While solar power often appears to be an issue outside of the mainstream, industry statistics tell the story of a robust industry with strong momentum that is on track to become a key driver of the U.S. economy.
As the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) states on its home page, "Every energy resource deployed in the U.S. has approximately 30 years of innovation and early adoption before mainstream adoption."
Solar energy is solidly poised to become a mainstream energy source. The progress has been impressive. Below are three statistics from the SEIA that demonstrate the industry's momentum and its growing economic importance.
"More than 100,000 Americans work in the solar industry, double the number in 2009. They work at more than 5,600 companies, the vast majority being small business, in every state."
Learn More: Solar Industry Facts from the SEIA
Creating Manufacturing Jobs
"The solar industry employs over 24,000 Americans in the manufacturing sector across 600 manufacturing facilities in the United States, and solar manufacturing jobs were expected to grow by 14 percent between 2011 and 2012."
Find out if they grew: Solar Manufacturing Incentives from the SEIA
"The U.S. solar energy market grew 140 percent in the third quarter of 2011 over the same quarter last year, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy."
Learn more: Correcting Solar Myths from the SEIA
As solar energy moves into the mainstream, the companies of the JMC Steel Group are committed to leading the way with a wide range of high-quality, customizable products for the solar construction industry.
World Renewable Energy Forum
Next week, The World Renewable Energy Forum 2012 will combine the American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Conference and biennial World Renewable Energy Congress.
The major event will feature speakers and technical presentations from universities, renewable energy laboratories, installations and industries around the world, exploring the frontiers of renewable energy technologies and applications around the world.
Follow the @WheatlandTube on Twitter for updates throughout the conference.