The skills gleaned by those on renewable energy courses are not being fully utilised by the power sector, according to one organisation.

Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the Renewable Energy Association (REA), told the Ecologist she is frustrated that solar photovoltaic technology is being misrepresented.

"There is a perception that it is a niche, a tool to engage communities [in climate change issues] rather than a serious source of power generation," she commented.

The REA wants the government to introduce more measures to encourage people to have solar panels fitted to partly power their homes.

In the UK, there were 26,000 new installations of solar panels between April 1st 2010 and the same date in 2011.

Earlier this month, a survey conducted by Ipsos MORI and published in the Ecologist showed that only a quarter of Britons think climate change is one of the most important environmental issues facing the UK today.

Want to know more about our renewable energy courses