Unleash your potential with the European Solar Academy by EIT InnoEnergy

By Oliver Townsend Jun 21, 2024
EIT InnoEnergy launches the European Solar Academy.jpegOrginal image from: https://www.energyglobal.com/solar/21062024/eit-innoenergy-launches-the-european-solar-academy/

EIT InnoEnergy has recently unveiled the European Solar Academy, an initiative mandated by the European Commission as one of its Net-Zero Academies. This academy, operated by the InnoEnergy Skills Institute, aims to provide specialized training services to reskill and upskill 65,000 workers in the European solar photovoltaic (PV) value chain within its first two years. This launch comes at a critical time as the European Union strives to meet its 2030 targets, including installing nearly 600 GW of solar PV panels and supplying 40% of EU demand for net-zero technologies with products manufactured in Europe.

Addressing Skills Gaps in the Solar Industry

Research conducted by EIT InnoEnergy identified significant skills gaps in various aspects of the solar industry, including training for electricians on safe grid connection and certification for construction workers in installation. To meet the growing demand for solar energy, an estimated additional 400,000 trained workers will be needed for installation by 2030, along with 50,000 workers for manufacturing upstream to produce 30 GW of solar energy domestically. The European Solar Academy aims to bridge these skills shortages, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the solar sector.

Collaboration with Industry for Training Excellence

The InnoEnergy Skills Institute plans to collaborate closely with industry partners to develop a comprehensive library of more than 40 courses with industry-recognized certifications across the solar value chain. By certifying over 80 local training providers and mobilizing a network of industry and workforce partners, the Academy will deliver courses to learners at scale, addressing the urgent need for skilled workers in the solar PV sector.

Commissioner Endorsement for Solar Manufacturing

High-ranking EU officials, including Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton and Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, have expressed support for boosting solar PV manufacturing in Europe. With a focus on reducing emissions, creating quality jobs, and meeting net-zero technology needs, the European Solar Academy aligns with the EU’s objectives to strengthen the solar industry. The Academy’s launch at the ESIA PV Forum at Intersolar Europe in Munich underscores its commitment to advancing solar energy in Europe.

Empowering the Solar Workforce

Oana Penu, Director of the InnoEnergy Skills Institute, emphasized the importance of addressing skills gaps to accelerate the deployment of solar PV and enhance domestic manufacturing capacity. Drawing from the success of the Battery Academy, which has trained 67,000 workers to date, the Solar Academy aims to set a new standard for excellence in solar training. By working with businesses across the solar PV value chain, the Academy will develop personalized learning journeys to meet the workforce needs of the industry.

Conclusion

The launch of the European Solar Academy by EIT InnoEnergy marks a significant step towards building a skilled workforce to drive the growth of the solar industry in Europe. By providing tailored training services and certifications, the Academy aims to meet the demand for skilled workers in solar PV installation and manufacturing. With support from industry partners and EU commissioners, the Solar Academy is poised to play a key role in advancing solar energy and achieving the EU’s ambitious renewable energy goals.

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