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Go Solar PV: The Business Potential of Solar Photovoltaics

Explore the current state and future potential of solar PV technology, and get new insights into the solar photovoltaics market.

9,501 enrolled on this course

solar panels
  • Duration

    7 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Discover the PV business and expand your professional options.

Harnessing the power of the sun has been the dream of energy professionals for decades. Now, with solar photovoltaic technology becoming more and more affordable, scalable and accessible, that dream is getting closer to reality.

This online course looks at solar PV in depth, examining its potential for today and the near future, exploring the technical challenges, and assessing the commercial opportunities.

It offers you an unparalleled insight into the global solar power market, and will give you the knowledge and practical details to shape and lead the future of solar energy.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds The solar industry has been growing at fast rate over the past few years and is present in more than 40 countries. Today it represents more than 200 GW of installed capacity which is equivalent to around 330,000 football pitches. Solar photovoltaic is expected to be developed accross the world and it is considered to be, together with other renewable energy sources, a key pillar for climate change mitigation. According to the IEA, the penetration of PV electricity will increase more than 16 times up until 2050.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds The improvement of technology and the optimisation of the value chain have resulted in a 70% reduction in equipment costs since 2007 as this trend continues, PV could become one the cheapest forms of generating electricity in the future. Cost reduction, scalability and the simplicity to operate this technology make it a “game changer”, ideal for installations ranging from small rooftops, commercial or industrial buildings and large power plants- changing our energy panorama with a low cost and distributed source of electricity. But the most important thing is that, from individuals to companies, we all can be part of this change. If you are a professional moving towards positions in the PV business …or simply want to discover solar photovoltaic energy…

Skip to 1 minute and 30 seconds The PV Game course is made for you.

Skip to 1 minute and 33 seconds With this course you will learn how: To Analyse concrete business cases, To Understand market dynamics To Explore PV technology and its cost To finance such projects. And to understand the day to day operation of a PV installation. You will be guided by the best professionals in the industry who will help you to access key information and take you through the different reality-like case studies that are waiting for you.

Skip to 2 minutes and 1 second We offer you a dynamic, participative, and personalised approach to make the most out of this course. You know,… as Lewis Carroll said, “in a world in motion, who stands still, moves backwards”. So,… don’t get left out and participate. We are expecting you.


  • Week 1

    Let’s start with the PV Basics

    • Introduction

      Before we get into the subject, we would like to introduce you to what you’ll learn and how. You can then meet our team of experts and facilitators, ready to guide you throughout the course.

    • The PV Basics

      Let's start by introducing some basic concepts that will help you better understand how this technology works.

    • PV Market evolution and perspectives

      Learn more about the characteristics and expected evolution of the PV market.

    • Weekly summary

      We’ve reached the end of Week 1. Find a summary of what has been seen during the week.

  • Week 2

    Business Case 1: Evaluating a PV project

    • Introduction to BIPV

      Welcome to week 2, were you’ll be able to apply some concepts around PV to a real business case.

    • BIPV business case

      Let’s apply some of the concepts that you’ve learned so far to a business case.

    • Evaluating a BIPV project

      What is necessary to evaluate a BIPV project? Let’s go further with our business case.

    • Weekly summary

      Congratulations, you reached the end of Week 2!

  • Week 3

    Business Case 2: National regulatory framework

    • Pricing mechanisms

      Week 3 is about the process of drawing up a regulation of the electricity system on a PV installation for self-consumption. This will be explored through a business case.

    • Business case: different positions and stakeholders

      Now that you know about pricing mechanisms, let’s learn how regulation can influence consumption and production.

    • The electricity market

      Let’s learn more details about the electricity market. These can help you solve the rest of this week's business case.

    • Weekly summary

      Congratulations, this is the end of Week 3! Check out what you’ve learned so far.

  • Week 4

    Costs, risks, and financing

    • Introduction

      In order to set up a PV project, it is necessary to analyse financial aspects such as costs, risks and financing. This week we’ll go through them.

    • Costs and funding sources

      Let’s learn how the cost of electricity is calculated, what procedures include a due diligence, and what the funding sources for centralised and distributed models are.

    • PV project development

      What are the factors that should be taken into account for a large scale project development? What determines the financing of a Solar PV plant? Let’s learn more about these.

    • Weekly summary

      Congratulations, you reached the end of week 4!

  • Week 5

    PV plant construction, operation and maintenances

    • Introduction

      This week we’re happy to accompany you in a challenging journey: from the construction of a PV plant to its operation and maintenance. Get to see our PV project plan come true!

    • PV plant construction

      Let’s start with the construction process of a PV power plant, which represents a substantial part of the general planning of a large scale project development.

    • PV operation and maintenance

      Now that our plant is operating, let’s learn about operations and maintenance basics. These are key to assure the proper functioning of our PV plant.

    • Weekly summary

      Congratulations, you reached the end of week 5!

  • Week 6

    Business Case 3 - Large scale PV plant development

    • Introduction

      This week you’ll be able to apply what we saw in the journey from the construction of a PV plant to its operation and maintenance in a real business case of a large scale PV plant.

    • Business case: looking for an agreement

      Learn through a real business case how a power purchase agreement is created and how different procedures are realized. You’re invited to help Arturo Garcia develop this project successfully.

    • Financial aspects of the project

      Learn how to make financial decisions such as subcontracting parts of the project, choosing a bank or setting deadlines.

    • Weekly summary

      Congratulations, you reached the end of Week 6!

  • Week 7

    Business Case 4 - Due diligence of a PV plant

    • Introduction

      This is the last week of the course, where you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned, especially regarding due diligence.

    • Business case: due diligence of a PV plant

      Learn through a real business case how a change in regulation can affect due diligence. You’re invited to help Arturo Garcia develop this project successfully.

    • Weekly summary

      Congratulations, you reached the end of week 7!

    • Conclusions

      This is the end of the course, you’ve done it really well! Check out the main subjects covered and the main conclusions reached.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the market dynamics, the main regulatory models and their evolution, including: support systems, market and grid integration, and national and international legislation
  • Identify the main trends in solar PV technology and their future potential in terms of costs
  • Explore potential financial models for the development of solar PV deployments
  • Evaluate the mechanics of solar PV installation, development, operation and maintenance

Who is the course for?

Go Solar PV is designed for people who:

  • are interested in developing their knowledge of solar PV technology and its commercial potential
  • want to gain an in-depth understanding of the opportunities presented by the PV sector
  • or want to underpin their future professional advancement.

Who will you learn with?

Passionate about technology and innovation, engineering background and strong business acumen in the renewable energy business. I love to shape the future of energy at InnoEnergy.

I have a PhD in Sustainable Energy Systems and a MSc in Mechanical Engineering. I worked on renewable energy systems for developing countries, solar energy projects and integrated urban energy systems

Who developed the course?

EIT InnoEnergy

EIT InnoEnergy is the European company promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and education in sustainable energy.

The Spanish Energy Club (Enerclub)

The Spanish Energy Club (Enerclub) is a non-profit association created in 1985 that brings together more than 150 companies and institutions and 170 individual associates.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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