What does it mean? The energy transition will provide a range of exciting job opportunities. In fact, the Global Renewables Outlook, IRENA predicts 42m jobs will be created across renewable energy by 2050, four times more than today.
Based on the research, this number will be dominated by solar employers and 28% of all employed energy professionals will be in North America.
Markets for solar energy are increasing fast. With many homeowners discovering the benefits of a solar-powered home, we anticipate continued demand for solar power.
Solar energy jobs in demand in the USA
Many roles won't have existed 20-30 years ago and require new skills and technology. But a large proportion will be in disciplines transferable from other energy sectors.
Here are the main disciplines creating jobs in solar energy.
You can click the project names to jump to a summary of each.
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Top 5 solar projects to start in 2021
1. Pecan Prairie Solar Project
This is a large-scale solar project in southwestern Leon County, Texas. Developed by ConnectGen, the project expects to install approximately 500MW of solar energy, enough to power over 50,000 Texan homes. ConnectGen anticipates commencing construction of its Pecan Prairie Solar Project in 2021 and beginning operations in 2022.
Texas is ranked 4th in the nation for installed capacity. The estate is already reaping the benefits of economic growth, with an additional 13,310MW of capacity anticipated over the next five years. There are 10,261 solar jobs in the Lone Star State, and the industry is expected to grow as more projects come to fruition.
2. Golden Triangle Solar Energy Centre
Tennessee Valley Authority awarded a contract to Origis Energy to build a 200MW solar facility on 1,900 acres in Lowndes County, Mississippi. The project will include a 50MW battery storage and it is expected to begin producing energy for TVA in 2022.
Golden Triangle Solar Energy Centre estimates to save around 225,120Kg of carbon emissions and to power 45,920 homes. The project is expected to be completed in October 2022. Origis Energy will build, own, and operate the project.
3. Sunflower Solar PV Farm
Developed by Recurrent Energy, the project expects to construct a 100MW solar photovoltaic farm on approximately 1,000 acres in Sunflower County, Mississippi. The facility uses single-axis trackers and is expected to power more than 16,000 homes with clean energy upon completion.
During the construction phase, about 360 jobs will be created. The project is expected to be operational in 2022.
4. Commonwealth Solar Project
This project includes the construction of two solar energy facilities, with a combined capacity of 220MW. Commonwealth Solar Project will be operated by Community Energy Inc in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The energy generated from the facility will be purchased by the University of Pennsylvania that signed a 25 years contract with Community Energy. The construction of the facility is expected to take place in the fall of 2021, with the aim of entering commercial operation in 2023.
5. Happy Solar Park
Operated by Lightsource BP, this project expects to install a 132MW solar park at a 700 acres site near Happy in White County, Arkansas. The energy generated will be purchased by Conway Corporation.
The project is expected to open some 250 job positions during its construction and to be completed by the end of 2022. The plant will be able to generate enough electricity to supply over 21,400 homes in the city of Conway. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.