While the main focus of solar energy production is on the environmental effects, as it should be, it’s also a good idea to think about the economic angle as well. So for example, a joint venture between the local council and E.On is going to have 4,000 new solar panels installed on the roofs of council properties in Stoke-on-Trent. This is going to cut carbon emissions and reduce energy bills, but it is also going to create around 100 jobs.
The Green Economy
If as a country, or as a planet really, we are going to avoid the worst effects of global warming, then we are going to have to run our economy with clean, renewable sources of energy like solar energy. This means that houses are going to have to have more solar panels installed, as are businesses. And in order for all of this to happen, there are going to have to be more people making and installing solar panels.
There are all sorts of jobs connected with having solar panels installed. For example, there’s the installers themselves, but also electricians, roofers, scaffolders, delivery drivers, team leaders and so on. That’s not even to mention the factory workers that are going to make the solar panels.
For large projects like the one in Stoke then, there are going to be job opportunities for lots of these sorts of people. And it certainly is a large job, it is going to cost £4m, and there should be in excess of 8,000 solar panels installed.
The more people that are in the green sector of the economy, particularly the more solar energy companies, the more business they will be looking to generated. This should lead to more solar installations, a greater supply of solar installers and so therefore a higher supply. This should lead to lower costs, and therefore a higher demand. In this way, the green sector should grow.
Will it Help the Economy?
When it comes to the economy as a whole, however, it is more complicated as regards whether it is going to help to have more emphasis on solar energy. You could say, from one point of view, that it is certainly going to help to the extent that global warming could make it impossible to have an economy at all if all in the future of the dire predictions come true.
If we stick to the present though, it is questionable whether it is going to help or not. When the government spends money, that is money that they take from other people, through taxes, and this stimulates certain areas. However, if people were allowed to spend the money themselves, other areas would be stimulated and it would create the same amount of economic activity. It is also not certain whether jobs created through government money are sustainable since they will go away if the government pulls the funding.
On the whole then, it probably does not benefit the economy as a whole. However it is so important that we actually deal with global warming that the government investing in solar energy is still probably a good idea.
Solar Energy UK
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