As the energy grid becomes more diversified, employment opportunities grow. Those opportunities also increase the need for training.
Recognizing that need, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a major award for the development of training resources for those involved in industries that service distributed energy sources delivering power to the grid.
Earlier this month, the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a $4.5 million funding opportunity. The Educational Materials for Professional Organizations Working on Efficiency and Renewable Energy Developments will provide funding for training programs for professionals who interact with distributed energy resources.
The program is casting a wide net. Qualifying resources include solar energy systems, storage systems, smart building technologies and electric vehicles. Qualifying professionals encompass those that lead the nation’s emergency response and resilience planning, including firefighters, first responders and safety officials.
EERE Secretary Daniel R. Simmons described them as professionals who are on the “frontlines of a rapidly changing energy system.” He added that the training programs will help these professionals understand and manage distributed energy systems so that they can “focus on keeping America safe.”
The EERE emphasizes that the market for smart and connected devices, electric and hybrid vehicles and solar power and electric storage are all growing rapidly in this country.
However, as these technologies spread, professionals often lack access to the most up-to-date training and information.
Projects in this funding opportunity will focus on developing, testing and disseminating educational materials. They will also focus on working with existing training organizations in each of the targeted professional groups to ensure the right materials get to the right people in an effective way.
The DOE expects to fund two to four awards between $1 million and $2.5 million each.