Promoting knowledge and best practice in renewable energy with Josiah Bircham
“The motivation of the participants is to obtain high quality and up-to-date knowledge of the renewable energy sector, some use this to assist their own organisation, some to start a business and some just to learn more about the subject!”
The European Energy Centre (EEC) is a global leader in renewable energy training and international conferences, focussing on promoting the best practices in renewable energy and energy efficiency for the past 36 years with the UN, and universities and associations around the world. Every year, 5000 technicians complete its courses, learning the necessary skills to install, maintain, repair and manage renewable energy equipment and projects. As Business Development and Communications Executive for the EEC, Josiah Bircham has worked in media, marketing, communications and design.
The Beam: Can you explain to us your missions at The EU Energy Centre (EEC)?
Josiah Bircham: The key mission of the European Energy Centre (EEC) is to promote knowledge-sharing and best practice in renewable energy and energy efficiency. As an organisation we achieve this through collaborations, for over 40 years, with leading universities and the United Nations (UNEP) through professional training courses, qualifications, conferences, publications, European projects, global partnerships, membership programmes and awarding the internationally recognised Galileo Master Certificate since 1975.
What courses do you offer?
We offer a wide range of courses at the European Energy Centre including technical courses such as ‘Solar Photovoltaic’ and ‘Wind Power’ to courses like ‘Renewable Energy Management and Finance’ and ‘Carbon Management,’ which help give participants the skills to manage and finance all sizes of projects and also obtain essential knowledge of the current state of the clean energy sector.
These courses are delivered at the leading universities, which the EEC collaborates with, and also through the EEC’s innovative distance learning platform which can be accessed anytime, from anywhere in the world.
What kind of people enter your school and what are their motivations?
The training seminars offered by the EEC are open to all professionals and students, from those with technical backgrounds to others who have no prior experience and we help participants, regardless of their experience, find the correct courses. We have had representatives from government organisations in the past as well as engineers looking to start their own businesses and move into the ever-growing renewables sector.
The motivation of the participants is to obtain high quality and up-to-date knowledge of the renewable energy sector, some use this to assist their own organisation, some to start a business and some just to learn more about the subject!
What kind of jobs do people seek after graduating from the EU Energy Centre?
The jobs people seek following their EEC courses are often very varied. We have had people go on to become Renewable Energy Consultants, people have become Solar installers, others bring the knowledge to their current job and others use it to join major organisations.
How is the EU Energy Centre financed? Do you receive funding from the EU?
The EEC is an independent accredited organisation so our funding comes from various sources including the Galileo Project and other European-wide projects. As an organisation, we are not profit-driven so money earned through providing training courses can help fund additional courses.
Renewable energy is a sector that is constantly evolving. How do you keep updated to provide the best training for your students in the latest technology and policy?
We keep up to date by carefully monitoring what goes on in the renewables sector. Additionally, our courses are taught by expert lecturers, all of whom have over 20 years of experience in the industry.
These experts have a great knowledge of the industry, a great knowledge of the direction it is moving in and often they are direct contributors to the latest technology and policy giving the EEC a unique position from which to deliver training!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It’s great to see a new magazine with a commitment to renewable energy, thank you very much for the chance to be included in this issue. If any readers are interested in a course (either online or in the classroom) they can contact us by emailing email@example.com!
Interview by Anne-Sophie Garrigou