Solar boom challenges solar panel installers to keep up

Clean energy prices falling but Renewable Energy Target set to end in 2020.Clean Energy Council

Australia’s solar boom means lots of work for solar panel installers, with record solar PV registrations recorded in 2017.

Yet warning bells are ringing as technicians struggle to keep up with the fast-changing new technology.

Industry trainers and regulators stress the importance of up-to-the-minute training and market knowledge, as Eco Generation reports.

In Australia, consumers are encouraged to choose a CEC Accredited solar panel installer like Energy Matters. CEC Accredited  retailers meet strict guidelines and practice ongoing professional development.

Solar boom driving fast-changing Australian market

Today’s solar system installations are no longer simple. Increasing demand for the latest solar storage batteries means installers are facing real challenges.

According to David Tolliday of Victoria’s Holmesglen TAFE, solar panel installers must be across all solar IT and software currently on the market.

He said awareness of communication options like 4G, Wi-Fi and local network requirements is also essential.

Registered training organisations (RTOs) focusing on renewable energy installation training have been getting a workout, Eco Generation reports.

Solar boom in Australia leaves solar panel installers struggling to keep up with ever-changing technology and communications.

Do you know who’s working on your roof? Australia’s solar boom leaves installers struggling to keep up with changing requirements. Image: Pixabay

And 2017 stands as the strongest year since 2009 and 2010, according to Global Sustainable Energy Solutions director of operations and engineering Chris Martell.

Solar panel installers boom driven by RET

He attributes the solar boom to relative political stability delivered by the Renewable Energy Target.

This encouraged a big influx of people keen to do business in the growing renewables market. In addition, it drove increased demand for Clean Energy Council (CEC) accreditation.

These industry newcomers realised that training and subsequent accreditation are the quickest way to get established, Mr Martell says.

Who’s who in solar and battery installation

According to the RTOs, a range of people are coming forward to develop or acquire solar panel and battery installation skills. These include:

  • Regular electricians wanting to acquire solar expertise.
  • Solar technicians keen to develop software skills and communications knowledge.
  • Well-qualified students from the mining sector.
  • Fossil-fuel energy workers wanting to retrain in the renewable sector.

The latter is increasingly important as Australia transitions away from fossil fuel industries and ageing coal-fired plants are decommissioned.