The cost of solar energy has plummeted thanks to technological innovation and improved manufacturing processes. This is driving a boom in the installation of solar panels on Virginia homes and businesses.1 The growth of solar energy is not only about reducing pollution and addressing global warming – it also means the creation of new, American businesses, new construction jobs, and a more secure electric grid. The solar industry has the ability to generate anywhere between 240,000 to 965,000 direct or indirect jobs by 2030.2 China currently dominates the solar industry, currently controlling 66 percent of the $39 billion solar photovoltaic cell market3 -- creating 100,000 clean energy jobs annually.4
• As Senator, I will support efforts to increase the competitiveness of American companies and innovators in solar energy by increasing investments in this emerging clean technology.
1U.S. Department of Energy. Sunshot Vision Study. February 2012.
2University of Tennessee. Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. Assessment of Incentives and Deployment Impacts of Solar Industry Development. May 1, 2012.
3Walther, Robert and Freed Joshua. Third Way. “By the Numbers: China, the U.S. and Clean Energy.” 2012.
4Walther, Robert and Freed Joshua. Third Way. “By the Numbers: China, the U.S. and Clean Energy.” 2012.