March 22, 2024

Solar Training Standards Initiative launched

Global Wind Organisation and the Global Solar Council (GSC) have announced a new initiative to introduce training standards for the world’s solar PV technician workforce.

Global Wind Organisation and the Global Solar Council (GSC) have announced their intention to collaborate on a new initiative that will introduce training standards for the world’s solar PV technician workforce.

Solar power will deliver a significant amounts of clean energy needed to drive the global energy transition. It is therefore crucial to ensure the availability of a skilled workforce trained according to a trusted certification system.

Early assessments from GWO and GSC stakeholders indicate that reduced transaction costs, safety assurance and improved productivity will be a key driver for creation of training standards and will avoid mass duplication across the sector. As was the case when GWO standards were introduced for wind technicians in 2012, the lack of standardised training available to solar PV employers makes it difficult for asset owners and developers to recommend industry endorsed safety training for their EPC suppliers.

The Solar Training Standards Initiative will build upon the competences and networks of the Global Solar Council and the training development, quality assurance and distribution network of GWO, while working closely with the industry and other stakeholders to develop standards that can ensure the safety, quality, and growth of the solar PV workforce and capacity.

Initial outputs planned by the Initiative include development of a package of standardised training modules, comprised of learning objectives covering the most common work processes, and addressing the hazards and risks encountered by utility scale solar PV technicians.

The standardised training will be closely aligned with guidelines and job role definitions already published by leading representative bodies such as the American Clean Power Guidelines for Entry Level Solar Technician Training.

Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of Global Wind Organisation, said:

This is an exciting new development with lots of potential value for our stakeholders. GWO’s scope has historically focused on skills and competence training for wind technicians, but our membership of OEMs and owner operators have significant interests in other renewable power generation technologies, especially solar PV. It makes good sense for GWO and GSC to build on one another’s core competencies, namely project development of training standards and governance of training delivery at GWO, and broad membership representation in the solar market by Global Solar Council.

Sonia Dunlop, CEO of the Global Solar Council, added:

The solar power sector is expected to add up to 1 TW of new capacity annually from 2030 onwards – this is a massive scaling-up of capacity, which means we also need to massively scale-up our skilled workforce to meet this demand. Having a global standard is essential due to the global nature of the solar sector so that workers possess universally recognized and transferable skills, reducing the transaction cost of deploying solar. This not only creates more opportunities for the solar workforce, but will be invaluable to ensure the quality of solar installations for a sustainable and just energy transition. Given the experience of GWO’s standardization efforts in the wind sector, we are thrilled to apply their knowledge, network and experience to support the solar sector and hope that one day this could also be extended to rooftop solar.