This week, Theresa May MP officially opened The Energy Centre at Berkshire College of Agriculture, Maidenhead – the UK’s first renewable energy training facility at a Further Education college.
The facility –pioneered by leading biomass company LC Energy in partnership with Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) and Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership – is an important first step in addressing the significant skills shortage in the renewable energy sector here in the UK. The opening of The Energy Centre at BCA will lead to courses which will enable – for the first time – students aged between 16 and 19 to gain accredited technical qualifications in renewable energy, marking a key development in delivering the skills required by employers to help the UK meet its renewable energy targets.
The UK has been allocated a target to increase the proportion of its renewable energy use to 15% by 2020. There is currently a shortfall of 50% in the 12% target for the generation of heat from renewable sources and a shortfall of 18% in the 30% target for the generation of electricity from renewables.
LC Energy firmly believes that extending access to approved and accredited technical education and skills training in renewable energy is key to addressing this, and to reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels. As such, the company has installed the first training biomass boiler at a UK College of Further Education to facilitate accredited training for the next generation of heating and plumbing engineers.