Solar energy is more prevalent today than ever before. Worldwide, investors put more than US$1.66 billion into the solar market in 2010, with the United States, France, Israel, and Canada leading the pack. Of late, Ontario has ranked particularly well in the photovoltaic (PV) market, encouraged by government incentives, such as the province’s feed-in tariff (FIT) program, which launched in October 2009. These incentives have all helped the province’s solar market blossom, creating both more green energy and more demand for those with the requisite solar photovoltaic training.
These incentives have also attracted a tremendous amount of investment, both domestically and from abroad, as solar companies scramble to stake their claim in the province’s booming industry. Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. just signed a multi–million dollar deal for two solar energy projects in Ontario. Fort William First Nation became the only First Nation to sign onto a major solar project. Flexitronics signed an agreement to produce solar panels in Ontario. Toronto-based Celestica Inc. recently snagged a deal to supply solar modules in Ontario. The list goes on. In December of 2010, Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid announced the creation of 1,700 green energy jobs across the province.
With all the new opportunities that are arising, there are many different green jobs that require solar training ad PV knowledge, and these can be broken down into two main groups. One group consists of solar panel designers and manufacturers, and the other includes solar panel installers and maintenance. Solar job preparation does require an investment of time and money, but the career path is promising.
Solar Job Preparation
The basics of solar job training include fundamental knowledge of small level systems, as well as electronics and electrical systems. This knowledge qualifies the student to work with smaller scale solar system deployment. Classes exist across the province, usually lasting between a few days to several months. These courses are usually offered in a workshop environment, meaning participants get hands-on experience and exposure.
Benefits of Solar Energy Jobs
Today there are more opportunities than even for someone with solar training to get a job. People who invest in solar energy panels can save money in the long run on utility bills, so both the customer and the company offering the services, as well as the environment, will benefit. With every solar energy job completed, there is also the not insignificant knowledge that the carbon footprint and impact on the environment will be reduced.