The role of ARISE in the implementation of the new RES directive

Anna Moreno, Caterina Nissim

 

The proposal for a new directive on the promotion of renewable energy sources

The DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Directives (EU) 2018/2001 and 98/70/EC, and the Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 as regards the promotion of energy from renewable sources is a proposal presented in July 2021. Some of the amendments are related to the national system for the qualification system of designers and installers of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and they are therefore relevant for the ARISE partners.

Let’s examine these modifications in more detail.

 

Addressing the shortage of competent installers

This proposed modification intends to provide more experts in the domain of designers and installers of RES technologies but also to give the opportunity to other innovative technologies to be promoted thanks to the support of proper qualifications and certification systems. Below, In italic, the original text:

Article 1(7) amends Article 18(3) REDII with adjusted paragraphs on the qualification and certification requirements of installers to deal with the fact that there is a shortage of installers of renewable heating systems, which is a ‘brake’ on phasing out fossil fuel systems. It also deletes list of specific types of renewable heating technologies and replaces it by a generic reference to RES heating systems.

This proposition opens the market to innovative solutions. The ARISE's objective is to deliver a common platform where the competences about the new technologies are based on knowledge, skills and the degree of autonomy following the European Qualification Framework (EQF). For example, the producer of a new technology will be able to provide both the list of the new competences needed to design and install the new system and provide the body of knowledge for training workers and designers. This way, the developers of the new technology will be able to upload to the platform the body of knowledge required to design and/or develop training materials on the correct use of the new technology.

 

Making a public list of installers a requirement in each Member State

The new directive makes the creation of a public register a requirement:

It amends Article 18(4) REDII by obliging Member States to put in place measures to support participation in training programmes. The previous possibility for Member States to make the list of qualified installers public becomes a requirement.

In the deliverable 2.4, to be published soon on the ARISE web site, we mention the heterogeneity of the Member States on the issue. In countries such as Ireland and the Netherlands, public registers are already required and managed by a national organism while other countries, Portugal and Italy to mention a couple, are still far from the target. In Italy, the qualifications for the installers are realised at regional level, making the development of a national register extremely complex. ARISE will present a solution on a European scale, as the certification of the single competences would provide the tools to develop a singular national/European register. For each technology, it will be identified a list of compulsory competences at European level and each country/region will be able to identify the designers and workers who own those competences.

 

Requiring transparency in certification schemes issued by Member States for a mutual recognition

In Article 18, paragraphs 3 and 4 are replaced by the following:

  1. Member States shall ensure that certification schemes are available for installers and designers of all forms of renewable heating and cooling systems in buildings, industry and agriculture, and for installers of solar photovoltaic systems. Those schemes may take into account existing schemes and structures as appropriate, and shall be based on the criteria laid down in Annex IV. Each Member State shall recognise the certification awarded by other Member States in accordance with those criteria.

The ARISE platform will provide the tools for mutual recognition. Each Member State will identify its need in competences for each specific technology by referring to the ARISE platform unit of competences. The need in competences are obviously different in each country, depending on the climate, national regulations and so on. Thanks to an adaptation of these needed competences in each different country on the ARISE platform, it will be possible for workers to move and relocate in different countries all over Europe.

 

Increasing the number of qualified installers covering renewable heating and cooling technologies

Member States shall ensure that trained and qualified installers of renewable heating and cooling systems are available in sufficient numbers for the relevant technologies to service the growth of renewable heating and cooling required to contribute to the annual increase in the share of renewable energy in the heating and cooling sector as set out in Article 23.

To achieve such sufficient numbers of installers and designers, Member States shall ensure that sufficient training programmes leading to qualification or certification covering renewable heating and cooling technologies, and their latest innovative solutions, are made available. Member States shall put in place measures to promote participation in such programmes, in particular by small and medium-sized enterprises and the self-employed. Member States may put in place voluntary agreements with the relevant technology providers and vendors to train sufficient numbers of installers, which may be based on estimates of sales, in the latest innovative solutions and technologies available on the market.

ARISE has conceived an “open platform” guaranteeing the opportunity, for any professional and worker, to reach the desired “maturity level” for any technology necessary for their work as self-employed or employee. The ARISE platform is also open to producers who wish to ensure that designers and installers own the right competences to design and install their technology correctly.

Public lists of qualified/certified installers

  1. Member States shall make information on the certification schemes referred to in paragraph 3 available to the public. Member States shall ensure that the list of installers who are qualified or certified in accordance with paragraph 3 is regularly updated and made available to the public.

ARISE will provide a system to certify the single competence through blockchain technology. This means that each competence acquired will be certified and it will not be possible to “manipulate” it. The union of all competences required by each Member State to perform a specific activity, will be identified in the same ARISE platform so that workers will know what the gaps consist in.

 

Accreditation of the training programs

  1. The accreditation of the training programme or provider shall be affected by Member States or by the administrative body that they appoint. The accrediting body shall ensure that the training programme offered by the training provider has continuity and regional or national coverage.

The training provider shall have adequate technical facilities to provide practical training, including sufficient laboratory equipment or corresponding facilities to provide practical training.

The training provider shall offer, in addition to the basic training, shorter refresher and upskilling courses organised in training modules allowing installers and designers to add new competences, widen and diversify their skills across several technologies and their combinations. The training provider shall ensure adaptation of training to new renewable technologies in the context of buildings, industry and agriculture. Training providers shall recognise acquired relevant skills.

The training programmes and modules shall be designed to enable life-long learning in renewable installations and be compatible with vocational training for first time job seekers and adults seeking reskilling or new employment.

The training programmes shall be designed in order to facilitate acquiring qualification in different technologies and solutions and avoid limited specialisation in a specific brand or technology. The training provider may be the manufacturer of the equipment or system, institutes or associations.

The ARISE partners do not intend to organize trainings themselves, but to support training institutions by providing the tools to train and qualify blue and white collars for each technology. The platform will be the hinge between two worlds: the technologies producers and the workforce. Training providers will be able to propose the right qualifications selecting the competences in the ARISE platform and accessing to the right training materials. A minor percentage of the fee charged for the courses will be directed to the ARISE platform managers to ensure a regular update of contents. The training providers will manage the access to the trainees who wish to certify their competences with blockchain through the platform.

 

ARISE’s ultimate goal is to revolutionise the learning process by changing both delivery and recognition of sustainable energy skills in the construction sector. The new system of training and recognition of skills will be valid across the EU, thus increasing the spread of skilled workforce in the building market. The ARISE platform will be the tool to facilitate the duty of any stakeholder of the building chain (owners, producer, training institutions, workers, designers, regional and national qualification organizations) and will substantially contribute to the mobility of workers and services in the building industry through all Europe and beyond.

 

Anybody interested in contributing to the testing of the platform, please contact us and join our Forum on LinkedIn to participate to open debates.