A recent study by Deloitte revealed some fascinating truths about how Gen Z and Millennials view work and the world around them. Some of the most interesting findings included high dissatisfaction at work and near-term plans to leave, a desire for work that aligns with personal values, gives a sense of purpose and enables learning and development, and deep concern about climate change.
We might be somewhat biased, but a career that is made up of mission-driven goals in renewable energy and solar would be a great place for anyone looking to address all of these concerns. Our company, Sunstone Credit, is democratizing access to solar for businesses. We finance solar projects for businesses that have been left behind by the rest of the solar finance market. So not only are we saving the planet, but we are helping businesses save money too.
Back to those concerns facing workers — let’s start with climate change. Most people agree that it is one of, if not the most, pressing issue facing the planet today. That said, aside from doing their best to recycle, turning off the lights when they leave the room or taking their bike somewhere instead of driving, most individuals feel completely unempowered to have a significant impact on changing the course of climate change.
However, when you work in the solar industry you can honestly say that you spend your work day fighting the greatest challenge that humanity has ever confronted — pretty cool! Electricity generation is the greatest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions today, and every solar panel installation that we finance replaces (for the most part) power generated by fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy. Assuming that an average solar panel produces 1.5 kWh of power per day, that is almost 900 lbs of CO2 emissions reduced each year.
Technology plays an important role in enabling access to financing for commercial solar projects to businesses.
Business processes and banking tools/services have been very rigid and manual. The Sunstone Credit technology platform aims to automate all parts of the process to ensure origination, accurate and efficient underwriting and processing of loans for commercial-scale solar projects. The platform supports not only businesses, but also banks and partner-businesses in the renewable energy industry — this is a technology platform to connect all the right businesses to enable a brighter future.
It’s fair to assume that having such a significant impact on the efforts to mitigate climate change would give someone the sense of purpose they are seeking from a career, however solar offers even more than that. Because it is such a new and growing industry, there is a real opportunity to have an outsize impact on shaping its course.
Compare this to, for example, pursuing a career in the financial services industry. Banks have been around literally forever, and even in their “modern” form for hundreds of years. There is no opportunity to really revolutionize anything there, and if you are able to make a small positive incremental change, will that really fulfill your sense of purpose? Even FinTechs have to grapple with the fact that they either fight the 800 lb gorillas or eventually become one themselves.
The solar industry is completely different. There is no established business model or way of doing things. Even the veterans have only been around for 10–20 years. That means that there is a real opportunity for anyone entering this field today to have a major impact.
On the topic of learning and development, solar, and Sunstone Credit in particular, provide huge opportunities here. The solar industry is multifaceted, and to approach it from a finance perspective adds yet another angle. When you work in commercial solar finance, you will learn about utilities and power generation, renewable energy policy at the state and federal level, commercial underwriting and finance, the science of solar and much more. Plus, because solar is so new, and more and more people are joining every day, you can join the industry at any stage in your career and still not feel like you will never catch up to your peers.
As market conditions remain choppy and a recession in the near term seems more and more likely, many high growth sectors will suffer. This means that many of the tech darlings of yesterday will tomorrow endure layoffs, down financing rounds, or worse yet, they might not even survive. Solar is fundamentally different, however. Renewable energy is the fastest growing segment of the energy sector, and the demand for electricity will only grow over time, as it has continued to do so for all of its history: the solar industry is not a fad or a risky bet, it is here to stay.
If you haven’t been swayed so far, our company also offers several other perks that have mass appeal: remote work flexibility, work / life balance and the opportunity to participate in our equity upside.
We look forward to you joining us in the solar revolution!