Next Step Towards a Renewable Energy Future

In order to be a part of the renewable energy industry, workers need to be skilled in solar education. Those wanting to be solar sales professionals or solar PV installers must attend solar certification courses in order to be part of the skilled workforce Secretary Chu mentioned.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced the Draft Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), an extensive environmental analysis that identifies proposed "solar energy zones" on public lands in six western states.


The analysis concluded that the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah are the most suitable for environmentally sound, utility-scale solar energy production. The Draft Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement was formulated over the past two years as part of the Obama Administration's attempt to create effective foundations for developing renewable energy in the right way and the right places.

Secretary of the Interior Salazar said, "This proposal lays out the next phase of President Obama's strategy for rapid and responsible development of renewable energy on America's public lands. This analysis will help renewable energy companies and federal agencies focus development on areas of our public lands that are best suited for large-scale solar development. Our early, 'Smart from the Start,' planning will help us site solar projects in the right places, and reduce conflicts and delays at larger stages of the development process."

The "Smart from the Start" also sets standards for the new workers in the solar energy industry. A "smart" way to enter the industry is by receiving a quality solar education and training in solar panel installation. With the vast amount of land that is being allocated to the future of renewable energy, workers need to be prepared beforehand and have received NABCEP certifications in areas such as solar sales, solar photovoltaic (PV) installation, and solar panel installation.

Secretary of Energy Chu said, "Our country has incredible renewable resources, innovative entrepreneurs, a skilled workforce, and manufacturing know-how. It's time to harness these resources and lead in the global clean energy economy. Today's announcement is part of an integrated strategy to cultivate the entire innovation chain to create the jobs of the 21st century economy and to put America on a sustainable energy path."

In order to be a part of the renewable energy industry, workers need to be skilled in solar education. Those wanting to be solar sales professionals or solar PV installers must attend solar certification courses in order to be part of the skilled workforce Secretary Chu mentioned.

The Draft Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) analyzed the environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with solar energy development on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered areas in the west. The Draft Solar PEIS is now available in the Federal Register's Reading Room for a 90-day public comment period.

The American Institute of Renewable Energy (AIRE), a school specializing in solar training to produce a skilled workforce, encourages the public to read the PEIS. The initiatives taken by the federal government necessitates public opinion because utility-scale solar energy production sites will be built on US public lands.

"Public involvement has been a vital component in every step of the BLM's solar energy program," said BLM Director Bob Abbey. "The lessons learned from what we have done so far, plus the public input obtained during this current comment period, will help make all solar development resulting from this process 'Smart from the Start.'"

Under this proposal, the BLM would establish Solar Energy Zones (SEZ's). SEZ's are areas that have been identified as most befitting for development and those that contain the highest solar energy potential and fewest environmental and resource conflicts. Currently the BLM manages 120 million acres of public lands in the six western states identified by the PEIS.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is working for create a clean energy future while reducing green house gases. The American Institute of Renewable Energy (AIRE) provides certification courses in Solar Training to make the federal government's goals possible.

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