The IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership
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. Yet despite this,
there remains a critical shortage of skilled personnel to develop, design, finance,
build, operate and maintain renewable energy projects. This shortage represents
one of the greatest barriers to the wider diffusion of renewable energy technologies.
Developing a robust and highly skilled labor pool is the central motivator behind
the IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership (IRELP
). IRELP’s vision and mission is to:
- Create awareness about skills gaps and labour shortages in the renewable energy
- Raise the profile of renewable energy as an attractive career option;
- Increase awareness of, and accessibility to renewable energy education opportunities
- Assist, where possible, in the adaptation of education and training structures to
enable a global renewable energy transition; and
- Encourage governments to include skills and education components in renewable energy
The boom in solar 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.
Insufficient education or training can result in project delays and operational
and maintenance failures, which in turn affect the profitability of projects and
give misleading impressions about the value and reliability of renewable energy
as a whole. If renewable energy deployment targets are to be achieved and job benefits
maximized, it is necessary to increase education and training in the sector.
IRELP is showing a steady increase in the number of renewable energy educational
opportunities worldwide, however, these opportunities can be difficult to find.
With over 1,500 renewable energy training courses, college/university programmes,
training guides, webinars, and internship opportunities featured thus far, and active
users in more than 140 countries, IRELP is playing a significant role in helping
individuals, including students, professionals and decision makers, begin careers
in the renewable energy sector.
Building strong partnerships is central to the success of IRELP. Early on in the
development of the project, partners with diverse expertise were brought on board
and contributed content to IRELP’s renewable energy education and training
database. These partnerships, forged with the common belief that renewable energy
education and training should be accessible to everyone, ensure the continued success
IRELP also receives comprehensive contributions from the IRELP Global Network. If
you share IRELP’s vision and mission and wish to join the IRELP Global Network,
please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
"IRELP Global Network
" in the subject of your email.