And now we have it. Certainty. The solar industry now has some certainty when it comes to module pricing for the next few years. Obviously adding $.10 per watt isn’t good, but it’s not as bad as it could have been, and it won’t be as catastrophic as some are making it out to be. Module costs have already risen, so the price correction will happen sooner than expected. Call me an optimist, but I don’t anticipate that jobs will be lost at an alarming rate as some of the industry lobbying groups are boasting. In fact, my phone has been ringing nonstop this week with companies looking to hire. Companies that have shelved hiring since Q3 are now aiming to fill those positions; their hiring need hasn’t gone away, and now they can more accurately price projects. In the 84 months EnergeiaWorks has been in business, we just closed on our single largest month of revenue in company history, and this should speak for itself. Remember, the solar (and wind) industry is growing faster than the overall economy and the unemployment rate for renewable energy workers is much lower than the overall workforce.
Is it fair? Not even a chance! In 2016, the US imported $2.252 trillion in goods from around the globe. To say that solar modules are just a fraction of this number is an overstatement. Where’s the tax on iPhones? Where’s the tax on TVs? Where’s the tax on computers? As I walk around my toddler’s room, I can’t find one single item with the Made in USA stamp on it. This IS a big problem but the WRONG resolution.
Will this solution create more solar manufacturing jobs in the US? Not likely. As an industry, we’ll absorb the additional module price into the cost of EPC, and move on. I’ve heard from only a handful of companies looking to open manufacturing sites in the US, and only three are really serious about it. I’ll gladly assist them, but can’t help but thinking about how long it will take to recoup their capital investment.
…If you need assistance with your Q1 hiring strategy, please reach out to us to schedule a virtual meeting.
You can also find EnergeiaWorks over the next two month at SolarWakeup Live! in New York, Renewables UnWind in New York, Solar Power Northeast in Boston, CanWEA O&M Summit in Toronto, Smart Energy Summit in Austin, Wall Street Green Summit in New York, Solar Power Finance & Investment in San Diego, Renewables UnWind in San Diego, and Solar Power California in San Diego. If you’re attending one of these events, feel free to schedule a meeting on site.