Training the Decentralised Renewable Energy Workforce of Tomorrow with CORE

Find out how decentralised renewable energy (DRE) provides rural and peri-urban communities with reliable electricity, which can help catalyse local job creation and socio-economic development

The International Energy Agency recognises decentralised renewable energy (DRE) systems to be the most affordable electrification solution for half of new connections worldwide.

DRE provides rural and peri-urban communities with reliable electricity, which can help catalyse local job creation and socio-economic development. The market for DRE mini-grids alone is predicted to generate an annual profit of USD 3.3 billion for DRE developers between 2019–2030, making DRE a fundamental part of the energy challenge if we are to achieve universal clean energy access (Sustainable Development Goal 7).

© PT Inovasi Dinamika Pratama — CORE’s capacity building programme in Thailand

As the DRE sector inevitably grows and the world moves towards universal electrification by 2030, it is essential that sustainability is embedded in all projects and that safety, efficiency and reliability become the cornerstone of rural electrification efforts. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals also hinge on access to sustainable, clean and reliable energy.

One solution to the sustainability challenge lies in strengthening the skills of the local workforce. The monumental increase in decentralised electrification needs in the years to come will require more individuals with expanded skillsets to deliver these goals. A recent ARE survey with DRE industry players indicated that more than 70% of companies had difficulties in finding skilled local field staff.

CORE support to Microgrid Academies of RES4Africa Foundation

With this in mind, the Cornerstone of Rural Electrification Initiative (CORE) was initiated by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), the International Copper Association (ICA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Sustainable Energy for ALL (SEforALL), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the United National Industrial Development Program (UNIDO). CORE aims to address the immense capacity building and technical assistance needs to support the development of DRE systems, in this way it could help us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

CORE works and supports its partners with:

  • Certified CORE Academy trainings for DRE practitioners -directly or through training of trainers
  • Development of regional/national training and certification frameworks for DRE practitioners together with universities, training institutions and governments
  • Flexible, on-demand technical assistance and capacity building activities for governments, DRE practitioners, training institutions, universities and rural and peri-urban entrepreneurs
  • An open-source knowledge platform, which gathers existing technical training materials and tools for the benefit of the DRE community

2022, the Beginning of CORE trainings

Advanced Training Courses in collaboration with RES4Africa

CORE recently supported the delivery of RES4Africa Foundation’s Microgrid Academy and Advanced Training Courses (ATC). The ATC is RES4Africa Foundation’s two-week training programme focused on key technical, regulatory, financial, and sustainability issues for renewable energy, delivered by experienced managers, professionals, academics, and high-skilled technicians, matched with visits to laboratories and power plants.

Solar PV rooftop training and certification programme in Thailand

Moreover, CORE backed a training & certification programme led by Thailand’s Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE) in cooperation with the International Copper Association.This project seeks to:

  • Develop a training curriculum on solar PV installations for rooftops in local languages
  • Engage and build capacity of training institutions (training of trainers)
  • Assist with the development of a ‘National Training and Certification Programme’ on solar rooftop PV

Provincial government training on rooftop solar PV in the Philippines

This local training is led by UNDP and the Philippine Department of Energy through the Renewable Energy Management Bureau and the Iloilo Provincial Government with support from International Copper Association and CORE.

This project will:

  • Select participants from 42 municipalities and one component city of the province
  • Design an appropriate training programme considering the educational and professional background and functions of the participants
  • Conduct training for at least 80 participants from the Iloilo Province local government units

Training of trainers at the National University of Lesotho

CORE also partners with training institutions and universities to deliver energy access trainings. The National University of Lesotho (NUL) received a virtual CORE training on energy access trainers as part of such a collaboration.

CORE training of trainers at the National University of Lesotho

In partnership with TEA-LP, the CORE workshop provided a capacity building opportunity to the NUL team with inputs from industry experts, who are directly involved in the work of rural and last-mile electrification projects in Africa. This expertise is fundamental to improving sustainable energy access, which is the main objective of the new MSc programmes TEA-LP has supported.

CORE invites all governments, communities and practitioners that share the common vision of boosting universal energy access by building a thriving workforce to subscribe to the CORE Newsletter and collaborate with us. This blog was written as part of the #EnergiseSolarSkills campaign, learn more here.