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What is happening in the renewable energy markets?

Jessica Jackson our consultant managing the role
Published on 10 November 2020
A push for green growth, net-zero emissions and net-carbon homes are all things on the minds of governments and local authorities around the world. But like many other industries, renewable energy has faced its share of challenges. Solar PV and wind will make up for 86% of the global renewable capacity added in 2020, but when comparing their expansion to the previous year there is an obvious decline. However, the industry has proved its resilience and the UK is charging forward with its plan to become a world leader on the global scene and hold onto its title as the world’s biggest offshore wind energy market. So, what else is happening in the renewable energy markets?

Offshore wind

Despite economic fallout, global offshore wind capacity boosted to 32,510 MW in 2020 - an impressive increase from 27,304 in 2019. So how has the renewable energy market managed a record-breaking year? Most offshore projects were lucky enough to have already been granted finances and were well underway when the health crisis came to light meaning that new wind farms were completed in UK, China, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and the US. As more countries begin to recognise this renewable energy to be the key to Green Recovery, more offshore wind jobs will spring up around the world. Offshore is amidst a period of great change and with wind farms now set to fuel underwater data centres, there are exciting times ahead for professionals in the industry.

Solar Energy

In their Renewable Energy and Jobs 2020 report, IRENA revealed that solar PV jobs account for a third of all renewable energy jobs worldwide. What was once considered avant-garde is now an industry attracting the top talent across various domains, including project managers, commercial analysts and engineers. Increasing global temperatures have revealed a pressing need for highly-qualified engineers that can design technology to cope with warmer weather, meanwhile, solar panel installation jobs remain one of the most sought after roles with renewable energies.

The biofuel market

The outbreak of coronavirus in the early months of 2020 triggered change in every corner of every industry, and the biofuel market – a renewable energy of the future - was no exception. Laws requiring a large portion of the population to remain at home, combined with the strain on the global economy has led the International Energy Agency (IEA) to forecast a 9% and 6% drop in the demand for gasoline and diesel. The IEA anticipates that the knock-on effect will be felt even harder by the biofuel market which is predicted to see 13% less transport biofuel produced in 2020. As for the wider energy from waste market, the growing demand for energy coupled with global initiatives to reduce carbon emissions should see the renewable energy market make a strong recovery.

And more good news

Despite the challenges, there were many great things to come out of 2020 and here are some of the highlights:
  • Government stimulus packages were created to help economies grow through green energy, helping to reduce carbon emissions and create more jobs.
  • 4,500 offshore wind jobs are to be created over the next five years in the North East of England.
  • The issuing of green bonds – designed to raise capital for environmental action – hit an all-time high in the third quarter of 2020. Sweden and Hungary joined the stage, launching their first green bond schemes this year.
  • A new design of solar panels, which features a checkerboard pattern is proposed to increase the absorption of light by 125%. Such an enormous increase in the efficiency of the panels may prompt an increase in the installation of the renewable energy technology. 

Let Quanta help you contribute to a greener future

The renewable energy markets are a key part of the ongoing green recovery plans, and with more jobs being created across the markets, there couldn’t be a better time to join a workforce that is fuelling a greener future. You might find a role at one of the top renewable energy companies.

Our team of specialist renewable energy consultants operate in 30 countries around the globe and they want to help you find a job where you can leave your stamp on the market. Learn more about our opportunities in the offshore wind market or to broaden your search take a look at our renewable energy jobs.