The renewable energy sector’s rapid growth has resulted in a burgeoning demand for skilled workers, specifically electricians and solar technicians. This demand is a double-edged sword: while it signals positive progress in clean energy utilization, it also brings to light a stark shortage of trained professionals.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States needs 80,000 more electricians every year and a total of 1 million new electricians for the increasing burden of the energy transition. This statistic underscores the scope and urgency of the situation, as the renewable energy sector’s growth outstrips the supply of professionals. The solar industry exemplifies this trend, with the employment of photovoltaic (PV) installers projected to grow by a staggering 50.5 percent from 2019 to 2029. This growth rate dwarfs the 3.7-percent increase projected for all occupations, demonstrating the immense potential of the solar job market.
BoxPower team working to deploy a SolarContainer with Pallet Shelter
In the face of this reality, BoxPower sees an opportunity – one that marries the goals of economic growth, workforce development, and renewable energy proliferation. With a workforce development philosophy deeply embedded in its DNA, BoxPower understands that renewable energy projects provide a springboard for fostering local talent, creating jobs, and advancing sustainability. So far, BoxPower has created 45 jobs in rural economies and will generate over 400 more over the next five years. To reach this goal, BoxPower implements a three-step approach: channel partnerships with local contractors, in depth workforce training on installation and microgrid technologies, and training and hiring local service contractors to service systems over its lifetime.
BoxPower, cognizant of this escalating demand, positions itself as a catalyst for change. The company’s core belief is that renewable energy projects should do more than just generate power; they should also generate opportunities for individuals and communities. Recognizing the decline in traditional industries that have sustained rural economies, BoxPower sees immense potential to bridge this gap. The transition to renewable energy presents an opportunity to retrain the workforce, invigorate remote economies, and guide them towards a sustainable and resilient future, turning a challenge into a pathway for growth and prosperity.
Talk with an energy expert today
One of the landmark advancements in the renewable energy sector is the recent extension of the Clean Energy Investment Tax Credits. Significantly, these expanded provisions require specific labor and apprenticeship programs for the utilities and communities to take advantage of the full 30% tax credit. This pushes utilities and organizations to add workforce development as a key tenant of their companies, BoxPower has long made workforce development a pinnacle of its offerings. For example, during projects in Alaska and Puerto Rico, BoxPower prioritized the engagement of local contractors for the deployment of Remote Solar Standalone Power Systems. This approach not only brought reliable, renewable energy to these remote regions but also created five new jobs in each area, thereby stimulating local economies.
BoxPower and local team deploying SolarContainers in Buckland, AK
BoxPower’s workforce development initiatives extend beyond job creation to focus on sustainable skill-building and capacity enhancement. The intent is to equip individuals with the expertise necessary for long-term operation and maintenance of the installed systems, ensuring the lasting impact of BoxPower’s projects.
This approach was exemplified in Hawaii, where BoxPower trained a local contractor remotely to install our microgrid system. This unique strategy resulted in two new jobs and served as a testament to the potential of remote training and capacity-building. Additionally, BoxPower partnered with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and provided a Minibox as a training tool for local electricians.
BoxPower’s approach to workforce development transcends conventional business strategies. It mirrors the company’s dedication to its core values and its commitment to delivering renewable energy solutions while simultaneously fostering skills, creating jobs, and driving sustainable economic growth. As BoxPower continues its journey, it remains committed to helping bridge the clean energy workforce gap, one project, one job, one community at a time.