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July 1, 2018
Bag is packed and I’m confirming a few last meetings for my eighth Intersolar North America Conference. Thus, I have the solar employment market on my mind and can’t help but re-think about the module tariff that was intended to bring back US manufacturing jobs, yet, it’s done the opposite. We can now add Tesla (solar division) and REC Silicon to the list of solar companies who have been affected by the Administration’s tariff decision and have announced layoffs.
It’s not all bad news, though. After a stellar Q1, the second quarter has leveled out. I attribute the hiring boom in Q1 because so much was on hold towards the end of last year — particularly in solar because of the uncertainty caused by the module import tariff. For EnergeiaWorks, the revenue generated from the first half of the year is the best combined Q1 and Q2 total in company history. While our revenue is just a fraction of the overall hiring in renewable energy, we are the largest recruiting firm that exclusively searches clean energy, and I believe our revenue is a good indication of the overall job health in renewables. Here’s a close look:
In the first six months of the year, 69% of our vertical revenue came from the solar industry, followed by 10% energy storage, and 7% from wind, hydro, and energy services.
Breaking this down further into segments, 44% of our Q1 and Q2 revenue came from project developers in solar, wind, and energy storage. This tells me that developers aren’t dissuaded by tariffs or smaller profit margins compared to previous years. This amount is followed by 21% manufacturing, 15% O&M services, 9% engineering services, 6% construction services, and 5% other.
One noticeable trend we’re seeing is that our manufacturing hires are decreasing and O&M services hires are going up. An interesting note on the manufacturing side shows our racking placements down and module placements up (although inverter placements stayed the same Y2Y). Cause? More developers and IPPs are holding onto their assets (mainly started in solar but this is trending into other renewable power generation) which is causing the uptick in hiring quality O&M engineers and technicians.
If you’d like more information about global jobs in renewable energy, I recommend IRENA’s employment report. Domestically, the Solar Foundation covers important ground with their annual Solar Census; and AWEA issues a comprehensive report for onshore wind jobs in the US.
If you need assistance with your Q3 hiring strategy, please reach out to us to schedule a virtual meeting. You can find a team of EnergeiaWorks’ recruiters next week at Intersolar. You can coordinate a meeting through our Operations Manager, Ace Merluza, by sending an email to email@example.com
All are welcome to join us at our Renewables UnWind July events. On July 9 we are hosting Renewables UnWind in San Francisco. On July 19 we are hosting in New York. A date will be announced soon for San Diego in August. Places are limited so be sure to RSVP now!
William V. Liuzza