EIT InnoEnergy Launches European Solar Academy to Train 65,000 Workers in Solar Industry

has unveiled plans to establish the European Solar Academy, aimed at training 65,000 workers in the solar industry across over the next two years. Mandated by the European Commission as one of its Net-Zero Academies, the European Solar Academy will be overseen by the InnoEnergy Skills Institute.

The academy's primary goal is to reskill and upskill workers throughout the entire European solar (PV) value chain. With the setting ambitious targets for solar energy, including installing nearly 600GW of solar photovoltaic capacity and supplying 40% of EU demand for net-zero technologies by 2030, the demand for skilled workers in the industry is expected to rise significantly.

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According to EIT InnoEnergy's research, there are currently skills gaps in training electricians on safe grid connection, construction workers certified for installation, and process engineers, technicians, and operators for producing cells, modules, ingots, and wafers.

The European Solar Academy will address these gaps by offering more than 40 courses with industry-recognized certifications across the value chain. It will also work closely with industry partners to certify over 80 local training providers and mobilize a network of industry and workforce partners to deliver courses at scale.

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Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson expressed support for the initiative, stating, “Solar power is at the heart of our energy transition in Europe, with the potential to create thousands of jobs across our continent. The Net Zero Academy created by the Commission will help our European workers to embrace this exciting opportunity.”

Oana Penu, Director of the InnoEnergy Skills Institute, highlighted the need to address current skills gaps to meet the challenges of deploying solar PV at speed and boosting the resilience of domestic manufacturing capacity. She mentioned the success of the Academy, which has trained 67,000 workers to date, as a blueprint for the Solar Academy.

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The announcement of the European Solar Academy was made at the European Solar Photovoltaic Industry Alliance (ESIA) PV Forum at Intersolar Europe in Munich, demonstrating a commitment to advancing solar energy and workforce development in Europe.

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