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Workforce Development Analysis

NREL's workforce development analysis—part of our broader effort supporting manufacturing analysis—is geared toward specific workforce skills, training, and experience that will enable continued large-scale deployment of wind and solar technologies. It focuses on how the United States can best build a workforce with the required capabilities.

NREL's workforce analyses studies show that:

  • The greatest near-term solar and wind workforce needs include technicians and tradesmen with hands-on solar- and wind-specific experience, experienced electrical, mechanical and solar engineers, and project managers
  • Standardized education and training at all levels—primary school through post-graduate, as well as industry-based training and certification and apprenticeships—are required to develop a skilled workforce to support the future expansion of wind and solar industries.

Highlights of Our Work: Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installation Labor Market Analysis

In Solar Installation Labor Market Analysis, NREL identified potential national and regional workforce needs and preferences specific to solar PV installation as follows:

  • Experience with customer service, construction, and electrical projects
    • One-half of surveyed firms reported difficulties in finding qualified entry-level candidates with appropriate training and education.
    • 59% of firms reported significant difficulty finding qualified applicants with adequate skills and work experience.

In 2011, NREL published a similar assessment of wind industry workforce needs: Wind Energy Workforce Development: A Roadmap to a Wind Energy Educational Infrastructure.

For questions about this project, contact energy.analysis@nrel.gov.