As solar continues to be a “hot” growth industry in the United States and other parts of the world, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) is feeling especially buoyant about the new job opportunities that will result from increased use of solar air heating. To lend support to the industry, SMART has become a member of the Solar Air Heating World Industries Association (SAHWIA) and will provide assistance to help promote the use of solar air heating, which will create new installation work for members.
Solar air heating systems are typically integrated onto a building’s wall or roof. They heat the ventilation air required in institutional, commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Solar air heating systems have a rapid ROI compared to other renewable energy technologies and have been used around the world for cold climate air heating or warm climate process heat (such as crop drying). Solar air heating systems have been widely used in the USA and Canada for over 20 years by manufacturing plants, military, agriculture, schools, multi-residential, municipal buildings, and commercial operations. They can displace up to 50% of a building’s heating load and thereby be a significant contributor to global climate change goals.
Solar air heating systems are typically installed by sheet metal contractors. This means that increased deployment in this particular solar technology directly creates employment for sheet metal workers and other similar construction trades. Increased employment has always been a positive economic objective for solar, and now SMART sheet metal members will be ready to participate in this growth by “solarizing” America’s walls and roofs.
According to General President Nigro, “SMART looks forward to the partnership with SAHWIA in expanding alternative energy solutions to improve environmental conditions and increase job opportunities for our skilled members.” SAHWIA is the industry association representing the companies engaged in the manufacturing, marketing, installation and sales of solar air heating technologies across Europe and in North America. Its mandate is to promote public awareness on the benefits, applications, and necessity of solar air heating, as well as to help develop the government policies and programs required to support and accelerate the widespread use of solar air heating throughout the world.
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