GSC and training standards body GWO launch Solar Training Standards Initiative 

Non-profit industry bodies announce collaboration to address the need for standardisation in basic training of solar PV technicians, starting with utility-scale. 

Bilbao, Spain 21st March 2024 – the Global Solar Council (GSC) and training standards body Global Wind Organisation (GWO), have announced today their intention to collaborate on a new initiative that will introduce training standards for the world’s solar PV technician workforce. Solar power will deliver the majority of the clean energy gigawatts needed to drive the global energy transition. It is therefore crucial to ensure the availability of a skilled workforce trained according to a trusted certification system.  

Early assessments from GWO and GSC stakeholders indicate that reduced transaction costs, safety assurance and improved productivity will be a key driver for creation of training standards and will avoid mass duplication across the sector. As was the case when GWO standards were introduced for wind technicians in 2012, the lack of standardised training available to solar PV employers makes it difficult for asset owners and developers to recommend industry endorsed safety training for their EPC suppliers. The project looks to leverage the expertise, network and experience of the wind industry in this field and replicate it in solar PV.  

The Solar Training Standards Initiative will build upon the competences and networks of the Global Solar Council and the training development, quality assurance and distribution network of GWO while working closely with the industry and other stakeholders to develop standards that can ensure the safety, quality, and growth of the solar PV workforce and capacity. 

Initial outputs planned by the Initiative include development of a package of standardised training modules, comprised of learning objectives covering the most common work processes, and addressing the hazards and risks carried out by utility scale solar PV technicians. 

The standardised training will be closely aligned with guidelines and job role definitions already published by leading representative bodies such as the American Clean Power Guidelines for Entry Level Solar Technician Training. 

Sonia Dunlop, CEO of the Global Solar Council, said: “The solar power sector is expected to add up to 1 TW of new capacity annually from 2030 onwards – this is a massive scaling-up of capacity, which means we also need to massively scale-up our skilled workforce to meet this demand. Having a global standard is essential due to the global nature of the solar sector so that workers possess universally recognized and transferable skills, reducing the transaction cost of deploying solar. This not only creates more opportunities for the solar workforce, but will be invaluable to ensure the quality of solar installations for a sustainable and just energy transition. Given the experience of GWO’s standardization efforts in the wind sector, we are thrilled to apply their knowledge, network and experience to support the solar sector and hope that one day this could also be extended to rooftop solar.” 

Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of Global Wind Organisation, said: “This is an exciting new development with lots of potential value for our stakeholders. GWO’s scope has historically focused on skills and competence training for wind technicians, but our membership of OEMs and owner operators have significant interests in other renewable power generation technologies, especially solar PV. It makes good sense for GWO and GSC to build on one another’s core competencies, namely project development of training standards and governance of training delivery at GWO, and broad membership representation in the solar market by Global Solar Council.” 

About Global Solar Council 

The Global Solar Council (GSC) is the international association representing the solar energy sector. The association represents every part of the solar PV value chain from polysilicon to project development and end of life recycling, every market segment from utility-scale to off-grid and every region of the world. Our mission is to maximise solar PV deployment, unite the industry and address and overcome barriers to the roll-out of PV. 

Find out more: 

Website: www.globalsolarcouncil.org 

Twitter: @GSolarCouncil 

LinkedIn: Global Solar Council 

Media Contact Details 

Alyssa Pek, Strategy & Communications Director 

a.pek@globalsolarcouncil.org 

+32 490 56 81 39 (WhatsApp only) 

About GWO 

Global Wind Organisation is a non-profit group of renewable energy developers and wind turbine manufacturers, committed to the creation and adoption of standardised training and workforce development. 

Independent training providers deliver GWO-certified training in more than 50 countries worldwide. For more information on GWO standards, visit this page. Training records are created when a GWO standard course is passed and completed by a person. These records are uploaded to the GWO WINDA database. 

Since 2012, GWO training standards have become widely adopted by wind industry employers, seeking quality, safety, and reassurance for their technicians in construction, installation, operations and maintenance around the world. Today, more than 170,000 technicians have completed a GWO Basic Safety Training module.  

GWO member companies 

Acciona Energia, Avangrid, CGN Wind Power, CORIO Generation, CRRC, Dominion Energy, ENERCON, Envision, Equinor, Eurus Energy, GE Renewable Energy, Goldwind, Iberdrola, The Nordex Group, Northland Power, Ocean Winds, Ørsted, RWE Renewables, Shanghai Electric, Skyborn Renewables, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, SSE, Vattenfall and Vestas.  

All photos and graphics copyright Global Wind Organisation 

Media Contact Details 

Ian Buckland, Communication Manager 

ib@globalwindsafety.org 

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