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Like most industries the {solar} trade is going through supply and labor shortages and shipping delays. However compounding the problems for the {solar} trade is the purpose set forth by the Biden administration to have the U.S. produce half of its electrical energy utilizing {solar} energy by 2050.

Discovering certified staff, transitioning expert employees from associated industries, and offering ongoing coaching to maintain present staff’ expertise updated with the most recent applied sciences and codes are a number of the greatest challenges clear energy and {solar} firms face. A few of these issues might be solved by growing extra coaching applications for expert laborers in comparable industries, however the {solar} trade additionally wants to extend workforce range to proceed to develop and meet future calls for.

Document development of the renewable energy sector and a future the place {solar} might provide greater than 40% of the nation’s electrical energy by 2035 – up from 3% immediately – necessitates report skilling and reskilling of people to fulfill the longer term workforce calls for. A {Solar} Energy Industries Affiliation (SEIA) evaluation exhibits that whereas the {solar} trade is on a trajectory to succeed in 400,000 {solar} jobs by 2030, employment might want to exceed 900,000 employees by 2035 to succeed in the 100% clear electrical energy purpose set by President Biden.

One downside the {solar} trade faces is an growing old workforce.

25% of the energy workforce is age 55-plus, and as extra expert staff with many years of expertise put together for retirement, the trade might be left with a data hole. A rising inhabitants pool of people who usually go away the workforce to retire mixed with a comparatively smaller inhabitants dimension of youthful, working-age people to exchange them, it’s doubtless that the sustainability of a wholesome labor market participation charge will face challenges in future years.

Extra efforts must be made to recruit youthful generations into {solar} energy jobs.

At a time when the worth of a school training is being questioned by many younger individuals who would favor to keep away from a lifetime of pupil mortgage debt, there’s a want for post-high faculty teaching programs that can fast-track younger adults into profitable careers in renewable energy. Growing financial alternative for people requires that the {solar} trade improve entry to each credentials, together with non-degree credentials, and work with employers to undertake skills-based hiring and supply work-based studying alternatives, offering monetary assist the place wanted.

Attracting a youthful technology of expertise can start with {solar} firms partnering with excessive faculties, neighborhood schools and universities in key hiring areas to develop assist for solar-focused teaching programs. Organizations may help create curriculum that’s related to present trade wants. They will additionally supply college students incentives to pursue careers in {solar} through scholarships to cowl the prices of certification applications and coaching, in addition to working with faculties to accomplice on internships and apprenticeships that rely towards diploma credit.

As well as, {solar} firms must be doing extra to reskill and recruit staff whose careers have been impacted by the pandemic.

Ladies and minorities who beforehand labored in hospitality, training, well being care, and different industries earlier than dropping their jobs or have been pressured to depart the workforce to be a caregiver throughout the pandemic characterize a novel labor alternative.

In accordance with the Nationwide {Solar} Jobs Census 2020, the most important sector of employment within the {solar} trade are Set up and construction-related jobs, which make up 67% of all jobs within the trade. Development and {solar} jobs have historically been dominated by white males. Nevertheless, the {solar} trade is slowly turning into extra numerous:

  • 39% extra ladies,
  • 92% extra Hispanics or Latinos,
  • 73% extra Black or African American and
  • 18% extra Asian folks are actually employed within the {solar} trade in comparison with 2015.

Hispanic or Latino employees are the one minority group to be extra more likely to work in different sectors of building. Extra ladies, Black or African American and Asian staff work within the {solar} trade in comparison with general U.S. building jobs. This illustrates that {solar} firms have a possibility to draw extra minority employees, who’re already demonstrating vested curiosity within the subject in comparison with different building jobs, by growing extra applications to recruit and prepare ladies and minority employees.

Offering profession counseling, monetary assist and entry to technical coaching will probably be much more essential for {solar} firms to spend money on for minority teams, much more so than for youthful generations.

With a view to attain its full development potential and meet governmental green energy objectives by 2050, the {solar} trade as an entire must spend money on applications that educate present and future employees about the advantages of {solar} trade employment. Higher efforts additionally must be made to teach employees with relatable expertise to transition them from earlier roles into {solar} jobs. With out higher entry to coaching applications and monetary assist, the {solar} trade will face ongoing labor shortages that might restrain development potential.

Elizabeth Sanderson is the Govt Director of Solar Energy International

Have you ever checked out our YouTube web page?

Now we have a ton video interviews and extra content material on our YouTube web page. Just lately we debuted Power Forward! — a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to debate increased degree trade subjects in addition to greatest practices / traits for working a {solar} enterprise immediately.

Our longer working aspect venture is The Pitch — wherein now we have awkward discussions with {solar} producers and suppliers about their new expertise and concepts in order that you do not have to. We have discusses every little thing from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new residence solar + storage microgrids.

We additionally publish our Project of the Year bulletins there! Interviews with this 12 months’s winners will probably be up beginning the week of Nov. 8. Head there and subscribe immediately to remain on high of all this further stuff.


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Will energy storage live up to the hype? 



Will energy storage live up to the hype? 

By Jennifer G. Gallegos, director of applications and communications, Yotta Energy

All through the previous couple of months, we have now seen a radical shift in renewable energy alternate options because of the ongoing energy crisis. What was only a imaginative and prescient for the longer term or “one thing that we’d ultimately transition to” has shortly been pushed to the forefront of our actuality as we glance to construct energy resilience and break away from dependence on fossil fuels. Regardless of many renewable energy choices rising, equivalent to {solar}, wind and even hydrogen, there may be one frequent theme: we’d like progressive energy storage options. Whereas the energy storage business is in its infancy, it’s continually evolving with progressive applied sciences. For instance, key elements drive progress within the energy storage sector and speed up improvement and deployment inside the subsequent few years. This text examines the principle progress elements for energy storage, how they form the renewable energy business, and why energy storage must stay as much as the hype to play a outstanding position within the world energy financial system.

Energy shortages and outages

Over the last a number of years, pure disasters, from wildfires to winter storms, have ravaged our present electric grid and disrupted the circulation of energy. The Texas blackout final winter, brought on by three winter storms, left millions of houses and companies with out electrical energy for days. And historical past may simply repeat itself as state leaders continue to urge native communities to be ready for doable energy shortages.

California additionally faces related challenges on the other facet of the pure catastrophe spectrum. With wildfires inflicting deliberate and unplanned energy outages, California residents are seeing an elevated danger of powerlines catching fire, inflicting large injury. Whereas California has confronted these points for years, the state has but to develop an answer to handle them.

Hurricane Ida additionally left hundreds of thousands of companies and houses from Louisiana to Massachusetts with excessive flooding and no energy for over per week, which restricted rehabilitation efforts and led to many deaths. We’ve discovered that no space of the nation is proof against energy outages brought on by pure disasters. As pure disasters grow to be extra frequent and extra intense, we have to develop and implement methods to bolster the prevailing electric grid. Deploying extra renewable energy and energy storage in our communities are two methods we will enhance the antifragility of the grid.

Elevated coverage by the brand new administration 

Through the first two years of his presidency, Joe Biden has made it clear by way of deliberate and already handed laws that he’s pushing renewable energy and energy storage know-how innovation improvement and deployment ahead with federal coverage.

The infrastructure invoice was a very good begin and included $14 billion for resilience applications — the place energy storage is a probable funding — in addition to $11 billion in grant funding for states, utilities and different operators of energy storage that wish to make investments in resilience, based on Energy Storage News.

As well as, Joe Biden not too long ago invoked the Defense Production Act, which can permit america to safe sources of crucial supplies like lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite and manganese which are used to make batteries for electric automobiles and energy storage. This comes as fuel costs have considerably elevated since final 12 months.

We nonetheless want extra federal laws to help analysis into technological improvements and the deployment of renewable energy and storage initiatives. We additionally want native and state governments to go insurance policies to deploy extra renewable energy and obtain carbon emissions discount objectives. Some states have already begun to do that, equivalent to California. Introducing extra federal and state insurance policies shall be an amazing driver and obligatory for elevated renewable energy and storage deployment.

Provide chain shortages

With COVID-19 nonetheless taking a world financial and social toll, together with overseas battle, the worldwide supply chain shortage stretches throughout practically each sector. The continued provide chain disruptions shall be a major issue within the energy transition. We have now already begun to see a number of new initiatives that can deliver manufacturing again to America. For instance, Tritium introduced its new manufacturing facility to construct chargers for EVs in Tennessee earlier this 12 months, and Intel has launched plans for a brand new semiconductor plant within the Midwest.

Including to the provision chain woes is a new investigation into circumvention tariffs on {solar} merchandise from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. This subject has triggered the {solar} and storage business to inquire about growing stateside manufacturing. With these 4 international locations offering 84% of U.S. imports and plenty of deliveries being canceled because of the investigation, there’s a extreme hole available in the market that should be stuffed to maneuver {solar} and storage adoption ahead. It’s troublesome to foretell if this investigation will enhance home manufacturing of {solar} modules. New {solar} module applied sciences could now have an edge as firms look to undertake and set up what’s presently out there in the marketplace.

Extra investments in local weather know-how

Final 12 months, local weather tech obtained $37 billion in global venture capital, 2.5-times pre-pandemic funding ranges.

When america rejoined the Paris Settlement and attended COP26 this previous fall, it signaled that renewable energy initiatives had been as soon as once more a high precedence for the U.S. authorities. Likewise, VCs have adopted go well with and elevated capital investments for renewable energy firms and clear know-how startups. The inflow of capital will gasoline progressive companies to additional analysis, develop and scale their know-how, thus inflicting the business to flourish and develop at a way more speedy tempo.

Progress of EVs 

The rising adoption of EVs can be an enormous consider shifting energy storage ahead. The soaring growth in EV sales is principally because of the inflow of recent EV varieties out there for buy and the surging fuel costs. As EV sales skyrocket, growing adoption of onsite energy storage and {solar} options will logically be the subsequent development within the energy transition. Folks will search for options that mitigate electrical energy prices by including onsite EV chargers.

World battle

As a consequence of worldwide instability, particularly in Ukraine, there’s a robust impetus for international locations worldwide to scale back dependence on fossil fuels. Pure fuel has now reached historically high prices because of sanctions towards Russia. This worth hike shall be one other issue to drive progress in energy storage funding, particularly in america.

As well as, cobalt and different uncommon metals come from unstable nations with rising civil unrest. Ukraine and Russia are additionally suppliers of lithium and nickel, used to provide EV batteries. These world conflicts can doubtlessly form how we supply the supplies wanted to construct batteries for energy storage programs. Relying on the end result, the business may have to look elsewhere or at different chemistries to help the scaling and progress of energy storage applied sciences.

The world is consistently altering and evolving, and with that comes distinctive challenges for all industries, together with energy. Regardless of waves of unrest and battle rippling all through the world, there’s a silver lining — all issues level to the truth that we have to provoke a major shift in the way in which we produce, retailer and use energy. Renewable sources and energy storage have emerged as probably the most sensible and economically viable options. The elements famous above will proceed to drive the renewable energy sector ahead and result in many new traits that we have now but to see in energy storage deployments and technological innovation. We don’t know what the way forward for energy storage will appear to be exactly. Nevertheless, we will glean that it’s going to increase the prevailing electric grid as we transfer to completely make the most of the clear energy we produce.

Keep tuned to {Solar} Energy World for the second a part of this text sequence. 

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Consumers Energy Purchases Solar Power from Confluence and Heartwood



Consumers Energy Purchases Solar Power from Confluence and Heartwood

Consumers Energy has agreements so as to add 300 MW of fresh energy from two Michigan {solar} initiatives being developed in Genesee and Hillsdale counties. Each initiatives are being developed by Ranger Energy, a utility-scale {solar} growth firm based mostly in Chicago. The {solar} developments are a part of the corporate’s Clear Energy Plan to dramatically enhance renewable energy, remove coal electrical energy by 2025 and obtain net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

“Offering 300 MW of fresh energy for our clients is a dedication to our planet, the individuals of Michigan and contributes to the prosperity of communities the place {solar} initiatives are sited,” says Timothy Sparks, Customers Energy’s vp of electrical grid integration. “We’re happy to succeed in this settlement with a valued companion that’s serving to us convey to life a imaginative and prescient to supply a clear energy transformation that advantages Michiganders, each present and future generations.”

Customers Energy would buy energy from Confluence {Solar} in Genesee County and Heartwood {Solar} in Hillsdale County. The agreements are being reviewed by the Michigan Public Service Fee.

The brand new {solar} initiatives are every 150 MW and scheduled to start working by year-end 2024. Ranger Energy will personal and function the websites.

“Securing energy buy agreements with Customers Energy for our Confluence and Heartwood {Solar} initiatives is a serious milestone in our efforts to supply clear, renewable energy to clients throughout Michigan,” states Paul Harris, president at Ranger Energy. “We’re glad to be increasing our partnership with Customers and proceed to be guided by a community-first method as we full each {solar} initiatives.”

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Apex Clean Energy using Solargis’ granular data to optimize bifacial solar, storage projects




In response to the Nationwide Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), bifacial modules may already comprise as much as 50% of put in U.S. capability. But, questions stay about how nicely bifacial modules are being optimized. Impartial energy producer Apex Clean Energy is now working with Solargis, a supplier of {solar} information and software program companies, to make the most of extensively validated albedo information to measure floor reflectivity, unlocking higher total venture designs and efficiency.

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“Because the technological complexity of {solar} property will increase, prime quality useful resource information turns into extra important every single day,” says George Szabo, Director of {Solar} Design for Apex Clear Energy. “Apex strives to create tangible worth for each venture, and Solargis – with the bottom GHI mannequin uncertainty and interannual variability when paired with our ground-monitoring stations – has enabled our workforce to take action.”

Apex is utilizing Solargis information to optimize over 120 of Apex’s {solar} initiatives throughout design, growth, and operations.

The info can also be helpful for optimizing any storage integration. A drive to unlock the total advantages of {solar} plus storage initiatives has pushed rising demand for correct sub-hourly time collection information. By way of their partnership, Solargis has supplied Apex Clear Energy with correct one- and five-minute information to assist seamless battery operations and higher grid integration.

Solargis image

Giridaran Srinivasan, Solargis’ CEO for the Americas, stated: “Rising transparency round essential venture choices means U.S. renewable traders are scrutinizing monetary projections rigorously. We’ve been persistently impressed by Apex Clear Energy’s strong information use of high-quality information and dedication to accuracy over the 2 years we’ve labored collectively, and we sit up for supporting the broader U.S. {solar} sector because it takes a leap ahead and adopts a finest apply method to {solar} useful resource information.”

Have you ever checked out our YouTube web page?

We’ve a ton video interviews and extra content material on our YouTube web page. Lately we debuted Power Forward! — a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to debate increased stage trade matters in addition to finest practices / tendencies for operating a {solar} enterprise right this moment.

Our longer operating facet venture is The Pitch — during which now we have awkward discussions with {solar} producers and suppliers about their new know-how and concepts in order that you do not have to. We have discusses all the pieces from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new dwelling solar + storage microgrids.

We additionally submit our Project of the Year bulletins there! Interviews with this yr’s winners will probably be up beginning the week of Nov. 8. Head there and subscribe right this moment to remain on high of all this further stuff.

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