Arizona has a lot to offer in terms of nature and landscapes, and a lot to offer in terms of human-made structures. The state is located at the crossroads of North America, and it often serves as a hub for people traveling between the west and east coasts. People are attracted to Arizona for its warm climate, its abundance of sunshine, and its laidback lifestyle. It is, therefore, not surprising that the state is home to a large number of solar energy technicians who help keep the power on in homes and businesses across the country. To give you an idea of the size of the solar energy market in Arizona, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that in 2017 there were 14,600 solar energy jobs in Arizona, with an employment rate of 9.2% as of April 2018.
The Growth Of Solar Energy In The State
Thanks to federal and state mandates as well as the declining costs of photovoltaic (PV) panels and other solar-related equipment, the growth of solar energy in Arizona has been significant. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of rooftop solar installations in the state rose by almost 560% (from 4,900 to 20,100). During the same period, the number of commercial rooftop solar installations increased by more than 640% (from 880 to 7,400). Additionally, large-scale solar energy projects, such as utility-scale and community solar farms, have become quite popular in Arizona. The state has more than 70 solar energy project installations under construction, with an estimated cost of $4.7 billion.
The Reason Behind The Growth Of Solar Energy In The State
The main reason behind the growth of solar energy in Arizona is straightforward: the state has lots of sunshine. In fact, the PV cell density—or the amount of solar radiation received per unit area—in Arizona is among the highest in the country. In 2017, the statewide average daily solar radiation was reported to be 3.8 kWh per square meter per day. The SEIA also reports that the state is located in the middle of the country, which means that it gets plenty of sunlight throughout the year. This, in turn, provides residents with the opportunity to generate their own electricity, which significantly reduces their reliance on energy providers.
The Opportunity To Be One Of The Natives
As mentioned above, Arizona has a lot to offer in terms of nature and landscapes, as well as human-made structures. One of the best things about this state is that it provides its residents with the opportunity to become one of the “natives.” The SEIA reports that in 2017 there were 10,300 MW of installed solar capacity in Arizona, and that this will reach 14,700 MW by the end of next year. Additionally, the state’s per capita electricity consumption is among the lowest in the United States, which means there is plenty of room for more solar energy generation.
To give you an idea of the scope of the solar boom in Arizona, the SEIA reports that there are more than 120 companies active in the state, with almost 9,400 employees. The organization also notes that many large companies, such as Dell, HP, and Google, have their own in-house renewable energy projects. This, in turn, creates good opportunities for skilled technicians in the field.
Salaries And Career Development
One of the main appeals of this line of work is that it offers good salaries. According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), the median income for a solar energy technician was $42,640 in 2017. This is significantly higher than the median income of $32,400 for all occupations as of that year. The AIS also notes that many large employers, such as Google and Apple, have established their own in-house training programs for employees interested in pursuing a career in renewable energy. These training programs help new employees get up to speed as quickly as possible and integrate them into existing teams.
The Importance Of Up-Skill Development
The number of positions available for solar energy technicians is expected to rise in the near future. This is likely because of the increasing demand for this type of worker as well as the increasing number of installations across the country. Additionally, emerging technologies, such as battery storage and demand-side management, will further diversify the types of jobs available for these professionals.
The Growing Importance Of The Middle East And Asia
The world’s leading producers of solar power, as well as its largest employers, are looking for more staff. This is likely because of the increased demand for solar energy and the continued reliance on fossil fuels, which are becoming more expensive as a result of growing concerns about global climate change. As a result, more businesses are turning to alternative sources of energy, such as solar power.
One of the best places to find employment as a solar energy technician is, in fact, Asia and the Middle East. Not only are these regions known for their sunshine, but they are also home to many reputable solar companies that hire a lot of new employees. According to the SEIA, the Middle East and Asia together accounted for 33% of the 7.3 million global jobs in the solar industry in 2017.