25 April 2013| Articles
This year’s fourth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), in New Delhi, India, marks the one-year anniversary of the flagship education and training portal of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). 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 email@example.com and stay connect with us and our 27,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter.