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National Solar Jobs Census 2013 Teleconference Transcript

See http://tsfcensus.org for more information on the Census series.

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National Solar Jobs Census 2013 Teleconference Transcript

  1. 1. Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Final Transcript SPEAKERS  Bill Ritter, former Governor of Colorado and Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University  Lyndon Rive, Chief Executive Officer of SolarCity  Tom Werner, Chief Executive Officer of SunPower  Amit Ronen, Director of The George Washington University Solar Institute  Philip Jordan, Vice President at BW Research Partnership  Andrea Luecke, Executive Director and President of The Solar Foundation  Moderator: Thomas P. Kimbis, Chairman of the Board of The Solar Foundation PRESENTATION Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. The conference call will begin momentarily. Thank you for your patience. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2013 Report. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, there will be an opportunity for questions and comments, and instructions will be given at that time. As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded.
  2. 2. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 2 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 2 I would now like to turn the call over to our host, Tom Kimbis. Tom, please go ahead. T. Kimbis Thanks, Rachel, and good morning, everybody. It’s an exciting morning here in Washington, as we release the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2013. I’m Tom Kimbis. I’m Chairman of the Solar Foundation. The Solar Foundation is the national nonprofit for solar research and education here in the United States. Today we’ll be discussing the results of the fourth annual census conducted by the foundation on solar jobs. It’s become a benchmark in the United States solar industry. The report that you’ll see today goes far beyond the top-line growth numbers. It goes into significant depth, more than ever before, into the components of the solar value chain, including manufacturing, installation, sales, project development, etc. A few reminders before we begin. After our panelists speak, we’ll open up the lines to Q&A. Those will be operator assisted, so Rachel will be able to help you with that.
  3. 3. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 3 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 3 Please try to direct your questions, when we get to that point, to a specific person or persons on the panel. And although the U.S. solar market, as we all know, is an exciting and dynamic topic with many hot issues going on today, today’s call will focus on the results of this very important study being released today. Our panelists that we’ll hear from today include Andrea Luecke, who is Executive Director and President of the Solar Foundation; Lyndon Rive, who is Chief Executive Officer of SolarCity; Tom Werner, who’s President and Chief Executive Officer of SunPower Corporation and Governor Ritter of Colorado, who is also the Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University. We also have with us today Amit Ronen, who is the Director of the George Washington University Solar Institute, as well as Phil Jordan, who’s the Vice President of BW Research Partnership. We’ll be hearing short remarks from everybody I mentioned, with the exception of Phil and Amit, who will be on the line as subject
  4. 4. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 4 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 4 matter experts on the methodology of the study, as well as national policy questions. With that, it’s my pleasure to introduce Andrea Luecke, Head of the Solar Foundation. Andrea? A. Luecke Thanks, Tom. Just a few words of appreciation to all of you who called in to hear about our exciting new jobs numbers, and also thanks to our special panelists, Governor Bill Ritter, Lyndon Rive and Tom Werner, for taking the time to share with us their reactions to our big news today. As Tom mentioned, I’m Andrea Luecke, Executive Director of the Solar Foundation, and today, actually right at this very moment, my team and I are rolling out our fourth annual National Solar Job Census Report. The report was just posted literally minutes ago on our website, and you can find it at TSFCensus.org. As Tom mentioned, this year’s census was our most comprehensive yet. We included new sector categories for academic, nonprofit and government workers, and collected data from 15,000 employers across the country in sectors ranging from
  5. 5. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 5 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 5 manufacturing to installation to project development and sales. We placed nearly 74,000 phone calls, sent over 11,000 emails and collected hundreds of thousands of data points on job numbers, growth expectations, business trends, policy perceptions, education requirements, wages and even demographics. Our response rate was excellent, as was our margin of error, and we are very confident about our results as we utilized a highly rigorous survey-based methodology, which the Bureau of Labor statistics recognizes as the emerging standard for tracking jobs, like Solar, that they don’t yet track. So as for the top lines, for the fourth year in row the industry has grown and is consistently putting people back to work. Since we first started solar jobs in 2010, the industry has grown by an astounding 53%, tracking nearly 50,000 new jobs. Our census shows that the solar industry is generally diverse and that the jobs remain well paid and attracts highly skilled workers. This year was our very best year, in terms of growth, as solar employment exceeded expectations. We grew by 20% creating ten times the number of jobs as the overall economy.
  6. 6. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 6 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 6 The solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in America. One in every one hundred forty-two new jobs in the U.S. was created by the solar industry, and each day every day in 2013 the industry created fifty-six new jobs across the country. This is very real, very tangible growth and it’s happening in all of our backyards. The industry is putting people back to work and lifting local economies. It’s really been a real success, and that success is expected to keep pace with installed capacity numbers. Currently, as of November 2013, there are 142,698 solar jobs in America. This is up from 119,000 last year. That’s an increase of nearly 24,000 new jobs in one year, and the vast majority of these jobs—this is actually a very important point—the vast majority of these jobs, 90% of these jobs, are new jobs, not existing jobs with added solar responsibility. I think it’s also important to point out that two thirds of the 24,000 new jobs were in the installation sector, a sector that’s becoming increasingly more efficient.
  7. 7. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 7 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 7 Overall, I would say that it was an outstanding, record-breaking year, and more growth is expected for 2014. Nearly half of all the employers expect to hire in 2014, adding around 22,000 new workers with a 15.6% growth rate. Now, if you compare this with the overall U.S. economy that’s predicted to grow by only 1.4% in 2014, I think it’s very clear that the solar industry is on the rise. In terms of projections, while we are elated to outpace most industries in 2014, projections, I think, are really tough and you have to take them with a grain of salt. While we exceeded our projections, our growth projections in 2013 and doubled our pace of hiring, it may not always be this way. The data will tell. Regardless, I think that given the capacity projections that are out there, the outlook for solar jobs is bright. I think it goes without saying that there is so much more in the full report, so many numbers, so much data. There’s a treasure trove of data, but I want to leave plenty of room for my fellow panelists and for Q&A.
  8. 8. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 8 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 8 I’m supported today by two technical experts from my team, Phil Jordan, VP and Principal with BW Research and Amit Ronen, Director with the George Washington University Solar Institute. They’re here to back me up and to answer any methodological and policy questions that I am unable. With that, thanks, everybody, for your attention and for your interest. I do look forward to going over our data in more detail with you. Tom, I’ll turn it back to you now. Thanks much. T. Kimbis Great, thanks, Andrea. It’s now my pleasure to introduce or turn it over to Lyndon Rive. Lyndon? L. Rive Thanks, Tom, 2013 was a very exciting year for us. We added over 2,000 jobs in 2013 just at SolarCity itself. We’re now just under 4,500 employees in the U.S. Most of our jobs are in the fields and highly distributed. Something that’s unique at solar, which I really like, is there’s not any central hub. If you look at other industries, it often creates local jobs but often in a centralize location. Finance in New York, entertainment in Southern California, technology is in Northern
  9. 9. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 9 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 9 California, but with solar the jobs are spread across the entire country. We are in 14 states, and the growth is doubling in all the states. As mentioned, most of the new jobs are in the last part of the value chain, which is delivering solar onto rooftop homes. One thing that’s exciting about solar is the cost has come down to a point now where we’re starting to work with … centers. Centers in California and many states, Arizona, have essentially disappeared, and yet the adoption has never been higher. As the industry gets to scale, we will continue to be able to reduce our costs. By making it possible to reduce our costs, we can make solar affordable for more homeowners. … 90% of Americans want more solar, but yet only 1% of Americans have solar. So the growth in the market, to me, at least for the next ten years, is going to be very, very exciting. We will continue to bring down our costs. We’ll continue to create thousands, if not tens of thousands of new jobs in the U.S. And you can’t outsource these jobs. These jobs are local jobs, local to the community, not just local to the country.
  10. 10. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 10 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 10 Thank you, Tom. T. Kimbis Thanks very much, Lyndon. Now I’d like to turn it over to Tom Werner. Tom? T. Werner Thanks, Tom. As Lyndon said, the solar market is growing quite rapidly. The American solar market, in particular, is quite strong. As Lyndon mentioned as well, that’s because solar is increasingly competitive with conventional electricity and it’s a preferred source of electricity. SunPower’s thrilled to be a leader and part of that growth. We’ve added a lot of jobs in the past year ourselves. We are headquartered in Silicon Valley. We’ve added hundreds of jobs last year in a diverse number of fields, including engineering, construction, customer service, research and development, operations, etc. So these are well-paying jobs that have staying power. We have over 1,000 people directly working for SunPower in the United States across 10 states. We also have 400 SunPower dealers across the United States who employs 6,000 more people.
  11. 11. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 11 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 11 These are small businesses that average around 15 people per business. These are the people that do SunPower install. So as Lyndon noted, they are jobs that can’t be outsourced, and we are expanding that dealer network quite rapidly. We also do utility scale solar. We’re building the largest photovoltaic power plant in the world. It’s called Solar Star. Last year we were building both that and California Valley Solar Ranch, and we employed 1,300 people building those two sites. Solar Star will continue to be built out over the next couple of years. We have 70 parts suppliers throughout the country, and they’re across 30 states in 80 cities. I don’t have an employment number for that, but that’s rather substantial as well. We do in fact manufacture in California. We have a module manufacturing facility based not far from our headquarters. So we’re thrilled to be part of the solar industry, part of this very important report and part of growing employment in America. Thank you, Tom.
  12. 12. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 12 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 12 T. Kimbis Thanks very much, Tom. Now I’ll turn it over to Governor Ritter. Governor? Governor Ritter Thanks, Tom. This is Bill Ritter, and I’m very heartened about the report that I’ve been able peruse over the weekend. This report’s encouraging, and I think it aligns with what states have been doing, particularly in trying to develop energy policy that looks at clean energy resources, solar being one of the cheap clean energy resources, and trying to understand how to grow the economy around that. To do things that really do protect the environment, and at the same time help ratepayers be able to take advantage to this kind of thing. The dramatic drop in the price of solar has been one of the most important developments, and you can see that along with that dramatic price drop has come this increase in job creation. Every governor who’s given a State of the Union so far this year has talked about the importance of creating jobs in their state, and to see an industry like this that is this robust and this vibrant, growing and accelerating at a pace more than any other sector in the economy, is significant for the solar and significant for increasing adoption by people around the country and by policy makers.
  13. 13. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 13 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 13 What we know from our work, we have a 30% renewable energy standard I Colorado. We’ve worked with other states on creating different kinds of standards for renewable energy, but we know that that lends to some market certainty in that state for the industry. That’s been the result for the solar industry in Colorado, but we see it, as I say, happening in other states and you can see that reflected in the installation numbers and the job increase. I just completed a report for the president of the United States. It’s called Powering Forward. It was really at the request of the White House and other folks that I met with at the White House last March, and this report is about executive actions that will drive a clean energy economy in America. It assumes some level of congressional inaction. One of the things that we recommend is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics goes back to actually reporting on green jobs. They have done that initially in 2010. There was some lash back from Congress and so they stopped reporting, but we think they should go back to it and get some help defining what green jobs are.
  14. 14. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 14 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 14 This report, this report about solar jobs in America, is an example of how we need to tell people the story of energy in America where there are nay sayers who, without the supportive data, say the opposite. So this is really good news. Tom, I’m happy to be a part of this and am encouraged to see both the 2013 numbers and the prospect for increasing growth in 2014. Thanks a lot. T. Kimbis Thank you, Governor. And with that, we’ll turn it back to our operator, Rachel. Moderator Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ask a question, please press *1 on your telephone keypad. This will place your question in the order it was received. Once again, if you would like to ask a question, please press *1 on your telephone keypad. And I will pause for just a moment to let questions come in. Once again, that is *1 on your telephone keypad. Our first question is from Edward Felker with Energy Guardian. E. Felker Hi, can you hear my okay, Andrea? T. Kimbis We hear you great, Edward.
  15. 15. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 15 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 15 E. Felker The question’s for Andrea. If I follow the numbers correctly, you’re looking at a little slower growth rate this year. Did you get a sense from your folks why that was? A. Luecke Yes, for 2014 we are predicting still double digits, 15.6% growth. Last year it was something like 17% growth anticipation, and we exceeded that with a 20% growth rate. I think the reason we’re anticipating slightly slower growth in 2014 is due to more labor efficiencies. The installation sector is becoming more efficient. It’s become 21% more efficient in 2013. So with labor productivity, we will see employers maybe less optimistic in terms of their ability to hire new folks, but that does not necessarily affect their ability to still produce solar components and install capacity. Moderator Edward, did you have any follow-up questions? Okay, we’ll go to our next question. As a reminder, you can ask a question by pressing *1 on your telephone keypad. Our next question is from Kate Ling with Greenwire.
  16. 16. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 16 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 16 K. Ling Hi, this is Kate Ling with Greenwire. Thanks for hosting the call. A quick question for Andrea and maybe the others can chime in too; you noted that you have some new categories that you were rating this year. Unfortunately I’m just taking a look at the report now and the fact sheet. I guess it’s under the other, but I’m just wondering how that affects the numbers. Did you go back and change the numbers from before or how is that, I guess, included and factored in? A. Luecke I’ll try to answer this, but maybe Phil can jump in, in just a moment. We did not go back and weight the previous years. We just started from 2013, and we found that there are 625 solar workers at nonprofits, about 600 in government and about 250 in academia. If you do not include those new categories, our annual growth rate is more like 18% versus 20%, but we believe that the nonprofit, academic and government people were capture in some regard in previous efforts. They were just specifically targeted. Phi, do you want to provide a little bit more clarification on that? P. Jordan Sure. So most of those jobs were considered in that catch-all other category, but what we really wanted to figure out for this year was
  17. 17. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 17 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 17 what do we mean by that other category and how does it break down. Specifically, how much of the activity has fallen to some of these neater and easier to organize categories like government, nonprofit and academia, as opposed to kind of private consulting services or other professional services or some of the R&D and engineering services that don’t fall neatly into another category. So as we went back and looked back at the data from previous years, we found that there was significant representation in that other category of nonprofit, government and academia. We didn’t have a fine enough lens to kind of say how much in previous years those were, because, as Andrea aid, we didn’t specifically target them, but we’re confident that the overall majority of those jobs were counted in the other category last year and in prior years. K. Ling Okay. And then I just was wondering if there was a comparison to jobs created here in the U.S. versus worldwide, if the U.S. is just a baseline number of the jobs created? A. Luecke This study really includes—it really focuses on U.S. job creation. Globally, I’m sure Phil has a few thoughts in this. It would require a very expensive data collection effort to do the same type of tracking
  18. 18. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 18 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 18 that we do here in the U.S. globally. There are estimates out there. REN21 puts out estimates on global jobs and solar. Comparatively, it looks like the U.S. has a significant chunk of those jobs that are estimated by other experts, like REN21. T. Kimbis Great, thanks, Kate. Rachel, can we move on to our next question? Moderator Yes. Our next question is from Stephen Lacey with GreenTech Media. T. Kimbis Hey, Stephen, how are you? S. Lacey Great. How are you? T. Kimbis Good to hear from you. Go right ahead. S. Lacey I had a question about many of the—this is kind of riffing on what Governor Ritter talked about, in terms of telling the story about job growth. At a time when we’re seen dozens of pieces of legislation in states to weaken or repeal renewable energy standards or solar targets, and then looking at some of the battles with utilities over
  19. 19. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 19 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 19 net metering, how are you using this jobs report and previous jobs reports as an actionable item in these states where you see these battles taking place? What is the strategy for actually using this report in telling that story, as Governor Ritter talked about? T. Kimbis Governor, did you want to jump in for a minute on that one? Governor Ritter Only that I think it is an important part of it. When I left office, I found at the Center for the New Energy Economy this is certainly part of what we do. We work with states on public policy around clean energy and that involves a wide variety of different kinds of energy policies, but showing and being able to demonstrate economic development opportunities is a part of a policy because the market certainty is certainly helpful. I think one of the prior reporters asked a question about sort of what’s happening. There’s going to be a variety of different debates and state legislatures about valuing solar, and a report like this is extremely helpful for anybody working on the policy angle. So we do it not from an industry angle or really to lobby anyone bill, but to demonstrate the ability to connect economic growth with
  20. 20. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 20 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 20 clean energy opportunities. So I think that it’s going to be valuable in places where that debate may still be going on, including Colorado. T. Werner Thanks, Governor. Stephen, this is Tom. I would say that SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association, and its state policy efforts will certainly find it beneficial, as the governor mentioned, in pushing back against rollbacks of RPSs or net metering and being able to show really what the facts are, what are the labor market benefits from having solar within your economy and really creating smart policy around the right facts. Do any of our other panelists want to comment on this? A. Ronen This is Amit Ronen from the DW Solar Institute, Stephen. One of the overall trends that we see in a lot of the data that came in from the survey is that there was a very direct correlation, this was mentioned by the TOs from SolarCity and SunPower, to where solar is going up is where the jobs are. We’ll have more data on this coming out next month, but the states that are putting up solar that’s where the jobs are. So you take a
  21. 21. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 21 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 21 report like this and you talk about the relevant policies that are incentivizing or, on the flip side, the policies that may hurt that growth, and it’s going to directly affect what kind of jobs they’re going to create. L. Rive This is Lyndon. I have one other comment on that as well. When you’re going up against an incumbent who’s been around for 100 years and has not needed to change its business model, there’s going to be natural friction. When you have a perfect business model where you never have to worry about costs, the cost plus approach, and you never have to worry about competition, the concept of competition, the concept of an alternative solution is threatening. So there will naturally be friction in this transformation. But what this job census does now is it really says that there’s not only a transformation of the way energy’s delivered, but there’s also a transformation of jobs. So I think it will really help and support further adoption of cleaner, cheaper energy.
  22. 22. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 22 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 22 S. Lacey And just a quick follow-up question for you, Lyndon, you talked about how in certain states we’re seeing a rollback or elimination of incentives. I know particularly in California, in the third and fourth quarters, we saw a lot of residential systems deployed without help from the California Solar Initiative and we’re seeing conversations about changing net metering, etc. How confident are you that you’ll be able to grow as an employer and your installations will continue to grow even with these rollbacks or changes taking place? What’s your outlook for that broad set of changes that could potentially be coming? L. Rive If the changes are forecasted, so for example, in California the CSI Program, it was a forecasted change. People had a long-term plan. The entire industry knew that it had to reduce its costs to eventually wind itself off the incentives. Those types of changes, the industry can accommodate quite well. … we are reducing our costs. The changes that are abrupt and not well calculated, those are the ones that can hurt. We’ve had a strong debate in different states that are going specifically to net metering. In California, the decision was decided to take from the legislation and put it with the
  23. 23. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 23 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 23 PC. They are going to calculate the cost and benefits of net metering and then come out with a solution once we hit the 5% cap. There is no more cap, by the way. So now it is unlimited net metering in California. We just have to determine at what value. In Arizona there could’ve been a preset outcome, but through help with a few others the industry was able to convince the ACC that a high fixed fee would be a bad outcome and destroy the solar economy. So that didn’t happen. We will have more of these battles ahead of us, but the more jobs that we have in the area, the higher the adoption we have, the more the momentum, the less the likelihood of an abrupt change. Moderator Thank you. As a reminder, if you would like to ask a question, please press *1 on your telephone keypad, and we’ll go ahead and move to our next question. This comes from Jennifer Runyon with Renewable Energy World. T. Kimbis Hi, Jennifer. Thanks for dialing in.
  24. 24. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 24 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 24 J. Runyon Hi, everybody, yes, thanks for holding this call. I have a couple questions, but the first is about—I’m looking at the fact sheet, and there are the largest increases in what you’re calling solar project developers. I’m wondering if you guys could speak a little bit about why that was. A. Luecke The increase in project developers is due to many companies along the supply chain getting involved with utility scale installations over the course of 2013. The increase in utility scale, we had a nice rise between 2012 and 2103. It went from 3.75 to 14%, but we’re not certain that in 2014 those numbers will remain as high. Phil, do you want to add a little more context to that? P. Jordan Sure. I would just say that there was a huge increase in the total number of megawatts added to the grid, in terms of install capacity. A large chunk of that was the utility scale operations finishing up and coming on line and kind of hitting that pipeline in a time that requires a lot of jobs. So I think that’s a key part of the overall installation of install capacity or those types of firms getting engaged in those large projects.
  25. 25. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 25 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 25 J. Runyon Excellent. All right, thanks so much for that. So the second question is about the manufacturing up tick. There’s tiny, little growth in 2013, but you’re looking at an 8.6% growth in 2014. So explain a little bit, what are you seeing? A. Luecke This is Andrea. I’ll take the first crack at this. Yes, we’ve seen some fluctuations. It’s a little bit difficult to identify exactly where the trend line is. That is one benefit of doing these horizontal comparisons year-over-year, but this is only our fourth year. This year’s census showed growth, well, not really growth. It showed that the U.S. manufacturing sector was stable. It didn’t really grow. It didn’t lose jobs either, but it was a vast improvement over last year when we lost about 8,000 solar manufacturing jobs. It is true that a lot of modules are manufactured overseas, but the price drop in solar is fueling the job growth that we’re seeing in installation and manufacturers are feeling more or less optimistic about their ability to survive and scale up as needed. A. Ronen I’d just add a little bit to that. This is Amit Ronen from the GW Solar Institute. I’d maybe hesitate a bit to make a trend or a finding over
  26. 26. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 26 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 26 one year’s change. I think generally the U.S. continues to be a world leader in some manufacturing, some of the higher value parts of the solar system, and that’s good, but when you look worldwide we still have a worldwide glut in PV panel manufacturing capacity. So that hampers a lot of new growth in the U.S. when there’s that sort of excess capacity already out there. This is outside of scope of this particular census, but we’ve seen that it’s been difficult for U.S. manufacturers to compete on the panel manufacturing side with places like China where they’re giving their industries tens of billions of dollars of subsidies. J. Runyon Right. Okay, so that 8.6% for 2014, that’s what I was most curious about. So you’re seeing—are there any real indications, anything you could point to? A. Luecke This is a really good question, Jen. I think it requires a little bit more of a deeper dive into the data. As I mentioned, we have so much data at our fingertips. We haven’t even scratched the surface, in terms of understanding what it all means. I’d be happy to follow up with you offline on this.
  27. 27. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 27 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 27 J. Runyon Sure, yes. T. Kimbis Jen, this is Tom Kimbis. I’m happy to follow up a little bit offline as well. I will point out that although we’ve got in the fact sheet these buckets of installation, manufacturing, sales and distribution, etc., combing comments that Amit made that it’s sort of a one year point, being that it’s hard to show horizontal trends and the fact that we do have a lot of data, one thing does rise to the top, which is that there still is a huge potential in CFCs and enormous growth in manufacturing ahead. It just might not be in the same traditional ways that we’ve seen in the past. … manufacturing, we’ve got lots of IP associated with it. Manufacturing is not just about panels. It can be panels, but it’s not just about panels. We’re looking across the entire sector there. A. Luecke And, Jen, one last point about manufacturing growth expectations. In 2011, they anticipated growing by 14%. We know that didn’t happen. In 2012, they anticipated growing by about 9%, and in 2013 it’s 8%. So the numbers are really very much on par with previous years.
  28. 28. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 28 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 28 And I have to say that U.S. manufacturing, overall, has taken a big hit and is crawling along, so any losses in solar manufacturing or slow growth in solar manufacturing is not unexpected. The solar industry is not an anomaly in this case. P. Jordan And if I could just jump in quickly too, it’s important to remember that the protected growth that we’re reporting is what employers expect for their own firm over the next 12 months. That’s one part of what drives job growth from year-to-year, and of course the other point that drives job growth from year-to-year is start up, new entrance into the sector and company debts. So clearly a lot of what has been reported recently and some of what we’ve seen in our data is that the companies that have remained in solar and have remained strong in solar are doing quite well, and there are companies that don’t exist anymore that used to. So it’s not all about just what the specific companies who responded to our census questions this year will do over the next 12 months. I think that the situation with U.S. manufacturers is well documented. Strong companies will survive and do well, other
  29. 29. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 29 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 29 companies won’t and that’s just the way that the American manufacturing sector looks these days. So I think that’s a very important thing to remember going forward. It’s not just employer projects that drive that growth. There’s also the dynamic of births, deaths and new entrance. J. Runyon Okay, great. Thank you. Moderator Okay, we’ll take our next question. This comes from Glenna Wiseman with Solar Chat. T. Kimbis Hi, Glenna. Go ahead. G. Wiseman Hi, everyone. Thank you, good morning. I am calling on behalf of myself and Raina Russo, the founder of Solar Chat, the largest … sphere community for solar and Women for Solar, a growing group. Andrea, I just first want to applaud you for your stat on page six where you started to document the percent of women in the industry. We talked about that in Chicago, and I really was happy to see that.
  30. 30. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 30 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 30 So two questions, one, more specifically do you see that changing in the next year? And then a little bit more global question in terms of how can industry and government really help the solar industry embrace women more in the industry and encourage their participation? Thank you for taking my questions. A. Luecke Thanks, Glenna. Yes, so women, this was our first time tracking demographics across the industry. We included women in that and veterans of the armed services. We found that one in five solar workers is female, which is below the national workforce average. The national workforce average is about 50% or so, but we are finding that women are a very important part of the industry and increasingly so. While this is a baseline number, we don’t really have trend lines to use, but from my perspective, from my experience, yes, women are increasingly becoming more involved in the solar industry. Your research shows that women represent the largest block of residential solar purchasing decision makers, and we think that that means that women are not only paying attention to industry trends but they’re on the forefront of driving adoption trends. So women
  31. 31. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 31 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 31 are extremely important. Diversity in companies, some research shows that it leads to innovation and companies are embracing this. … Edison, for example, has a program to en courage more women in their staff and more diversity in general. A lot of companies are taking the lead on this, and it’s encouraging. T. Kimbis Thanks, Glenna. Moderator Okay, and at this time I do not have any further questions in the queue. So, Tom, I will turn the call back to you for closing comments. T. Kimbis Thanks very much, Rachel. Before we wrap up today, do we have any comments from any of our other panelists who wanted to get a point out there? Well if not, I just wanted to congratulate Andrea and her team, and Phil of BW Research for all of their work. Thank you to our speakers, Governor Ritter, Lyndon Rive, Tom Werner, as well as having Amit Ronen from the GW Solar Institute on. I think that you guys have done a fantastic job today in covering the material for the press.
  32. 32. ACCUCONFERENCE January 27, 2014/9:45 a.m. CST Page 32 Accu-Rate Inc • 6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 318 • Fort Worth, Texas 76116 1.800.977.4607 • F 1.800.909.7994 Page 32 Andrea is always available for follow up, as am I. If we can’t get answers to you, we’ll certainly be able to check in with Phil, on methodology, and Amit Ronen with the Solar Institute at GW on any policy matters. I will point out that the state level numbers will be out in about a month. That’s a deeper dive into the work that was done on this census and will give us a little bit more transparency on what’s happening within individual state markets, which goes with some of the questions that were raised earlier on RPS, as well as net metering issues, etc. So with that, we’ll wrap up our call. Thank you very much for participating. You can hang up your lines now. Thank you.

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