Their concern does not stem from a competing energy source or a promising new technology on the horizon. The threat to solar’s continued growth comes from within the industry itself, as two failed U.S. solar companies push the government to punish the rest of the industry for their own failures.
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