Building & Sustaining Low Carbon Economies

This project worked with professionals employed in business and/ or training, responsible for designing or delivering training, professional development or career guidance. The participants came from the Third Sector (charitable, non-profit making organisations), from the VET (vocational education and training) sector, governmental bodies, private training providers & SMEs. Participants are involved to design, plan, deliver training focusing on renewable energy technologies ranging from training in Solar PV, Solar Hot Water, Domestic Wind Generation, raising awareness on using sustainable construction methods and materials as well as delivering CO2/ Climate Change awareness training. With this Best Practice exchange we would like to give the opportunity to experience first hand how Germany has dealt with the integration of renewable energy technologies as part of their energy mix and what this meant for the development of training programmes as well as from an investment point of view. There are many lessons that can be learnt and mistakes avoided experiencing a country that has fostered renewables strategically since 1990s. The UK has made a lot of progress in the last couple of years and we wish to foster a cross-country dialogue amongst professionals in the sector to work together on local, national and international level.

What needs are addressed:

There is a EU-wide target to source 20% of the energy needs from renewable sources and to cut CO2 by 26% by 2020. The European Commission has proposed that the UK’s contribution to this should be to increase the share of renewables in their energy mix from around 1.5% in 2006 to 15% by 2020. Currently there is evidence of skills gaps across the energy sector and around 72% of companies in the energy sector experience these skill gaps, notably in project management, technical and practical skills. The Sector Skills Council for Building Services Engineering highlights the pressing challenge of a "bottleneck in training the trainers, a limited number of enforceable standards or Codes of Practice for the installation of Renewable Energy (RE) systems, no specific system design course for RE systems, limited funding for establishing training schemes." These challenges will prevail in 2010 and beyond, as reports on relevant Sector Skills Agreements indicate.


  1. Improve and update the competencies of professionals through the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with specialists in Germany.
  2. Observe, shadow and experience vocational training systems and methodologies in practice
  3. Collaborate with peers to foster the exchange of knowledge and technologies within the renewable energy/ sustainable construction sector
  4. Learn about Best Practice solutions in renewable energies/ sustainable construction (i.e. Zero Carbon houses etc.)

For more informmation or to get involved please visit our blog, download our leaflet or get in touch.