Investors who originally went with renewable energy due to social consciousness are now being rewarded and joined by other investors as development prices in wind and solar continues to drop.
A new report by analyst firm Frost & Sullivan projects that in 2017 solar will attract more investment than coal, gas and nuclear power combined.
The decline in solar and wind development prices has meant renewable investment is booming at the expense of traditional power generation. This is because clean energy increasingly offers more profitable project costs and benefits from stable regulatory support across the globe, according to the report.
Another result of the increased investment in renewable energy is that servicing contracts for maintenance will also increase, resulting in new jobs.
By 2020, non-hydro renewable energies is projected to account for 65% of all power generation investment.
The US Department of Energy recently issued its second annual US Energy and Employment Report” agreed. The statistics for the solar industry were impressive, demonstrating it creates more electricity-generation employment than oil, gas, coal and nuclear combined.
Wind power came in third in DOE's analysis, behind solar and fossil fuels, but ranks second as a standalone when the fossil fuels are broken down individually by technology.
This also helps employment – solar accounts for the largest share of worker in the Electric Power Generation industry. This is s is largely due to the construction related to the significant build out of new solar generation capacity. Coal suffered more declines, while oil and nuclear experienced slow growth. Natural gas is on the rise, but only at a fraction the pace of solar or wind.
Despite drops in several traditional energy sectors, the numbers for American energy jobs were strong overall. Some 6.4 million people work in energy all together -- about 14 percent of all the jobs in the country, with 2016 adding an additional 300,000 positions during the final year of the Obama Administration -- up five percent from 2016.