Powering Solar Training One Click at a Time

According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, more than 100,000 Americans are employed in the solar industry. The industry is also one of the fastest growing sectors of the US economy. No matter what you hear about the Solyndra incident, nothing can take away the fact that the solar industry is the industry of the future, along with other green energy industries. Hey the dotcom bust did not stop the growth of internet. Bad business models are bound to fail. Somebody even predicted the end of air travel after the infamous hindenburg crash!

Getting back to what I wanted to talk about, I have had the pleasure of working with The Solar Living Institute in Hopland, CA. SLI has been running the Solar Living Center, a 12-acre site that demonstrates the concept of sustainable living. More than 200,000 visitors from all of the country visit SLI every year! Specifically, they are well known for providing solar photovoltaic (PV) installation and related training. Seasoned professionals as well as novices congregate at the SLI campus for classroom & field training on Solar PV installation and management.

The next logical step in making this training available to a wider audience was to make the training available online and this is exactly what Sify and SLI have done. Online solar PV courses provides an option for solar technicians, managers, and business owners to get access to high quality training online at a lower cost, without the need to travel. The highlight of the online course is the ability to experience on-the-job scenarios at the end of the course. This really helps the student apply concepts learnt in the specific module.

The job of delivering training to the solar industry is pretty challenging. Even as solar firms are looking to hire more workers, many report a shortage of qualified individuals to fill job openings. The National Solar Jobs Census from 2010 found 65 percent of businesses have difficulty finding solar PV installers or technicians who meet their hiring expectations. In addition, 62 percent have trouble finding qualified electricians with solar experience. This only goes to validate the growth potential in delivering training services to the solar industry.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

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I love to read and share thoughts on technology, enterprise learning, mobile and any thing cool that impacts enterprises.

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