The renewable energy sector has become a significant employer, with the number of workers rising by 14% in 2013 to an impressive 6.5 million worldwide (according to a report from Irena – the International Renewable Energy Agency). The sector is continually growing, with environmental concerns becoming more important, many consumers want affordable and renewable energy. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on climate change has stressed that low-carbon energy output needs to be tripled by 2050 in order to avoid demonstrably worse climate change.
Recent government data states that employment in renewable energy in the UK is declining. China is the largest employer in the sector, with 2.6 million jobs. The largest renewable energy employer worldwide is solar panel, with biofuels and wind power behind. The price of solar panels has fallen in recent years, with many consumers finding it a financially viable option for domestic use. While demand for solar panels in China and Japan has increased employment, the outlook for solar power in the UK is uncertain.
Leonie Greene, of the UK’s Solar Trade Association, has stated:
‘The government is in danger of pushing the whole non-domestic solar PV sector of a cliff.’
National Grid is intent on delivering clean energy to support the world now and for the future. The company works with its stakeholders to promote development and implementation of a variety of sustainable, innovative and affordable energy solutions. Where innovation and expansion occurs, jobs are often created. (The Guardian, 12th May 2014)
For more on careers in the UK energy sector and how you can get involved, check out National Grid’s Careers Guide.