Maryland is one step closer to joining over a dozen other leading states in offering a new statewide shared solar program for the benefit of all customers. After nearly a year since the passage of House Bill 1087 which mandated the creation of a Community Solar Energy Generating System (CSEGS) program, draft rules were issued on Friday, April 29th.
As I write, there are many encouraging trends that point to continued growth and opportunity for the solar industry. The extension of the Investment Tax Credit, the historic Paris Agreement and the consistently impressive numbers from The Solar Foundation’s Solar Jobs Census, all indicate that the force is very much with the solar industry. The growing excitement about a solar future is reflected in questions we’ve received from attendees on recent webinars IREC’s hosted about the Solar Career Map.
We know that commercial and utility-scale solar installations are ringing up impressive numbers of megawatts. These vast solar power plants are bringing significant clean energy into the grid. But, it’s the door-to-door systems that are taking solar local, as rooftop residential systems are reaching new highs, adding more solar customers and constituents to the rolls.
IREC, partnering with Professional Testing, Inc. (PTI), the Building Performance Institute (BPI) and the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), have released a prototype for a credible, valid, high-quality micro-credential development process. This pilot, still in progress, seeks to bring a new credentialing option to certified energy auditors who want to expand their home health assessment expertise.
The expectation is that 2016 will be a roller coaster ride for solar and clean energy markets. This is certainly not a novel occurrence. Each past year can easily be tagged as one with its ups and downs. Recent events give us cause for optimism but with caution.
Over the past decade, IREC has worked with dozens of states across the country to facilitate and support the adoption of fundamental regulatory policy reforms that maintain the safety and reliability of the electric grid, while also allowing for fair, affordable and efficient consumer access to renewable energy. Central to our efforts is a concerted focus on interconnection standards – the technical protocols that govern the processes by which renewable energy projects connect with the electricity grid.
It might be the case of too much information. With so much confusion and multiple search stops along the way, a hiring agent without a detective badge and a Fedora might understandably walk away from the credential discovery process before finding details that would clearly clarify the competency of a potential hire.
The most direct measure of whether a training or educational program has market value is whether its graduates have the knowledge and skills required in the job market. Yet, a recently released Gallup poll sponsored by the Lumina Foundation, indicates…
So why did these innovative students choose power engineering? First-year Ph.D. student Jose Cordova explains: “With renewables, it’s even more important to integrate them into the grid . . . to help the environment and become more efficient. I want to make a difference, and working in the power grid means making a big impact.”
When spring finally settled on New England earlier this year, I joined friends in a round of beer from a local micro-brewery. The pale ale with citrus and malt undertones was delicious and promised hints of summer. When the dog days of August hit, I devoured a honey-lavender ice cream cone at a local micro-creamery. Another gourmet delectable from a micro enterprise. Back at my desk, I follow the progress that micro grids have realized building resilient electric power infrastructures with clean energy distributed resources.