The solar energy industry is an emerging economic engine for the U.S. In 2008, during a major economic downturn, the solar industry posted its third consecutive year of record growth. Total installed capacity for solar energy in the U.S. grew by 1,265 megawatts, bringing total capacity to 9,183 megawatts. I expect 2009 to be another year of record growth.
As someone whose job involves working to expand the U.S. solar market, I am excited about the thousands of jobs our industry is creating and its tremendous potential for coming years. Many new solar-related jobs are in manufacturing and engineering, but there also is a great need for installers of photovoltaic (PV) panels on roofs. Overall, tremendous opportunities are available for entrepreneurs who want to be at the forefront of this emerging industry.
When most people think about solar installations, they picture panels installed on the roof of a home or business. These are PV systems and solar thermal (also called solar water heating) installations.