New Career Opportunities in Renewable Energy

The world is preparing for a Green Economic Recovery, with a just transition to a sustainable future for everyone. The Renewable Energy Institute reports on new career opportunities in Renewable Energy that are opening for trained professionals worldwide as we strive towards global decarbonisation and climate neutrality.

The Renewable Energy Institute is the leading international training provider for Renewable Energy and Technology. The Institute is pleased to report that the interest in upskilling in Renewable Energy and Green Energy solutions has increased as organisations such as IBM, Volkswagen, the World Bank, BlackRock, Ford Motor Company, and many others are investing in low carbon technologies.

The REI, in collaboration with the United Nations (UNEP), works to promote best practice in Renewable Energy and Technology on an international and local level. Read more about the collaboration here.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency – What’s New?

Countries around the globe have been dealing with an onslaught of economic challenges in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this, nations have been calling for Green Economic recovery to create stronger and more environmentally sound financial structures to help get us back on track, in line with mid-century emissions targets. Further, countries are increasingly assigning funds to improve energy efficiency and to expand the Renewable Energy sector, with ambitious climate initiatives like COP26 and the European Green Deal leading the way with targets and pledges.

In the wake of these global initiatives, opportunities within the Renewables sector have been growing at an exponential rate. The goals of COP26 are to secure global net-zero by mid-century, protect communities and natural habitats, mobilise finance in the sector, and work together to deliver on these goals globally. Countries will need to invest heavily in the technologies and training involved to realise these targets.

The European Green Deal is a roadmap that outlines actions to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, with particular emphasis on facilitating Green Hydrogen production to help us transition to a zero-carbon world. Special funds have been set aside to ensure the transition to a clean circular economy, where there will be re-skilling opportunities for professionals who are currently working in the fossil fuel industry.

Where are the career opportunities in Renewable Energy?

Despite obvious setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Renewable Energy Industry grew at the fastest rate since 1999 last year [1]. Worldwide delivery of Renewable Energy projects, including wind farms and solar projects, grew by 45%, due to the increasing demand for clean energy by governments and corporations. Green Energy already accounts for 1/3 of the total installed electricity capacity in the world. This global upward trend has translated into increasing demand for trained Renewable Energy personnel.

In the US, wind turbine service technicians and solar photovoltaic installers are in the top 6 fastest growing occupations, with continued high projections all the way to 2030 [2]. In the UK, the growth of the offshore wind industry is forecast to account for a quarter of the world’s offshore wind capacity by 2022 [3], making it the only country in the world to have more wind power generated off its coast than on its land. This is reflected in an increased demand for jobs in the sector, from offshore consultants to engineers.

As countries continue to implement various Renewable Energy projects, there is a demand for skilled project managers who can plan and secure funding for Renewable Energy projects successfully. Organisations can permanently employ project managers as part of their sustainability team, or work as consultants, advising clients on a contractual basis. Companies have different energy requirements depending on how they are organised, so professionals who already have a background in a specific field to which they can apply their Renewable Energy training will have an advantage.

As global energy demand is forecast to increase roughly 20% by 2040 [4], there is a growing focus on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, both commercial and domestic. Energy Storage is becoming an integral part of all sustainable energy planning, as a method of ensuring consistent energy supply throughout the year. Some countries, like Finland, have already made substantial progress in phasing out fossil fuel-based heating technologies such as gas or oil boilers in both domestic and commercial buildings.

The UK, South Korea, and Denmark are also making energy efficiency a priority as a way of cutting down emissions, while at the same time creating new job opportunities. For professionals who have experience working in construction, this is an excellent opportunity to enhance their skill set with expertise in green energy solutions. Architects who can redesign existing buildings as well as plan new, eco-friendly alternatives are sought-after on the market.

E-mobility is a topic that is high on the agenda for many countries; France, Germany, and the UK have put funds towards producing electric motors and expanding EV charging infrastructure. Germany has decided that all petrol stations in the country must from now on also provide Electric Vehicle charging points. Machine engineers, civil engineers, product developers, mechanics, and maintenance managers are a few of the many careers available for those who want to join the EV industry.

I want to work in Renewable Energy, where do I start?

The first step is to familiarise yourself with different Renewable Energy sources. Study a course online or in the Live Virtual Classroom and learn more about Renewable Energy and how the industry works. You may discover that you have existing transferable skills which you can apply to new Renewable Energy knowledge.

Demonstrate your knowledge: this is key to increasing your employment opportunities. Many companies also offer trainee positions or internships – being able to prove that you already have knowledge about the industry and the language used in the sector helps when applying for a position, as it shows that you have a genuine interest in the subject. When you train with the REI, you have the opportunity to achieve the industry recognised Galileo Master Certificate, which can be presented as evidence of your expertise to future employers.

The REI is a CPD-accredited training centre. Regardless if you are new to the Renewable Energy industry, or if you are already working in the field, you can count any course that you study with the REI towards your Continuing Professional Development.

Read what participants have to say about the REI’s courses here.

[1] The Guardian

[2] US Bureau of Labour Statistics

[3] The Guardian

[4] Energywatch