Today, February 13, 2015, is graduation day for the first group of veterans in a Solar PV Training pilot program specifically for veterans, from the SunShot Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy.
When I worked as an electrician, I knew that most people had little idea how much effort went into installing a light and switch in a home. They only saw the end product – the light and switch – and didn’t always “value” the time and effort it took to install those devices. They rarely saw all my work accomplished within the walls.
The release of Trends Shaping our Clean Energy Future, an annual report by IREC, presents information and an independent perspective on the year’s renewable energy and energy efficiency progress and challenges across the U.S., and the activities, research, publications, expert insight and recommendations that are helping shape our clean energy future.
Madison Area Technical College (MATC) in Madison, Wisconsin, and Solar Energy International (SEI), recently held an Advanced Solar Electric Academy for community college and high school instructors from across the United States and Guam at SEI’s training facility in Paonia, Colorado. The training was funded through MATC’s National Science Foundation grant. Eight of the 14 colleges are part of the Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network.
There can’t be a much stronger seal of approval to a program’s success than to hear support for its growth straight from the president. Listening to a live feed of President Obama’s comments a few weeks ago on new clean energy initiatives, it was a proud moment for the SITN to hear of his support for additional investment in building a competent solar workforce.
Thank You Mr. President: More Support for Training Programs at Community Colleges Will Ready More Workers for Solar Jobs
May 9 was a momentous day for solar energy with one giant announcement kicking off a new set of promising and proven actions. President Obama publicized more than 300 private and public sector commitments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution by advancing solar deployment and energy efficiency. Some of these headline initiatives included innovative financing for deploying solar, two billion dollars in energy efficiency investments for federal buildings, improving appliance efficiency, strengthening building codes and, drumroll please, additional investment in building a competent solar workforce.
As PV installed capacity continues to grow, systems age, sizes increase, and lessons are learned, operations and maintenance (O&M) has become one of the fastest-growing segments of the PV industry. Join SEI’s Rebekah Hren & Brian Mehalic from 2-3pET on May 6 for a deep dive into this hot issue.
Timing, as they say, is everything. In politics. In baseball. I’d also posit that talent and vision are close cousins. And in the case of the Solar Instructor Training Network, I’d add one more: favorable global economics. The speed and magnitude of change in the global solar market has been spectacular if not daunting. Who knew, four years ago, that the industry would see year-after-year of exponential growth, fueling the demand and need for a highly-trained solar workforce?
The GridSTAR Smart Grid Experience Center, officially opened on October 30th at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, features a variety of energy technologies that demonstrate methods for building homes, commercial buildings, and campuses that are friendlier to the electric grid.
This is not a promo piece for the Solar Power International Conference. But, it does tell you why we’re going to the conference and what we hope to accomplish during the week of October 21 in Chicago.