First non-degree program of its kind in North America
Renewable energy and energy efficiency activity in North Carolina have been booming since the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard passed in the summer of 2007. In 2011, North Carolina’s clean energy sector employment grew by 18 percent from 12,500 employees in 2010. Meanwhile, participation for N.C. Solar Center’s photovoltaic training alone increase by 248 percent in 2010 as compared to the number of PV class participants in 2006.
The boom in the renewable energy industry has matured to involve more non-technical personnel who don’t necessarily have a renewable energy background. With tax credits and other incentives available, project development has become more competitive – and complicated. To help advance the market, the N.C. Solar Center is launching the Certificate in Renewable Energy Management (CREM) in March 2012 and is offering its Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series online.
“The Solar Center has always been at the heart of educating professionals and the North Carolina public on renewable energy technologies,” says Lyra Rakusin with the Solar Center’s Training Programs. “It was a natural progression to now offer classes for people involved in project management and sales. It also made sense to add online versions of our installer-focused courses to allow for more flexibility.”
The Certificate in Renewable Energy Management is a 40-hour hybrid program offered with both online and on-site components to maximize class communication and networking opportunities. Supported in part by Southern Energy Management and the Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network, this non-credit certificate program will be offered from March to May, and is the only non-degree program of its kind in North America that includes topics to help develop commercial-scale projects. A group project to be presented at the last day of class is required to complete the course.
The program is also taught in alignment with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Task Analysis for PV Technical Sales so that taking this in combination with our installer classes and other NABCEP requirements gives participants eligibility to sit for the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Examination.
Bob Kingery, co-Founder and President of Southern Energy Management teaches the first two days of the program that focuses on technology. “As a business owner myself, I can attest to the importance of continued training for technical and non-technical personnel in this ever changing and growing industry,”” says Kingery. “When I learned that it was a program that covered topics on policy and finance, I was quick to offer my support.”
The focus of the CREM program is tri-fold: Technology, Finance and Policy. These areas are the main drivers that move the renewable energy industry forward. Topics include:
· Overview of solar electric, solar thermal, wind, and other renewable energy technologies
· Renewable energy policy landscape (learning to navigate the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (www.DSIREusa.org)website
· Introduction to definitions, identifying revenue streams and financing options, and risk management and contract structuring
Elective topics on marketing, sales and understanding the utility will be offered. Over 44 hours of topics are available, but one need only take 40 hours to earn the certificate. The more technical weeklong workshops under the Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series that are geared for installers are also available and can help give a more in-depth understanding of specific technologies.
The first online photovoltaic workshop is scheduled for April to May and will run for six weeks, including five hours a week of live, online classes, which is also recorded so it can be downloaded at a later time. Those who wish to get hands-on training can take the one-day, hands-on Solar workshop that will be offered throughout the year.
For those who are interested in shorter courses, one to two day workshops are available. Visit www.ncsc.ncsu.edu where you can view of a list of training and events.
About the North Carolina Solar Center
Created in 1988, the North Carolina Solar Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU), works closely with the renewable energy industry and state and local governments. It manages and maintains the NCSU Solar House and serves as a resource for innovative, clean energy technologies through research and demonstration, technical assistance, education, outreach and training. It also administers the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), a resource identifying financial incentives and policies. For more information about the N.C. Solar Center visit: http://www.ncsc.ncsu.edu.
Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria O’Farrell, N.C. Solar Center, 919-538-8287, email@example.com