Manufacturing

Manufacturing vs. installation: A hard look at the economics of Solar energy in the U.S.

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I recently took a brief tour of a NC Solar farm under construction, and got into a conversation with one of the supervisors about Trump's 30% tariffs on imported Solar panels. I was not surprised when he spoke favorably about the resulting increase in manufacturing jobs here in the U.S. as a result of said tariffs, because it is a very common misconception by those who support renewable energy. If you raised your eyebrows at that, you definitely need to continue reading. But before I get into the explanation, here's an article from 2009 to chew on:

Wacker Chemie AG will build a $1 billion plant in southeastern Tennessee that is estimated to create 500 green collar jobs in the region to manufacture hyperpure polycrystalline silicon, primary material used in the manufacture of solar panels...With the right policies and leadership from the government this sector is poised to take off and experience a long period of very rapid growth, becoming an important contributor to our nation’s electric energy mix and providing many tens of thousands of green collar jobs across the country.

Sounds promising, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it's a heck of a lot more complicated than it sounds. Follow me below the fold to find out why.

N.C. Fourth Hungriest State

This is embarrassing. North Carolina is tied for fourth among states with the most hungry families at 4.9%. We are only doing better than Oklahoma (lots of reservations that are difficult to serve), Arkansas, and South Carolina. While the reason for North Carolina's place on the list are unclear, the loss of manufacturing jobs certainly plays a role. But regardless of the reason, this is unacceptable. Certainly the progressive agenda to allieviate poverty will help, but for 1 out of 20 North Carolinians it cannot happen soon enough.

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