Education is a fundamental and a necessary component for every profession and professional engagement. Solar energy education and hands-on-training is an important, basic and necessary component and aspect of the professionals who would like to get involved in this form of renewable green energy, the solar energy.
Solar Energy education and training can take many forms and can be done in a breath and depth that would be beneficial and satisfy the needs of the individual. Such a training and education can start from the school, elementary or high school, grow into the University classes and continue in the work environment. It can be in-class and/or online, remote or local.
There are several schools and professional associations that offer Solar Energy education and provide the means to train professionals so that the knowledge delivered would be practically used for the benefits of the society. Once education and training is acquired on Solar Energy the next step would be to acquire a Solar energy certification from an official and well recognized authority, thus giving the education received an official status and proper recognition.
The kind and level of solar energy training required will depend on the intentions and endeavours of the individual. Taking things from the beginning we have the following possible trainings on Solar energy one can follow:
Teaching Solar Energy to Kids: Such a training course would teach educators what and how they would teach K-12 kids about Solar Energy, make them understand the necessity and the drive behind Solar energy use and encourage and stimulate their interest in this renewable form of energy.
Solar Energy – Electric: Training and education in this area, deals with the use of solar energy for the production of electricity. It is a training path for people who want to be PV installers and/or designers for home or commercial use. Depending on the level and depth a professional want to be involved, a training path should be devised so as to cover the individual’s needs. Training should involve the design, installation and maintenance of Photovoltaic, PV, cells and their connection on the Grid. It can also involve the financial aspect of this form solar energy, where professionals are educated as to how to perform a techno economic analysis of PV projects. Additional to these training possibilities we can have the marketing and sales of PV systems. All of these aspects being an important and integral part of the Solar energy –electric chain.
Solar Energy – Thermal: Is a basic training about solar water heating design and installation where the professionals in this area learn the theory, design and installation considerations and attributes necessary for the domestic hot water solar systems.
All of the above suggested training courses are mostly geared for professionals, practitioners, in the solar energy field who are actually dealing with design, installation and maintenance of solar systems. Once the training is received the next step would be the certification of the knowledge acquired. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, NABCEP, is the gold standard for Solar Energy-Electric and thermal installation certification. By acquiring the appropriate certificate from NABCEP gives the professional the right status and at the same time promotes the consumer confidence. The NABCEP certification is endorsed by many professional associations throughout the world.
Once a professional is certified there are many related societies and association he or she can become member of. Such societies are the American Solar Energy Society, ASES, and the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Solar Energy is a renewable green energy that if it would be exploited and explored and implemented properly, it has to be done by Solar Energy professionals who are well educated and certified.