The importance of renewable energy sector in boosting soft skills and creating jobs

“Renewable energy is a clear winner when it comes to boosting the economy and creating jobs”.

Tom Steyer

The 2nd training course on renewable energies arranged within the NE(W)AVE project has just successfully come to an end. At St.H , in Palermo and at Heliotec, in La Vall D’Uixò, the learners coming from Italy, Greece and Denmark improved their knowledge and competences on renewable energies through the expert guide of their company mentors. During 2 weeks through classes, visits and workshops, the participants not only learnt more about the green energies but also boosted their soft skills, such as their communication and intercultural skills, improving their technical English and getting used to work and share ideas with people from other countries.

Before the start of the training, the participants also attended the Open Online Course designed within the NE(W)AVE project that helped them to visit important topics related to green energies and prepare successfully for their mobilities in Italy and Spain.

While in Palermo at St.H, the learners not only improved their technical knowledge in the renewable energy sector, but also came into contact with the successful businesses that were present at the Blue Sea Land 2019 exhibition hosted in the beautiful city of Mazara del Vallo. This great international fair is a great event that gathers productive districts and agro-fishery-food chains of Sicily, Italy the Mediterranean countries, Africa, and Middle East, promoting gastronomic excellences and cultural peculiarities typical of each area.

Here the learners through interactive activities and business-to-business meetings, met Selmar, the National Research CentrePrims Mechatronics and its innovative star-ups. For the learners, taking part in this event was truly a unique occasion to get to know many businesses working in renewable energies, as well as a valuable insight into global production activities in Sicily.

Whilst in Palermo, the learners also visited the Solar Living Lab, and its Ultra High Concentrated Phyotovoltaic system in Consorzio Arca: an innovative poligenerative solar concentration system and unique of its kind in Europe. With its 3000 m2 of extension, it is the first pilot plant in Europe developed in urban contexts, dedicated to the demonstration and experimentation of new advanced solar systems (concentration solar-CSP, salt storage spindles, ORC, solar cooling, high efficiency photovoltaic, membrane desalination), open to the public to allow schools, professionals, business technicians and researchers to come into contact with these technologies.

Here, the NE(W)AVE learners met the engineer Filippo Paredes who for many years has been successfully working on research and innovation and on this great project. Through his precious guide, the NE(W)AVE learners saw how motivation, hard work, endurance and very creative engineers can create extraordinary innovations for a greener world.

In order to learn about the green and environmental actions that take place at local level, the students visited Legambiente in Palermo, the biggest Italian environmental association that since 1980 has been fighting against ecological disasters. Here they met the President Vanessa Rosano and its project coordinator Tommaso Castronovo and learnt about the past challenges, the current ones and the next steps of this organisation that is strongly committed to protect the green areas across Italy.

In Casteldaccia, a town a few kilometres from Palermo, the learners met Medielettra and its photovoltaic consultant Ivan Foglia, who explained how to design a photovoltaic system according to the customers’ needs. Since 1992 this company and its general manager Angelo Badalamenti has been offering the best solutions to its customers in terms of solar systems and renewable solutions for their offices and houses.

At CESIE, through interactive sessions and workshops, the learners improved their knowledge regarding their soft skills, as crucial competences to work in any work environment and especially in the “green” sector where flexibility, communication skills, intercultural and linguistic competences are becoming more and more important. As the European Commission has already underlined, recent studies have demonstrated that soft skills are becoming as important as hard skills when looking for a job.

During the training course at Heliotec, the learners learned more about renewable energy, energy efficiency, with a special focus on photovoltaic systems, biogas and biomass. The learners had the chance to visit a biomass boiler installation and a biomass pilot plant which produces animal feed and fuel pellet from citrus pruning waste. The learners visited the biogas plant in La Vall d’Uixó, where organic material from waste water management plant together with other organic wastes are used to produce biogas.

Through a field visit to Mar de Fulles, a sustainable rural hotel with off-grid photovoltaic installation, the learners saw how such a place can provide its own energy.

And at Atersa, the learners could see how this company specialised in solar photovoltaic energy which has developed its own engineering, design and photovoltaic installation construction style, offers  comprehensive solutions for national and international solar projects. 

During the last days of training, the students also took part in practical activities including the set-up of the structure that supports a photovoltaic panel, through the expert assistance of Oscar, technician from Heliotec.

During these 2 week-training courses in Palermo and in La Vall D’Uixò, the learners from different European countries gained a deeper look into the “green” realities offered within their hosting countries, Italy and Spain, and had help to lay the foundation for their professional career and future training in the renewable energy sector. 

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