Russia and China have been developing industry in Latin countries, unlike the U.S. China has also been in Africa and racing past this nation in dramatic infrastructures. Meanwhile, America has not just been standing still, we are moving backward.
China’s foreign trade is up 16.2 percent according to Xinhuanet, and its high speed trains, aka bullet trains, can travel at speeds between 186 mph and 217 mph, according to China Travel Guide. Our biggest competitor has about 2,500 pairs of bullet trains that connect over 200 Chinese cities. A person can travel from Beijing to Shanghai, which is 819 miles away, in four and a half hours.
In the meantime, the U.S. had three train wrecks in the the past two weeks. In one crash, two trains ran into one another. A second train’s cars uncoupled from the train at high speeds. Yet, transportation is not the only infrastructure where China is leaving us and our jobs in the dirt.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that China installed over 34 gigawatts of solar capacity in 2016. That is half of the world’s capacity and twice what the U.S. did. IEA spokesperson, Heymi Bahar said that most of the world’s solar cells originate in China and Taiwan — 60 percent, according to BBC News:
‘It’s a huge market.’
China has the largest solar farm in the world, Longyangxia Dam Solar Park. It is over 18 and one-half square miles in size. The country also recently opened the largest floating solar farm in the world.
Here in the U.S., the solar power industry lost approximately 9,800 jobs in Trump’s first year in office. That is 3.8 percent of all its jobs — almost 10,000 employees.
Sadly, the Solar Foundation said that the U.S. solar power industry broke records for growth in 2016 before falling into a deep slump. Since then, uncertainty surrounding Trump’s tariffs on imported solar panels announced in January slowed down activity dramatically.
Solar Foundation president, Andrea Luecke released a statement along with its annual National Solar Jobs Census release. In it she stated:
‘After six years of rapid and steady growth, the solar industry faced headwinds that led to a dip in employment in 2017, including a slowdown in the pace of new solar installations.’
America soars over other countries in creativity and invention. Right now, researchers are building alpha- and beta-samples of advanced road and pavement materials that can generate electricity from the traffic that passes on it. Then, that energy can be harvested to use to power the cars.
Even though the solar industry declined this year, 29 states plus Washington, D.C. have seen job growth. Three states led the nation in solar jobs: Utah, Arizona, and Minnesota. Unfortunately, California lost 14 percent of its industry positions.
In the annual census, statisticians found the greatest majority of solar industry jobs by far, 78 percent, are in the areas of project development, installation, and sales — not manufacturing. That was supposed to be behind Trump’s tariffs on imported solar panels.
The foundation surveyed solar companies to discover that 86 percent of them thought that tariffs would hurt rather than support their businesses. In fact, 71 percent of the companies were already suffering the negative consequences of the tariffs in 2017.
The solar industry participants noted that the majority of industry employees would be hurt if prices increased on the panels. A far smaller number in manufacturing would benefit.
Last year, there were 250,271 people working in the industry, which was a 168 percent increase, up from 2010.
Featured Image via Twitter by WIRED.