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Career change - Renewable Energy

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Career change - Renewable Energy

Posted by Iain Purdon on Feb 25, 2019 3:56 pm

Morning All,

I am looking into the possibility of a career change and was curious as to whether any fellow members could provide any support in terms of contacts, advice etc. for moving into the renewable energy sector.

I am a member of the IET and hold IEng accreditation. I have previously worked in building service engineering and then more recently in the oil and gas industry (cranes and mechanical handling). During this period I have gained approximately 14 years of engineering experience in Maintenance, Project and Contract Management. I also hold a BEng degree in Building Services Engineering.

I am currently travelling Soth America as part of a planned year break from employment following getting married in August 2018, however I will be looking to return to work in around 6 months time. For this reason I am flexible in terms of location and open to a challenge in pastures new.

Any advice or potential useful contacts in the renewable energy sector would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks 

Iain Purdon

Re: Career change - Renewable Energy

Posted by Simon Barker on Feb 26, 2019 9:05 am

Governments can be very fickle when it comes to support for new renewable sectors.  You can find you have government subsidies right up to the point where the technology is almost looking economically viable.  Then the government decides it's costing too much and suddenly pulls the plug.  Make sure whatever sector you move into can be self-supporting.

Re: Career change - Renewable Energy

Posted by Iain Purdon on Feb 27, 2019 12:09 am

Thanks Simon, the renewables sector in Scotland seems to be going in the right direction with the backing the government. From what I understand there is investment in Scandinavia as well with companies such as Statoil rebranding and expanding in the renewable energy sector.

You could argue that the oil and gas sector is not self sufficient either given the tax breaks afforded to the operators.

Having worked through the recent downturn in the oil and gas industry I have been somewhat put off by my experience in the services side. Given that renewable energy is not subject to the consequences of the potentially erratic oil price I am swaying in that direction at the moment.

Re: Career change - Renewable Energy

Posted by Moshe Waserman on Feb 27, 2019 2:15 am

Lain,

You may want to look into some training online by distance in this area and here are some very affordable "Free" classes.
There are also networking opportunities with classmates etc.
Usually, you have discussions and teamwork etc and access to instructors/professors.


Creating a Pro-Renewables Environment

https://www.edx.org/course/creating-a-pro-renewables-environment
Creating a Pro-Renewables Environment

Understand the policy, regulatory and fiscal measures that can incentivise renewable power and drive cleaner investment along the entire electricity supply chain

Imperial College London Logo
 
  • Length: 6 weeks
  • Effort: 2 to 5 hours per week
  • Price: FREE 
    Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD
  • Institution: ImperialX
  • Subject: Energy & Earth Sciences
  • Level: Intermediate
Incorporating Renewable Energy in Electricity Grids

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Incorporating Renewable Energy in Electricity Grids


https://www.edx.org/course/incorporating-renewable-energy-in-electricity-grids

Learn how to manage high shares of variable renewable electricity sources to achieve cost-effective and reliable electricity supplies

Imperial College London Logo
  • Length: 6 weeks
  • Effort: 2 to 5 hours per week
  • Price: FREE 
    Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD
  • Institution: ImperialX
--------------
https://www.edx.org/course/energy-principles-and-renewable-energy-2

Energy Principles and Renewable Energy


Energy Principles and Renewable Energy

An introduction to the language of energy, key scientific principles that underpin energy systems, future energy challenges and available renewable energy options.

The University of Queensland Logo
  • Length: 12 weeks
  • Effort: 10 to 12 hours per week
  • Price: FREE 
    Add a Verified Certificate for $99 USD
  • Institution: UQx
  • Subject: Engineering

Moshe M Waserman BEET, MCGI, CEng MBCS, MIET

Re: Career change - Renewable Energy

Posted by Austen on Mar 15, 2019 12:10 pm

Hi Iain,
I work as a Hydro Turbine Research and Development engineer for a  UK manufacturer of Hydro electric turbines. I have had various roles within my company for the past 9 or so years. We are based in the north of England and I would estimate about 70% of installs within my time here have gone into Scotland.
As mentioned, how active the UK renewables market is (i.e solar panels going onto houses, windmills popping up in farmers fields etc) is generally related to Government incentive tarrif’s, which dictate how much the producer will be paid by the Government in order to export their ‘green’ energy to the grid (see link);

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/fit/fit-tariff-rates

This price is generally related to government ‘pledges’ which can change based on all sorts as we know. From the website you can see the tariffs have been declining in the UK since around 2013/14 (particularly for Hydropower) and as a consequence small renewable companies in the UK are currently fairly quiet/closed or diversifying. These particular tariffs only apply to the UK of course. Locations such as Turkey, Canada and mainland Europe currently continue to encourage renewables.
In my opinion the UK market will bounce back, history dictates this is not an common trend but unfortunately generally at the mercy of the government. Future technology developments in energy storage are very likely to revive the interest in renewables.
If you are seriously interested in renewables, from a building engineer point of view I would  consider contacting companies outside the UK or companies that have an international supply chain. Focus on companies that produce larger schemes (or consultants) as they will employ civil engineers.

Regards,

Austen
 

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