Skilled Labour

A shortage of skills and training is a common impediment to increased DE investment in many areas of the world, including both developed and developing countries.

The need for installers and maintenence staff specifically certified to work on DE technologies is a particular problem. For example in many countries in the world past performance problems have destroyed consumer confidence in emerging DE products such as solar PV. In some cases the problem was product quality- the PV cells themselves not adhering to quality standards or even a lack of quality standards to adhere to. In other cases however the cells were improperly installed which resulted in their subsequent malfunction. Training programs plus measures to ensure products live up to advertised quality standards have helped make Kenya a world leader in per capita installation of solar PV.

The developing market for very small, residential scale, CHP units has also been slowed by a lack of qualified installation and maintenance personnel. Emerging European leaders in microCHP have been hesitant to sell units to remote areas not easily accessible to their highly trained staff because they know that improperly installed equipment could be ruinous to the product’s reputation. Building a network of certified trades people that are qualified for the needed electrical and gas fitting work associated with microCHP installations could go a long way in facilitating wider sales and adapting existing distribution channels to make themm more effective for DE.