- Training challenges faced in the renewables sector
- What is virtual reality?
- How VR can be used for training in the renewables sector
Training challenges faced in the renewables sector
With the ever-growing need for action to stop climate change, renewable energy projects have multiplied across the globe. But with the exponential growth of job opportunities in a new sector, the skills shortage continues to be a challenge.
According to the Global Energy Talent Index, 80% of hiring managers highlighted skills shortage as a key challenge in the renewable energy industry.
For this reason, many renewable energy companies are ramping up investment in training programmes by introducing technology such as virtual reality (VR) to accelerate learning. But more on that later.
What’s more – as the renewable energy sector is still relatively new – the types of jobs within the industry continue to diversify, which has a ripple effect on the training content provided to workers.
It means training programmes have to be adaptable, flexible and easily accessible if they’re to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of the renewable energy sector. And that requires new thinking on how training is delivered.
What is virtual reality?
Before we delve into the benefits of using VR in the workplace, let us tell you what it is and why it’s become a key component for so many industries across the globe.
VR technology combines cutting-edge graphics, advanced hardware and lifelike 3D modelling to create an autonomous environment where participants can interact in a computerised world.
Unlike the distractions that come with traditional teaching methods, participants are fully absorbed in a host of tasks tailored to the specific needs and requirements of any individual role.
For construction workers, a VR experience could be focused on identifying hazards in the workplace, whereas a renewables worker might reverse engineer the mechanics of a turbine. Whatever the training requirements, VR can help.
How VR can be used for training in the renewables sector
Implementing VR to training in the renewables sector paves the way for exciting opportunities. Not only does it take the sting out of training costs, but it also offers stronger engagement and retainment of vital information.
For example, trainees who use VR can explore the ins and outs of a solar plant long before they set foot on a real one, helping to build confidence while reducing the likelihood of human error.
VR also happens to provide a safer learning platform. Before its introduction to the renewable energy industry, training would likely occur on site and would come with the risks associated with heavy materials and complex machinery.
But aside from its safety benefits, it also has plenty of other advantages including:
Within a virtual environment, participants can see the real scope of a real product (such as a turbine) long before it exists. It means the majority of planning can be done away from a physical site, while assuring accurate results.
If you want to see how wind turbines respond to various weather conditions, you can in just a few clicks. It also gives learners the autonomy for discovery. They can pursue any avenue within a module and dig deeper to strengthen understanding.
Converting reality to virtual reality
Using 360 video production, VR can be used to transition a real environment into a virtual one – and all for much cheaper than you probably realise.
What’s more, by switching to a virtual environment, you’re not limited on space, availability or the number of trainees who can participate in any given session. It can be designed to your exact needs.
VR technology has reshaped the way workforce training and education is delivered in the renewables industry.
By simply wearing a headset, trainees are transported to an immersive learning platform where learners can be curious, repeat tasks and develop a stronger understanding of their role – all within a safe and secure environment.