In March, over 1,500 workforce professionals from as far away as Guam assembled in an unseasonably chilly Washington, D.C. for the National Association of Workforce Boards Annual Forum. IREC was on hand to meet with workforce professionals and employers, to promote the value of the IREC credential as a tool for WIBs when making decisions about allocation of workforce funding, and, more broadly, quality credentials and the role they play in the skills-based economy.
By Kristen Ferguson As in nature, so in life: everything, including us, is in a perpetual state of change. Once we accept that, anything’s possible. For the past year, IREC has teamed up with the Weatherization Training Network’s Trainers Consortium…
President Obama announced a new goal to train 75,000 people to enter the solar workforce by 2020, some of whom will be veterans. This new goal builds on the tremendous progress of the DOE SunShot Initiative’s Solar Instructor Training Network, which includes nearly 500 partnering educational institutions across the country. To date, more than 1,000 solar instructors have trained through the SITN and an estimated 30,000 students have received some amount of training from them.
Building a national, highly-qualified, well-trained clean energy workforce takes time. And work. And vision. Now, after five years, we’re seeing stunning results from the confluence of the work of innovative instructors, supportive administrators at educational institutions, and long-term vision from DOE’s SunShot Initiative.
Say you’re thinking about adding another story onto an old house. You probably wouldn’t want to start building without first having a structural engineer make some calculations to ensure the house could support the addition. Now keep that image in mind as you consider interconnection policy as one of the main load-bearing walls in our solar market “house.” If not properly designed to match the growing market conditions, state interconnection policies may cause the house to come crashing down…or at least cause some major cracks to form.
Technology Advancements Alone Won’t Bring Energy Storage to Market – Regulatory Reform is Equally Important
It is widely recognized that distributed energy storage can offer a host of benefits to utilities, storage customers and ratepayers. It is particularly true that energy storage has enormous potential to ease the integration of high levels of renewable energy onto the electric grid. However, as it stands today, the regulatory and market policies in the electricity sector are not yet positioned to enable energy storage developers and customers to deploy the technology in a manner that ensures access to the full range of benefits it can offer.
Energized by the White House’s recent announcement of the America’s College Promise Proposal, over 600 community college presidents, administrators, instructors and partners assembled in Newport Beach, CA for the American Association of Community Colleges Workforce Development Institute at the end of January. IREC’s Credentialing Program was on hand and met over three days with numerous potential applicants for the IREC credential and workforce development partners at the IREC booth.
What a week for energy news! And right in the middle of it all is what we believe to be a landmark paper. In the event you didn’t find time to take a look at it, here are the highlights.
Codes and standards don’t sound particularly sexy. But they are important consumer protections both for safety and quality of solar PV installations. There are literally hundreds of PV related codes and standards developed by many different code and standard development organizations. The challenge is to balance consumer protection with an appropriate level of industry regulation.