The landscape of the UK’s energy industry is evolving rapidly and there’s a growing emphasis on renewable energy sources to combat climate change.
Upskilling to work with solar technology presents a valuable opportunity for plumbers, heating engineers, and electricians to position themselves at the forefront of this transformation.
The UK’s solar revolution
The UK has seen a significant increase in solar energy adoption in recent years, driven by environmental concerns and government incentives. The installation of solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) systems, has become increasingly popular in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) anticipates that global solar capacity will triple by the end of 2027, ultimately becoming the world’s dominant power source. While Solar Energy UK’s Impact Report 2022 outlines its predictions for 2023 and highlights how 2022 was a game-changing year for the solar industry.
This shift towards solar has been attributed to the following factors:
- Environmental benefits: Solar power is a clean and renewable energy source that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, making it an essential part of the UK’s commitment to sustainability and combating climate change.
- Financial incentives: Various government schemes such as the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), offer financial incentives to solar system owners. These incentives can make solar installations more financially appealing to property owners.
- Energy independence: Solar panels allow property owners to generate their own electricity, reducing their reliance on traditional energy sources and providers and potentially saving money in the long run.
- Increased property value: Homes and commercial properties equipped with solar panels often see an increase in their market value, making them more attractive to potential buyers and investors.
What does this mean for installers?
As professionals in the building services industry, installers can play a crucial role in the successful adoption of solar technology. Here are some ways they can contribute:
- Solar panel installation: Electricians can specialise in the installation of solar panels and the associated wiring, ensuring that these systems are integrated correctly with the existing electrical infrastructure.
- Plumbing and heating integration: Plumbers and heating engineers can work on the integration of solar thermal systems, which use solar energy to heat water for domestic and commercial purposes. This involves connecting solar collectors to the existing hot water systems.
- Maintenance and repairs services: Routine checks, cleaning, and troubleshooting are essential for the longevity of these systems and all three professions can potentially offer maintenance and repair services for solar systems.
Upskilling for Solar Technology
If you’re interested in upskilling to work with solar technology, there are various steps you can take.
Training courses and certification: Accredited training courses are available that cover the installation, maintenance, and repair of solar systems. Many organisations also offer courses tailored to different skillsets. Installers can consider obtaining relevant certifications, such as the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), which is often required for accessing government incentives and subsidies.
Networking: Connect with professionals who are already working in the solar industry. They can provide valuable insights, new contacts and potential job opportunities.
Stay informed: Make sure you keep up with the latest developments in solar technology and the renewable energy sector through industry publications, conferences, and online forums.
Business opportunities: If you’re self-employed, consider expanding your services to include solar technology installations and maintenance. Alternatively, you can collaborate with other companies that already specialise in solar installations.
As plumbers, heating engineers, and electricians, upskilling to work with solar technology is a wise investment in your career. It not only positions you at the forefront of the renewable energy revolution but also opens up new commercial opportunities. The adoption of solar technology is set to continue expanding, and by embracing this trend, you can contribute to a more sustainable future while growing your business.
For those looking to learn more about upskilling to solar, a visit to InstallerSHOW is a must. InstallerSHOW is the UK’s biggest event for heating, plumbing, electrical and renewable technology professionals, and the journey towards Net Zero means that the thirst for knowledge about the solar sector has grown exponentially.
The Solar Innovations attraction at the 2023 show saw fantastic engagement and we’ve got some of the industry’s biggest names on board for 2024 including Segen, Longi, MCS, City Plumbing, Solfinity, Nuenta, Wagner Renewables, SKE, CEF and many more.
InstallerSHOW takes place at NEC Birmingham, 25-27 June 2024. To stay up to date with the latest show news visit: www.installershow.com