Obama: Train solar energy workers

President Obama called for training “50,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020” in his climate change speech last month. However, solar trainees are having trouble finding work in an unstable industry dependent on government incentives.

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  1. Although there’s always going to be a risk in planning for future employment needs, the trends in renewable energy and solar are unmistakable and are acknowledged by the energy giants.

    • Yeah, as long as the subsidies are flowing they’ll be happy to accommodate.

      And the trend is that the misbegotten sops to the vanity of environmental justice warriors are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their subsidy levels.

      Perhaps you could point to a single such project, anywhere in the world, that’s not entirely dependent on government handouts? That might lend a bit of credence to the on-going and breathless announcements that solar and wind are competitive with fossil fuels.

  2. I don’t think our Dear Leader, President Obama, has any idea what these workers would actually do. Installing solar panels mostly takes the same skills as any electrician already has. Oh, you might have to have some training in the physical mounting hardware, but all of the rest of the electrical work is just electrician stuff.

    There are probably jobs to fill in planning/sizing/locating the installations, but those would probably require an engineering certification, rather than a “solar worker” qualification.

    It’s the same with wind: you may need a few specialized folks to put up a wind turbine, but most of the workers pouring the cement, tightening the bolts, running the cranes and pulling the wires will just be the usual trades.

    I’d bet dollars to donuts that the line in the speech was just thrown in because it sounded good and encouraging about jobs and that the only real thought that went into it was “Should we call for 50,000 or 100,000? Where is the limit that people will just accept without thinking about it very hard?”

  3. The average large solar plant (we have one not too far from where I am at) has no more 5-10 full time workers. There is money to be made installing solar panels, but once you figure out the proper placement and so forth, the construction is over πŸ™‚

    Obama just doesn’t understand this stuff