If rising prices for oil and gas, combined with COP26 sounding the “death knell for carbon” weren’t already enough for fossil-fuel based companies, a new survey has found that 56% of those working in oil and gas want to pursue jobs in renewable energy in the coming years.
Energy companies such as Shell, BP and a range of smaller firms cut tens of thousands of jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic as they tightened budgets. Now, even as energy demand recovers, many companies are still finding it difficult to recruit talent.
This shift reflects a wider change in the industry as many oil and gas companies switch their focus accordingly to low-carbon and renewables businesses. The energy industry is expected to experience an exit of talent from traditional sectors towards green jobs.
More green jobs, fewer emissions
According to IRENA’s annual review of renewable energy and jobs, global renewable energy employment reached a high of 12 million in 2020. They also found that more jobs will be created by the energy transition than lost. In fact, the renewable energy sector is expected to employ 43 million by 2050.
To encourage this shift, and simultaneously ensure that emissions reductions targets are achieved, money is being injected into the industry. In fact, investment in clean energy and energy efficiency creates up to three jobs for each job lost in the fossil fuel sector – a favorable ratio for countries still grappling with job losses from the Covid-19 pandemic.
To encourage a green recovery from the pandemic, the European Green Deal Investment Plan (EGDIP) aims to mobilize at least €1 trillion in sustainable investments over the next decade to simultaneously scale up clean energy employment with millions of jobs, encourage economic growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A win for the economy, workers and the planet.
The coronavirus pandemic also encouraged jobseekers to redirect their careers to pursue meaningful jobs with long-term security. As an increasingly important component of the global economy, renewable energy is no doubt here to stay. It also allows people who have become more acutely aware of the impact of their daily choices (such as the emissions saved by reducing travel) to see tangible benefits from their day-to-day work. Nothing makes the futility of a job more apparent than eight hours straight of unnecessary zoom calls from your living room.
On top of increased appreciation of sustainability and higher green investment, the pandemic also accelerated the shift to automated, digitized processes. This has laid the ideal foundation for jobs in renewable energy technology.
The rise of energy tech jobs
Increased adoption of renewable energies has triggered a rise in energy tech, the sector aimed at making clean energy more reliable, efficient and scalable. Lying at the intersection of technology and sustainability, energy tech gives experts in an array of fields – from engineering to HR, sales to product development – the opportunity to use their skills and experience to incite true positive change.
In fact, by dividing gridX’s overall emissions savings over the last year by our number of employees we calculated that each gridX employee is responsible for saving around 39 tons of carbon emissions per year – a far bigger impact than going vegan, avoiding long-haul flights or selling your combustion engine car. So, why not focus your energy on making a tangible difference? After all, you spend far more of your time working than you do eating or driving your car, so it’s worth putting that time to good use.
The rapid pace of innovation means that any job in energy tech will experience constant growth and acceleration – no day will be the same, and the potential for career progression is huge. Digital solutions are being rapidly scaled to modernize the industry and accelerate the switch to renewables, meaning there is no better time to enter the market.
Want to help us digitize an outdated industry and put cutting-edge solutions on the market to accelerate the energy transition? Check out our open positions now.