Solar Energy Technology Associate Degree
Due to rising gas prices and the pressure to move to renewable energy in the United States, the solar energy industry is booming. The American Solar Energy Society and renewable energy and energy efficiency industries created a total of 8.5 million jobs in 2006, with more on the way. In fact, the solar energy sector is predicted to become a $15 billion industry by 2020, experts predict.
Major companies, such as Chevron, BP Global, DuPont and other giants now have or are adding solar divisions. New companies in Texas, too, are joining in the effort. There are, in fact, more than 50 solar-related companies which have sprung up in the past decade, with more expected to come online in the coming years. That's why TSTC's Electrical Power & Control Technology has developed a two-year degree in solar energy. It is, in fact, one of only two such schools in the state to offer such a degree, and one of the few in the entire United States.
Solar energy can be used for residential, commercial and some industrial applications and major technology has developed around solar thermal (heating of fluids) and solar photovoltaic PV (generation of electrical power). Jobs are available in electrical marketing, building and construction, solar energy companies and many others. Technicians are needed to sell, manufacture, design, install and maintain equipment.