To date, it is estimated that there are 5 million jobs in the renewable energy sector. In 2011 this sector accounted for 44% of new generation capacity added worldwide, with investment forecast to increase from USD 257 billion to above USD 450 billion by 2030. With these strong growth projections, new jobs and positions will emerge, requiring significantly increased numbers of qualified individuals.
At present however, significant knowledge gaps remain regarding which renewable energy training programmes exist, who the responsible parties are, and what the most pressing needs include. To tackle this situation, IRENA developed the ‘IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership’ (IRELP) portal (www.irelp.org) to raise awareness of readily available renewable energy education and training, thereby enhancing their accessibility. The portal was created to meet the growing worldwide demand for skilled renewable energy personnel and aims to bridge the gap between the renewable energy market requirements and what is taught by educational systems worldwide, through collaboration with academia and the renewable energy industry.
IRELP is a central hub that pools renewable energy education and training materials that often tend to be widely dispersed, and displays renewable energy scholarship and internship opportunities alongside news and events. More specifically, IRELP is comprised of a global education and training database that includes both past and upcoming webinars, a library of renewable energy training materials and an e-learning platform where users receive support through online lectures and tutorials. IRELP also provides information on vocational training courses and tertiary degree programmes worldwide so that users may identify the educational institutions where they may further their education in the field of renewable energy. IRELP is aimed at an international audience and as such is provided in a number of languages. IRELP will be a particularly useful platform for students, professors, professionals and those interested in the field of renewable energy.
This initiative will promote the global development of the renewable energy sector, providing education and training that match the needs of the renewable energy market, as well as changing the perception among younger generations who will continue to drive the growth of renewables into the future.
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Article by IRELP.