The Future of Solar as China Goes Green

Thu, 2011-06-16 10:52

Imagine a China without choking smog, unfishable rivers or belching coal plants. Imagine instead, a China of hybrid vehicles whizzing quietly by, pristine wildlife preserves and low-emissions coal plants. Or, better yet, solar mega-farms and wind turbines that supply clean, green power to China’s growing population.

This is the future that China wants the West to see.

Gone are the days of the Chinese “yellow peril” or “red menace.” Today, China’s colors are black and green. While China still burns more coal than the US, India and Europe combined (black) they also lead the world in electricity provided by renewable sources (green).

Certainly, the installation of renewable technologies does not negate the greenhouse gases of an energy economy largely reliant on coal. Until we obtain the majority of our electricity from carbon neutral sources, the planet will continue to warm to unsustainable levels. However, despite the shortcomings of China’s renewable portfolio, it still offers many positive outcomes.

How does the United States fit into this picture and what does China’s growth in alternative technologies means for the United States’ economy?

We Need To Step Up To Solar
China is replete with stories about buildings like the Guangdian Hotel. At the Guangdian Hotel, a solar thermal system supplies more hot water than the hotel’s 102 rooms, the kitchen and the maintenance department could possible use. Standing atop the hotel’s roof, one notices that virtually every single large building in the city has a similar solar thermal display.

Why aren’t more commercial buildings following this lead and supplying as many of their electricity needs as possible with off-the-grid alternative energies?

Certainly we need the political will and economic incentives to install major alternative energy systems in the United States. However, we also need a well-skilled, ready-trained workforce to supply the hands capable of designing, installing and maintaining these systems. Such jobs are predicted to be in high demand in the near future. They offer competitive salaries and require minimal previous experience. In a post-recession world, this offers many out-of-work employees a second chance. This is why Everblue Training Institute offers sustainability training courses in LEED green building, home energy auditing, renewable energy and solar installations, wind energy, and corporate sustainability..

We Have The Manufacturing Power To Supply The World’s Solar Parts
In addition to creating a clean energy economy in our own country, America’s ready-built manufacturing infrastructure makes the United States the ideal candidate to supply the innovation and manufacturing necessary to keep the world in solar systems for many years to come.

The Rust Belt has the factories, the labor force and the transportation infrastructure to take the lead in solar manufacturing. This transition from automotive capitol to alternative technology capitol is not far-fetched. Rather, it is a sure way to realize the recovery of a stagnate economy.

The Chinese economy is growing at a record-setting 8% per year. While the technologies used worldwide in solar energy were developed in America, many of them are being manufactured abroad. If we can keep these solar and alternative technology manufacturing jobs in America, we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs. As the world watches China grow and go green, they wait to see what this will mean for manufacturing and energy policy in China and abroad.

If you would like to learn more about the growing job market in the renewable energy and the green industry, call us today at 800-460-2575. You can also visit our Solar training page and learn more about our Solar courses scheduled around the country.