From code officials to realtors, insurers to the fire service, there are a number of industries that impact the solar transaction, and the ‘soft’ (non-hardware) costs of going solar. IREC leads national and state efforts to streamline the permitting process to help address these costs, while simultaneously recognizing that it takes a well-trained workforce to support these initiatives.
What a difference five years makes. Since 2010, the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) has become the benchmark for building a highly qualified, well-trained solar workforce. Thanks to the vision and support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, this cohesive network of nine Regional Training Providers (RTPs), IREC and DOE championed vitally relevant issues in workforce development and solar training and education.
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.
When the number of solar residential permit applications jumped from “a few here and there” to 4,000 in one year, Los Angeles Chief of Green Building Osama Younan knew he had to do something to get more of the city’s residential building inspectors prepared with the right knowledge to meet that demand. That’s when he approached IREC and asked for help.
I often wonder if the many projections made for a new year are accurate when looked at 12 months later. As one year ends, I try to remember to check to see how good the predictions were, but I always forget to go back and compare projections to reality. Of course forecasting the future is never an exact science, but the IREC Team took time for a reasoned preview at what’s on our 2014 plate. We have our 2013 work as a pretty good base for our predictions for the year ahead. So here goes.