International Clean Energy Training Center Proposed in the Philippines
The FSU Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability and Learning Systems Institute recently applied for funding with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for an International Vocational Training and Education for Clean Energy project, called, "Clean Energy Labor Recruitment, Assessment, Training and Employment (CELABRATE)."
Dr. Dave Cartes, IESES Director and director of the proposed project, hopes to establish a clean energy workforce in developing countries, a task that can be formidable, especially for conflict stricken regions. In developing countries, energy systems are critical for local economic development, which requires the development and maintenance of infrastructure, such as potable water, transport ation and telecommunications as well as schools and health care facilities. Ideally, modern energy systems should utilize wind, solar PV, micro-hydro, and hybrid technology. According to Dr. Cartes, a local workforce that can assemble, design, install, operate and maintain energy systems is needed in order for developing countries, such as those in Asia, East Africa, and the Middle East to be able to sustain these energy systems. In addition, the establishment of energy systems in developing countries requires people indigenous in those countries to be able to train a local workforce.
Thus, IESES and Dr. Flavia Ramos with her colleagues at FSU's Learning Systems Institute (LSI) have partnered to establish a training center in Subic, Philippines to train workers from Asia, East Africa and the Middle East. The placement of the center is advantageous, because of its central geographic location and resources already established by the International School of Sustainable Tourism and other USAID programs. The Philippines was also chosen because of its resemblance to other developing countries that experience similar barriers to economic development. In particular, Mindanao is a region in the Philippines that experiences frequent conflict, so it represents the challenges of similar developing countries. According to LSI, a research and development organization that has extensive experience in working with unstable regions, the key to addressing these problems will be to involve stakeholders, such as international donors, local governments, non-governmental organizations, and local contacts to integrate local needs with global interests.