Michika Garton (Bunnell’s Renewable Consultant) has been exclusively focused on the Renewable Energy sector over the past 6 years. Her clients and contractors frequently contact her to ask about the future market and the status of upcoming roles.
A pause in some financial investments in renewables
She stated, “In April 2020 the equity supply put an end to financing for several projects. However, there was also a lot M&A activity which has been hugely beneficial for contractors.” “While new projects are still in queue for financing, the financial activities that were already underway have been halted.”
Energy prices have a strong impact on financial calculations used to make investment decisions in traditional energy projects. Renewable energy only accounts for a small portion of the automotive energy supply, so they have not been affected. She explained that this insulation from market fluctuations would make renewable energy projects attractive to future investors.
Constructions are slowing down
Several renewable energy projects in wind, solar, and renewable natural gas (RNG) are experiencing a slowdown. This has resulted in a temporary decrease in construction jobs. Michika’s previous delivery of logistics and supply chain roles has been slowed by slowing import/export and regular cyclical weather events that cause construction delays and downtimes.
She said, “I have seen this annual slowdown before: Construction is impacted by major weather events and tropical storms.” After some shelter-in-place orders have been lifted, construction may feel pressure to reach Q3 milestones. This could lead to projects trying desperately to catch up.
Many energy companies have experienced a slump in demand, and Q2 was challenging. The current slowdown is less severe for Renewable Energy companies, which have provided a smaller percentage of American energy. Renewable energy companies will see a revival as energy demand rises.
Michika sees this opportunity for hiring managers at companies that produce renewable energy: “As traditional oils and gas are squeezed and re-calibrates their labour’s value downwardly, renewables will become an even more attractive career pathway for all kinds of people, from project managers, schedulers, construction workers, right up to the highest level C-suite positions that provide much-needed experience.
Opportunities for Candidates
Brunel supports many commissioned plants that are not looking to grow. Many of these plants are still operating in a business-as-usual mindset. Operation & Maintenance, and Commissioning are the key jobs in the renewables sector. Candidates looking to change industries will find opportunities with similar skills to those in the oil and natural gas industry.
Michika said many of the clients she works with are moving forward, although a bit slower than they were in the past. “We adapt to the situation, and even get a little creative!” As the US’s important business, ‘Construction, Manufacturing, and Energy’ includes renewable energy projects, there is plenty of room for us to continue moving.
Longer view (and middle-term optimism)
In many areas, the long-term outlook for the Renewable industry seems secure. Long-term trends suggest a shift towards renewable energy sources, with a higher percentage of energy production. Many external factors are difficult to predict, including upcoming elections and short-term government policies. All of these could have an impact on the midterm future. Every sector faces its challenges. Each sector of renewable energy is striving to succeed.
Oil and gas companies are keen to put some effort into green initiatives. Shell and BP, for example, have committed resources to develop green initiatives to help them reach their Net Zero Carbon production goals by the end of this century. The government supports these efforts. The clean energy sector is expanding and moving forward.
Covid-19 has had unexpected but positive effects on the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Many examples are available of how nature has been able to recover. It is not likely that the current generation will be able to see all of the future benefits from sustainable green energy.
Are you looking for a job as a Renewable Energy worker?
The demand for people to work in the renewable energy sector is growing, creating exciting career opportunities. There are many opportunities, but it is important to work with an experienced partner such as Brunel to land your dream job. Are you ready to get started?