The emerging green tech sector is creating a bevy of employment opportunities for industrial workers.
The risks of global climate change continue to make a case for a sustainable future. In order to address these issues, companies are looking to implement more cost reducing and energy-efficient systems in their facilities, like power conserving lighting and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
In addition, governments are looking to leverage more renewable energy resources for power. You may have noticed more wind turbines alongside the highway or panels on the roofs of homes and buildings. These power generation systems are expected to continue to grow in the coming months as more and more utilities and companies make the shift to renewable energy.
There are numerous benefits to this growing trend. The environmental advantages, including the reduction in carbon emissions, are well known. The economic gains are significant as well. With more companies investing in renewable power plants, like wind farms, the need for workers that can hook them to the electric grid grows. Taking advantage of these opportunities requires solid training, but in the end, it could lead to lucrative career paths.
Clean energy fueling job growth
The growth of green power in the U.S. is leading to a huge employment boom. Industry Leaders Magazine reported that the International Renewable Energy Agency found that the development of these sources created 615,000 jobs in the U.S.
In 2013 alone, there were more than 78,600 clean energy jobs announced across the U.S. These career opportunities span across a variety of fields. Many manufacturers and industrial plant managers are looking to cut down on energy costs through the use of energy efficient equipment, like smart lighting and the aforementioned HVAC systems.
But because these projects are complex and contingent on being able to limit energy use, they need highly-skilled industrial workers to install them. Training schools are providing more classes geared toward implementing sustainable systems that could equip you with the necessary knowledge and tools for the industry.
In Canada, such training programs are becoming increasingly important. A report from Electricity Human Resources Canada indicated that Canadian power suppliers are expected to add between 13,800 megawatts and 42,800 megawatts of electricity between the years 2012 and 2022. This will require nearly 99,000 employees, according to the research firm. As a result, potential workers should enroll in training programs like the Renewable Energies Technician program at Fanshaw College in London, Ontario.
Solar offers strong employment opportunities
Another sector of the green tech industry that offers strong growth potential is solar. Installations can range in size and capacity, from a single home, to a factory roof, all the way up to the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, which is the largest solar thermal electric power plant in the world.
According to the Solar Foundation, the U.S. solar industry employs more than 142,000 Americans, of which, 24,000 were added last year alone. This growth shows that employment has expanded by just under 20 percent since 2012, which outpaced predictions for the industry. Commenting on the growth was the U.S. Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz.
"President Obama has set an ambitious goal to double electricity generation from renewable sources once again by 2020, and a vibrant U.S. workforce is vital to achieving this," he said. "To support a growing workforce and a new generation of clean energy leaders, the Energy Department is providing training and education opportunities for engineers, utility workers and students, as well as supporting projects across the country to ensure America's continued leadership in clean energy innovation."
This employment growth can also be seen in Canada. The London Free Press reported that Canadian Solar and Samsung have teamed up to open a solar plant in Ontario. The new facility will bring with it 200 new employment opportunities. By enrolling in renewable energy training programs, you can make sure that you are ready to take advantage of these emerging opportunities.
A number of people both in the U.S. and Canada are taking advantage of available training programs in their regions. For instance, the Ontario Solar Academy recently trained students of the Curve Lake First Nation to become well-versed industry workers. The 27 students participating in the program are being trained in solar design, installation and safety, on top of more niche parts of the sector, according to Earth Techling.
By the end of the first week of the program, students will install a 10 kilowatt system on Curve Lake First Nation Reservation. By utilizing training programs, these students, along with others throughout North America can prepare themselves for a lucrative future in this emerging industry.
Utilizing these skills will help make prospective energy technicians of North America more well equipped for the new energy economy. As efforts to reduce carbon emissions continue, the future of clean energy employment looks bright.