Solar Labor Sees Rising Demand; Fluke Specialist Underlines Training Standards
The solar energy industry is facing an exciting yet challenging growth spurt. By 2030, the sector must more than triple its workforce to meet the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) solar generation goal, according to Will White, a solar applications specialist at Fluke. This ambitious target will necessitate extensive training for many new workers, many of whom may have little to no experience in the solar field.
White, whose background includes providing curriculum and training for Solar Energy International, shared his insights in a recent interview. He highlighted that most newcomers to the industry are currently learning through on-the-job training, an approach that “varies pretty significantly from company to company.” This inconsistency across different organizations could potentially create disparities in skill levels and competencies.
Recognizing the importance of a unified approach, SEIA is taking proactive measures to tackle this issue. The association is in the process of developing a comprehensive set of solar and energy storage industry standards. These will include specific standards for training, aiming to provide industry-wide consistency in skills and knowledge.
White emphasizes that these standards would “go a long way” toward leveling the playing field across the sector, ensuring that all workers have access to the same quality of training. Such uniformity is “something we’re definitely lacking at this point,” White said, pointing out the importance of alignment as the industry gears up for substantial growth.
The implementation of these standards could serve as a catalyst for a more cohesive and effective workforce. It could also enhance the appeal of the industry to potential employees, knowing that they will receive standardized and high-quality training.
The push towards a more standardized training approach underscores the broader challenges and opportunities that the solar industry faces. With the global emphasis on renewable energy sources, the demand for solar energy is expected to soar. Meeting SEIA’s goals would place the United States at the forefront of this revolution.
The creation of new jobs and the demand for a skilled workforce will provide substantial economic opportunities. However, the journey to a consistent and effective training regimen will be a crucial step in ensuring that this growth is sustainable and successful. It’s a path filled with promise, and with the right strategy, the solar industry can shine even brighter in the coming decade.