Global warming puts renewable energy high on the agenda
The heat is on: globally, 2018 is set to be the fourth-hottest on record. The only three hotter years were the three previous. Since modern-record keeping began (1880), 17 of the world’s 18 warmest years have been since 2001.
With emissions rising, scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argue the L'Appel de Paris - Paris Pledge For Action doesn’t go far enough to prevent a disastrous course.
For instance, if global warming is limited to 1.5°C as opposed to 2°C or more, global sea rise would be 10 cm lower. Coral reefs would dwindle by 70 – 90% percent with a 1.5°C increase, but with a 2°C increase, almost all the reefs would disappear, bringing catastrophic consequences for the oceans.
At the UN climate change conference in Katowice this month, Poland, global leaders are meeting to tackle a plan of action. Renewable energy will be high on the agenda. The good news is that the cost of renewable energy has fallen significantly; so much so that the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) argues that by 2020, renewable energy technologies will be able to compete with the price of fossil fuels.
Climate change heats up Asia’s renewable energy jobs market
From typhoons to monsoon floods, Asia has been hit by extreme weather events in recent years. Leaders of Asia Pacific countries have responded to the urgent need to address climate change. IRENA reported that in 2017, China added a world record of 53 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity. That’s just one of many renewable power initiatives in Asia.
As scientists, politicians, diplomats and environmental activists convene in Poland to create a rulebook for countries to follow, the already burgeoning renewable energy market will gain momentum. That means the future looks bright for project developers and engineers pursuing careers in the renewable energy sector.
Here’s our list of the four most in-demand job skills in the renewable energy sector right now:
LVI Associates’ consultants in the Asia Pacific region have seen an increased demand for professionals with experience in project financing as most utility-scaled projects cost more than $100 million to operate. The companies spearheading the large projects need skilled professionals who can liaise and negotiate with external institutional and private investors to support these projects.
Consultants have also seen an increased demand for project developers who can negotiate with landowners and governments to release lands so that they can build solar and wind farms. These professionals tend to have experience dealing with power purchase agreements (PPA), independent power producers (IPP), land negotiation, due diligence, and market knowledge of the renewable energy sector.
Engineering – Offshore Wind Projects
Engineers will find no shortage of opportunities in the renewable energy sector. Employers look for candidates with backgrounds in mechanical engineering and acoustic engineering who have experience covering offshore wind projects. There is a preference to hire candidates with professional engineering certificates such as electrical, civil and mechanical engineering. Candidates with energy storage experience are also in high demand.
Industry Knowledge and Passion
Employers want to hire candidates who understand the renewable energy sector, including trends and development plans. “You need to be passionate about the industry and be truly excited about bringing change to the world,” said LVi consultant Crystal Lian. “It would be ideal for candidates to keep themselves abreast and ahead of the market developments. For example, you should know which countries will be boosting renewable infrastructure.”
Opportunities at every level in the career ladder
There are opportunities in the renewable energy sector for engineers at every level. Reputable engineers are often the deciding factor when companies win project tendering as many project owners will only award projects to engineers with proven track records in the sector. Senior engineers tend to act as project leads, which involves overseeing the projects and meeting with clients and investors. Junior engineers will need to give themselves time to learn and be exposed to complex projects; however, the engineering sector is not known to be a hierarchical one, so people get promoted when they accumulate more project experience. That bodes well for junior engineers working on complex projects.
On the first day of the UN climate change conference, the World Bank Group announced a significant new set of climate targets for 2021 to 2025, doubling its current five-year investments to around $200 billion, which will encourage countries to take ambitious climate action. Renewable energy is no longer an option; it’s a necessity to combat climate change. The movement away from fossil fuels to renewable energy has created tremendous opportunities. LVI Associates’ consultants agree that professionals in the renewable energy sector can expect a rewarding career.
LVI Associates is the leading specialist recruitment agency for the infrastructure sector. We were born from the fusion of two existing companies—Laking Group and Viridium Associates who recruited for the oil and gas and renewable energy markets. While working for some of the largest energy companies in the world, we realised that we could transform more careers and support greater projects and companies by opening our services to the wider infrastructure market. More than the sum of our parts, today LVI Associates provides permanent, contract and multi-hire recruitment from our global hubs in Boston, London and Singapore. Contact us to find out more.