The energy industry is changing. Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly popular, as the world becomes more aware of the dangers of climate change. This presents a huge opportunity for those looking to break into the energy sector.
But what does this mean for oil and gas professionals? Are renewable energy jobs the future of the industry? Let’s explore the future of the energy market and discuss how to make the switch to renewables.
Demand for renewable energy jobs is on the rise
Demand for renewable energy is rising as governments and companies move to reduce their emissions. With the world rapidly moving away from fossil fuels, oil and gas professionals are being forced to consider alternative career paths.
Fortunately, this does not have to mean leaving the energy industry altogether. In fact, the transition to renewables has set in motion the creation of 700,000 new renewable energy jobs just last year.
The growth of the world’s capacity to generate electricity from solar panels, hydrogen, wind turbines, carbon capture and other renewable technologies is expected to continue to grow rapidly. By 2026, global renewable electricity capacity is predicted to rise by over 60% from 2020 levels to over 4 800 GW – equivalent to the current total global power capacity of fossil fuels and nuclear combined.
Despite the financial consequences of an international pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which have raised costs and caused immense economic and energy instability this year, the demand for renewable energy sources continues to grow worldwide.
Renewables capabilities will grow too
Renewables are expected to account for around 95% of the rise in international energy capacity by 2026 (over 50% of which is produced by solar PV alone). The world’s renewable capacity is predicted to grow by 50% overall between 2021 and 2026 compared with the previous period (2015 to 2020). Investment and immediate decisive action in this sector by governments will be critical to achieving the promises set out in this year’s COP27 Climate Change Conference.
Growth of renewables is expected to rise across all regions. China continues to be a global leader in its capacity to produce renewable energy. They are predicted to achieve their 2030 target to reach 1200GW of wind and solar energy by 2026. India has also invested heavily in transforming its energy sector, boasting the highest rate of growth this year, after doubling renewable projects compared with 2015-2020.
European and United States projects are ramping up significantly. Together, these markets account for 80% of the world’s capacity to expand renewable energy.
Governments have continued to invest in transforming the energy sector towards renewable sources following their international promises and agreed-upon climate targets. This year, the UK government has published its Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener, which sets out a series of policies to decarbonise all sectors of the UK economy to meet its net zero promises by 2050.
Financing new developments and creating more renewable energy jobs will be vital to accelerating growth at the pace required to minimise the effects of the looming climate crisis.
Breaking into the renewable energy sector
Making the switch from oil and gas to renewable energy can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of resources available for those looking to break into this new field.
For graduates, courses such as wind turbine service technicians or solar panel installers are great places to start. For those with more experience in the oil and gas sector, there are also plenty of opportunities to transfer their skillset into a new industry.
Seasoned oil and gas professionals
Several options are available for anyone considering switching from oil and gas to renewables. You may already possess the skills and knowledge needed to break into the renewables sector, or you may need additional training.
For oil and gas professionals, there are lots of available resources to help make the transition. Organisations such as Oil Change International offer webinars and workshops to provide advice on making the switch. At the same time, companies like Chevron have opened up their own renewable energy divisions and are looking to recruit talented oil and gas professionals to fill those roles.
Upskilling and retraining
Don’t be afraid to take on something new. There are plenty of resources available for those looking to upskill, from free online courses to diploma programmes, and university degree courses in renewable energy.
It’s natural to be nervous about retraining, especially for those who have built their careers around the oil and gas industry. But investing in yourself will open up many new opportunities and give you the knowledge and expertise to excel in the renewables sector.
Utilising your transferrable energy sector skills
Suppose you’ve worked in the energy sector for many years. In that case, you will already have a lot of the necessary transferrable skills to succeed in building a strong career in renewables. For example, knowledge in areas such as engineering, operations and maintenance, finance, project management and business analysis can be utilised to transition into a renewables career.
Transferrable energy sector skills include:
- Project management
- Data analysis and analytics
- Drilling, exploration, and production
- Risk management
- Operations management
- Finance and accounting
You’ll also possess a number of the soft skills relevant to renewable energy positions, like:
- Strong communication and cooperation skills
- Time management skills
- Critical thinking skills
You may also hold relevant licenses, degrees, and qualifications from workplace training courses in areas such as health and safety operations. These achievements, skills, and insight into the sector will set you apart from many of the candidates who don’t benefit from your energy industry experience.
Graduating into renewable energy jobs
For graduates looking for graduate renewable energy jobs, engineering firms or start-ups working on renewable energy projects often have junior positions that may be suitable. As this sector continues to grow, there will be ample opportunity to secure a renewable energy job.
Attaining the right skills
Suppose you are looking to gain more skills, knowledge, or insight into the sector. In that case, there are a wide range of courses dedicated to the requirements of renewable energy graduate jobs available worldwide.
These varying courses cover everything from solar panel installation to wind turbine design, giving students the skills they need to break into the sector.
Additionally, many universities offer renewable energy or sustainability programs, providing graduates with an even greater chance of securing a role in the industry. Finally, try to get involved in relevant societies while you’re still at university and take advantage of all the learning materials at your disposal before you graduate.
Do your research and find your passion
You should also try to stay informed about immerging technologies in this sector, investments and financing of new key projects, and general news. Subscribe to some industry publications and keep an eye out for the companies and projects that interest you most. Find your passion. This will help you narrow your career path and apply for the most relevant roles to your interests and skills.
Finding a role you are really passionate about and communicating that passion effectively in your application will help you stand out from the other candidates. Make sure you read their candidate preferences and requirements carefully and tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight the skills, qualifications, and experience that most closely match their job posting.
What does the future of the energy industry look like?
The future looks bright for those looking for renewable energy jobs – whether you’re a graduate or an experienced oil and gas professional. With governments committing to long-term climate goals and investing in new technologies and developments, demand is expected to grow at a rapid pace in the coming years, making this the perfect time to make the switch.
By investing in upskilling, retraining, and new courses dedicated to renewable energy, oil and gas professionals and graduates alike will gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in this sector.
Renewable energy will play a major part in the future of our planet – and you can too. Don’t miss out on your chance to join an industry that is growing exponentially. Make sure you get ahead of the curve and start exploring what opportunities await you in the renewable sector today.
Looking to transition into renewables jobs in different sectors?
Renewable power is becoming increasingly important in the global strategy to combat climate change and reach net-zero emissions. For those looking to transition from a traditional oil and gas job into the renewables industry, many jobs offer the perfect opportunity to make that change.
You should consider your skill set and further investigate what it entails to transition into:
At Energy Resourcing, we’re proud to offer support and job advice to our candidates and connect them to the best renewable jobs in the industry. Start by looking at our latest jobs and kick-start your transition into the green energy sector.