The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an inter-governmental organisation, mandated by governments worldwide to promote the widespread and increased adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy.
The foundation of a strong workforce will be pivotal in the global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that in 2012 there were as many as 5.7 million people employed either directly or indirectly in the renewable energy sector. It is widely recognized, however, that despite this, there remains a critical shortage of skilled personnel to develop, design, finance, build, operate and maintain renewable energy projects. It is also broadly acknowledged that this shortage represents one of the greatest barriers to the wider diffusion of renewable energy technologies.
During an economic recession, it can be extremely difficult for recent graduates to find jobs. In the wake of the financial crisis, global unemployment rates have hit 6 percent with little expectation of improvement projected until after 2016. Those most severely affected are youth aged 15-24, with the global youth unemployment rate at 12.6 percent - a full percentage point higher than the pre-crisis level. Fortunately for students, the renewable energy sector continues to grow at unprecedented rates, with global investment projected to exceed $450 billion by 2030.
The boom in the solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind technologies in particular has created a huge demand for skilled technicians to install PV, and maintain and operate wind installations. There is also a pressing need for trained professionals within educational institutions to teach renewable energy courses, within governments to design and implement effective and efficient policies, and within financial institutions to accurately assess renewable energy project proposals.
The IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership (IRELP), launched on 25 April 2012, during the third CEM, in London, UK, has gained global recognition as the one-stop-shop for renewable energy training and education.
IRELP emerged out of the acknowledgement that there is a critical shortage of skilled professionals trained to work in the renewable energy sector. The boom in the solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind technologies has created a huge demand for skilled technicians, particularly to install PV and maintain and operate wind installations.
Insufficient education or training with such systems can result in operational and maintenance failures, which in turn affect the profitability of projects and give misleading impressions about the value and effectiveness of renewable energy as a whole.
There is also a critical need for trained professionals within governments to design and implement effective and efficient policies, and within financial institutions to accurately assess renewable energy project proposals. The shortage of skilled professionals remains a serious barrier to the accelerated deployment of renewable energy.
|While renewable energy education and training opportunities and materials exist, they tend to be widely dispersed on the Internet and can be difficult to find. IRELP was designed to help individuals, including students, professionals and decision makers, enter the renewable energy sector and develop successful careers in the field. The portal currently features over 1,500 training courses, college and university programmes, training guides, educational webinars, and internship opportunities, and is being accessed by users in more than 140 countries worldwide.
In the future, IRENA will seek, through IRELP, to assist higher education institutions and training providers in developing high-quality standardised renewable energy curriculum. IRELP will also continue to help those seeking employment in the sector, by providing information on job opportunities and required credentials, on the many existing renewable energy certification schemes, and on where renewable energy job vacancies can be found.
IRENA and IRELP are always looking for suggestions for university programmes, training courses, educational webinars and training guides to include in the portal. Please contact us by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and stay connect with us and our 27,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter.
Dear IRELP Partners,
The IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership (IRELP), in collaboration with the European Energy Centre, Institut National de l’Énergie Solaire, Alingho Renewable Energy Experts and the European Wind Energy Association, will be hosting a webinar on “Skills Needs in the Renewable Energy Sector and Education to Build a Robust Renewable Energy Workforce.” The webinar will be held at three times:
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm GMT
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 8:00 am GMT
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm GMT
For more information and to register, click here