renewable workforce development

Houston college system adds solar installation program for student-led action on renewables

Houston Community College's new program is training the future renewables workforce. Photo courtesy of HCC

Houston college students students are helping to address the ever-developing needs for renewable energy with the college’s latest solar installation program.

Houston Community College's Solar Energy Technology Photovoltaic and Thermal certificate programs will require students to complete six classes that amount to 18 college credit hours.

The new initiative will provide students with a Level I certificate through HCC’s Electrical Technology program at the HCC Architectural Design and Construction Center of Excellence. Afterwards, they can test to earn industry credentials like the North American Board of Certified Energy Providers photovoltaic associate certification. Students can also study solar systems design, solar inspection, solar sales, or explore engineering degrees post-HCC.

“This board certification is a powerful endorsement of our solar certificate and our professionalism,” Kris Asper, dean of the Center of Excellence, says in a news release. “We are excited that our certificate has been thoroughly reviewed and now has this important distinction. It means we are teaching the best to our solar PV students.”

The demand for solar photovoltaic installers is expected to increase almost 30 percent by 2031 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The need within the solar energy sector is growing exponentially,” said HCC Central College President Dr. Muddassir Siddiqi in a news release. “Community colleges like HCC play a crucial part in opening up this sector to new workers, including students who have been historically underserved by our national energy policies.”

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A View From HETI

The combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology. Photo via Getty Images

SLB announced its plans to combine its carbon capture business with Norway company, Aker Carbon Capture.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of this year, SLB will own 80 percent of the combined business and ACC will own 20 percent.

According to a SLB news release, the combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology.

“For CCUS to have the expected impact on supporting global net-zero ambitions, it will need to scale up 100-200 times in less than three decades,” Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of SLB, says in the release. “Crucial to this scale-up is the ability to lower capture costs, which often represent as much as 50-70% of the total spend of a CCUS project.

The International Energy Agency estimates that over one gigaton of CO2 every year year will need to be captured by 2030 — a figure that scales up to over six gigatons by 2050.

"We are excited to create this business with ACC to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies that will shift the economics of carbon capture across high-emitting industrial sectors,” Le Peuch continues.

SLB is slated to pay NOK 4.12 billion — around $379.4 million — to own 80 percent of Aker Carbon Capture Holding AS, which owns ACC, per the news release, and SLB may also pay up to NOK 1.36 billion over the next three years, depending on business performance.

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