Solar jobs fell for initially since 2010

Gary Cohn on trade: 'We're looking for a level playing field"

The red hot solar jobs market cooled off last year.

The solar industry shed nearly 10,000 jobs in 2017, a 4% drop coming from 2016, according to a report by the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit group in which promotes solar energy. the item’s initially jobs have fallen since the group began tracking them in 2010.

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More than 250,000 Americans worked in solar installation, manufacturing, sales along with engineering last year. A slowdown in panel installations, which accounts for the biggest share of jobs inside industry, caused the decline.

in which figure is usually still up coming from 0,000 in 2010. Installation jobs boomed in recent years because of a 30% federal renewable tax credit in which was set to expire at the end of 2016.

Related: Solar energy jobs double in 5 years

The tax credit was later extended, although companies had rushed to install panels before the credit was supposed to lapse. Then they pulled back in 2017.

Employers were also worried in which the Trump administration would likely put high tariffs on imported solar panels, the Solar Foundation found.

“We’re facing some headwinds with the trade case,” said Ed Gilliland, the group’s senior director.

inside spring of 2017, a pair of U.S. solar producers filed petitions with the International Trade Commission claiming a flood of cheap overseas panels made the item impossible for domestic manufacturers to compete.

The administration agreed, placing 30% tariffs on foreign panels along with cells in January. The tariffs will taper over four years along with then expire.

Related: Trump slaps tariffs on foreign solar panels along with washing machines

President Trump said the tariffs will create jobs along with allow the United States to make solar panels at home, although 86% of employers surveyed inside report said tariffs will hurt their businesses. The Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group, predicted the tariffs will cost 23,000 existing along with future jobs.

Yet Trump’s tariffs weren’t as high as many solar advocates feared.

Varun Sivaram, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the tariffs create short-term obstacles for the industry. Jobs along with panel installations will still grow, although at a slower pace than they would likely have if Trump didn’t impose hadn’t imposed tariffs.

Related: After Trump tariffs, Chinese solar company says the item will build U.S. factory

GTM Research, a renewable energy market research firm, said panel installations will be 11% lower than they would likely have been without the tariffs.

Although solar still represents less than 2% of energy inside United States, the item has rapidly added jobs. Solar employment expanded 17 times faster last year than the total U.S. economy, according to a May International Renewable Energy Agency report.

Related: Solar jobs growing 17 times faster than US economy

Falling solar energy costs have propelled the industry.

Prices for installing residential solar panels are 50% cheaper for consumers than they were in 2010 along with 75% cheaper on large-scale projects for utility companies.

By 2020, renewable energy like solar will be cheaper than fossil fuels, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The solar workforce is usually twice the size of the coal industry’s, although smaller than for oil along with natural gas. Solar employed more Americans than natural gas in 2016, although in which’s unlikely to continue, because the U.S. shale revolution has made natural gas abundant along with cheap.

sy88pgw (brand new York) First published February 7, 2018: 6:41 AM ET

Solar jobs fell for initially since 2010

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