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What are the most sought-after roles within renewable energies for 2020?

Denis Draia our consultant managing the role
Posted by Denis Draia
Published on 2 June 2020
Renewable energy’s global impact has been increasing for decades, with the 2010s setting new records for being the first time in UK history that total energy usage from renewable energy sources exceeded gas. And while Covid-19 is impacting the industry, just as it’s influencing essentially every market worldwide, not all the repercussions are negative for renewables.

Although 2020 may not be the record-breaking renewable energy year that the IEA predicted, we are seeing positive trends in this innovative industry: Carbon dioxide emissions have dramatically increased, while the energy industry’s classification as an essential sector has meant that some projects have been able to go ahead thanks to ‘key worker’ status. So which roles are in the most demand this year and into the future?

Renewable energy fills the gap left by coal

Renewable and low-carbon energy sources overtook coal for the first time in 2019, and it’s predicted that they will be the only energy source to grow in 2020 due to falling power demand as a result of Covid-19. According to the IEA, these sources of electricity will reach 40% of global electricity generation in 2020, with wind, photovoltaics and hydropower contributing significant proportions of energy generation. Solar energy also continues to punch above its weight in terms of demand and job creation.

Offshore wind jobs

Last year it was announced that the offshore wind sector would need to hire an additional 27,000 skilled workers to meet upcoming demand and provide skills for planned projects. 

Offshore wind jobs have been somewhat protected during the Covid-19 pandemic, with professionals granted key worker status and given permission to continue work on select projects. We can expect to see these projects continue into 2020 and beyond, which means we will see demand for a vast number of different roles including site managers, crane operators and fabrication jobs. 

HSE (health and safety engineers) will have a heightened focus placed on it as work starts back up. We can expect to see much more scrutiny placed on site safety, therefore we predict high demand for HSE engineers in a post-Covid 19 landscape.

Tapping into US demand

The volatile oil market and boom in demand for renewable energy sources is seeing significant opportunity within the renewable energy sector all over the world. For those looking stateside, the future is looking very bright indeed. Wind turbine technicians and solar panel installers are the fastest-growing jobs in the US, in such high demand that their rate of growth is 12 times that of the rest of the US economy. Other jobs in high demand include civil engineers and construction managers for renewable projects, operating engineers and service unit operators.

Addressing the renewables skills shortage

The demand for 27,000 additional workers in the UK’s offshore wind market in the next decade is indicative of a wider problem within renewable energies: A skills shortage. With new wind farms and tidal projects emerging, there is a clear need for skilled professionals to help drive this industry forward. This presents an opportunity for skilled workers in other sectors to enter the renewables market. Engineers in different fields – particularly within oil and gas, markets which have been heavily hit by the Covid-19 pandemic – should consider whether their skills can be transferred to the more stable renewables sector. Project management, procurement and HSE skills can usually transfer across sectors, so job seekers with experience in these areas may want to consider looking at the green energy market for their next career move.

Find your next renewable energy job with Quanta

At Quanta, we have a deep interest in and knowledge of renewable markets worldwide. We’ve been supplying skills to traditional and renewable energy sectors since 2002 and pride ourselves on our high levels of service. Whether it’s onshore wind, offshore wind or heavy lift, find your next renewable energy job with us. Sign up to job alerts here or send us your CV so we can get started.