Solar for Starters | U.S. Green Building Council
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Solar for Starters

GBCI: 0910000417

With the solar industry growing at a rapid rate and integration of this energy source appearing in sustainable buildings world-wide, now is the time to ensure you have the fundamental knowledge to avoid being left behind. Learn from an experienced Solar PV Project Engineer the critical features and promises of solar energy, and stay informed during this rise of a new era in energy efficiency.
Eligible for 1 CE HOUR.
  • 1 CE

Rating system: v4, v2009

Published on: June 12, 2014

Average: 4 (21 votes)


With the booming solar industry in mind, this course addresses the importance and fundamentals of solar along with analyzing the practical aspects, promises and challenges of solar energy. Ideal for green building professionals in various occupations interested in learning more about one of the most rapidly growing industries today, this course describes in-depth what solar energy truly is, why it is important, how it works and can be implemented into building projects as well as where it is headed. This presentation will set the stage to enhance your understanding of the solar industry and prepares you for GBRI’s Solar for Designers enhanced training course.

Topics covered in this presentation will include:
• Solar radiation
• Electricity & Energy basics
• Return on Investment (ROI)
• Federal and State Incentives and Rebates
• Market trends
• Industry and energy chart analysis
• Projects
• Future of Solar

This presentation includes some of the Q&A from the original recording with a live audience, giving you insight into the most frequently asked questions by professionals just like you. The course also includes review of the graphs in the Executive Summary section of the DOE’s Annual Energy Outlook 2014 report.

A copy of the reading is in the Additional Resources section to the right. The full report can be accessed here.


  1. Describe the importance and basics of solar energy
  2. Identify why renewable energy is important and solar energy's role
  3. Identify market drivers
  4. Understand how solar energy systems work
  5. Analyze solar case studies and where the solar industry is headed
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Created by

Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
New York, NY
United States


Jeffrey Mathews

Engineer and Trainer
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Total 21 commentsLeave a comment


Good info on Solar Energy and Its Application..!!

Engineer, Skanska

It was good but the info was was record in 2014

Communications Project Engineer, HNTB Corporation

Impresssive growth rate of solar industry, but course was so basic that I learned nothing, sadly. Link to the 2014 report doesn't work. Intro seems is an advertisement to take other courses.

Mechanical Engineer, DAR

very good course describes the importance and basics of solar energy

Engineer/Scientist - Commissioning Specialist, Hanson Professional Services Inc.

Excellent course and material. Very informative and enlightening.


complete intro well done. presentation i prefer in visible chapters to revert between them.

Mechanical Engineer, U.S. Army

Very interesting discussion

Project Manager, HDR, Inc.

Great introduction


Enjoyed the course. Gives a good general overview of the industry.


Good introduction to Solar

Principal, YES Engineering Inc.


Senior Project Executive, Gilbane Building Company

I am somewhat new to the Solar energy market and this course gave me a credit basic understanding.

Applications Engineer, Munters Corporation

Very clear and well explained. Works perfect at an introductory level

Material Handler, CH2M

Well done! As I begin my journey into sustainable building knowledge, this was a very good first step. A lot of knowledge, easily laid out and surprisingly I actually remembered everything!


Good Course ! Great amount of information in a very simple way ! Good work ! Wish to see more courses from this team ! Keep it up !

Senior Project Manager, CLEAResult
Pro Reviewer

The presentation is a good overview of solar energy as well as photovoltaics. it provides both the context from the origin to current methods of harnessing solar energy. The comparison to other energy sources for both present market role and predicted market penetration showed potential but it was unclear whether that was based on incentive's or not.

Energy and Sustainabilty Account Manager, Johnson Controls

I like the format and how it simply explains the basic concepts and theories of solar power. The energy reports are also very useful to understand the future of renewable energy types. Great work guys!

Senior Electrical Engineer, DAR

The course stands as a good introduction to the Solar Business in general as well as a worthy outlook towards the Solar Market progress, federal incentives, paybacks and benefits.
The course addressed only the US Market and should have negotiated some global profiles as well.
The presentation primarily explained the domestic/small commercial grid connected-type arrangements with a small touch up on the battery storage system. No details are furnished for the different PV panel types in terms of efficiency, applications, installations and factors.

Principal, NRG-AR
Pro Reviewer

This course is intended for beginners who are intrerested in the very basics of photovoltaics. It is concise in presenting solar concepts and the main elements of a small system. Pros: it is easy to understand and is coupled by some examples of the benefits of solar PV use in the US. Cons: do not expect too much if you are interested in installing a panel on your roof.


Excellent graphic presentation for beginners

Kiewit Corporation

Informative for beginners. I found this course useful for the outlook that provides for near future.

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