Solar industry and jobs could suffer from proposed White House funding cuts, expert says
April 4, 2017
The Trump Administration’s proposed funding cuts to the Department of Energy’s renewable energy efforts could hurt progress made in the solar industry to make clean energy affordable and create industry jobs, says Virginia Tech solar industry expert Saifur Rahman.
“Deep funding cuts to renewable energy efforts could choke off the growth of the solar industry. As we look to the future, research and technology exploration is essential for a clean energy future,” said Saifur Rahman, the Joseph R. Loring Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Advanced Research Institute. “If drastic funding cuts really happen, federal policy change will force the solar industry to become more selective and go for only proven and high margin projects which will stifle innovation.”
According to the National Solar Jobs Census 2016, solar job growth nationwide grew 25 percent in 2016. “Despite the progress we’ve made to create new solar industry jobs, lack of innovation and lack of trying new approaches and applications will limit the number of solar related jobs available in Virginia and nationally,” said Rahman.
Saifur Rahman is the director of the Advanced Research Institute at Virginia Tech where he is the Joseph Loring Professor of electrical and computer engineering. He also directs the Center for Energy and the Global Environment at the university. Rahman’s areas of expertise include the smart grid, conventional and renewable energy systems, load forecasting, uncertainty evaluation and infrastructure planning. View his full bio here.
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