Climate change is one of the most central challenges that we currently face and will continue to face in the coming decades. One of the most crucial solutions is the shift to sustainable energy. Therefore, it is no surprise that the renewable energy sector is flourishing – investments are higher than ever before and there is a desperate search for skilled and motivated people who want to use their expertise and their drive to committing to something more meaningful. Our portal approach here will advertise exciting internship positions, trainee programs or jobs. On the other hand, we have a pool of talented and motivated people who are looking to find rewarding positions with the right company.
In this article series, we are highlighting exciting job offers from the European…
The renewable energy industry is characterized by its diversity. There are a variety of different areas, ranging from the development and construction of renewable energy systems, to consulting or business development, to expertise in electricity feed-in. Here is a brief overview of some of the most relevant segments of green energy, where motivated and well-trained people are always needed:
Business development in general refers to the development and implementation of measures for the further development of an organization. In the renewable energy industry, too, business developers or people employed in sales are responsible for setting up contracts, winning new customers and developing new areas and strategies.
Consulting is a field that is gaining traction in more and more industries, and especially in the renewable energy sector. Here companies, especially the management team, are advised by specialized consultants on topics such as PPAs, pricing strategies, project financing, go-to-market strategies, optimization of asset operation. A particularly relevant area in the field of green energy is also legal advice to understand the maze of applications, permits and legal regulations.
Software development is essential in the renewable energy sector – developers conceive and design software systems or processes. They are involved in every step of projects, from analyzing sites to developing database structures for evaluating data about the plants and much more. Furthermore, software developers are needed to create additional solutions in the sector, for instance improved forecasting and operation algorithms or grid management systems.
As a specialization within engineering, electrical engineers in the field of renewable energies are responsible for the precise planning of renewable energy plants. Through their expertise they ensure that installation as well as operation meets the requirements of the customer and industry standard.
As a data analyst, you specialize in collecting, summarizing, and analyzing large amounts of data. In the renewable energy industry, this area already plays an important role in the assessment of potential sites. But they also come into play after the installation and commissioning of plants as analysts continue to monitor output data.
There are a variety of different renewable energy sources, be it solar or wind farms, or even modern technologies that capture wave energy – these technologies need to be developed and this is done by mechanical engineers. They develop and design, for example, mooring systems for offshore wind parks.
A renewable energy installer handles the actual setup and construction of facilities – such as solar plants, wind farms, or the like. In addition to installing facilities, they also supervise plants and offer maintenance services and much more.
Of course, the fields mentioned above are just a few of the many areas that are relevant in the ever evolving industry.
Different renewable energy employers
When looking for a job, an internship or a trainee position, it makes sense to have an overview of different companies in the renewable energy industry. The three most prevalent players in this sector are project developers, investors and of course startups. In the following, these three types of companies are briefly introduced to provide an overall picture:
When there is an idea of a power plant, the question arises who actually turns this idea into reality – here developers come into play. Renewable energy developers are integrated companies who have a wide range of expertise. Starting with finding suitable land, securing financing over evaluating the land with geological, technical and other studies, applying and securing permits, to finding a customer as well as companies who will build the actual plant.
Renewable energy developers hold a non-replaceable role in the energy transition. The European Union has a target of at least 32% renewable energy in the energy mix by 2030, 40% is discussed right now. In order to reach this goal and to keep up with rising energy demand, renewable energy developers are more important than ever.
Startups are concurring nearly every industry and enrich and accelerate them with innovative ideas and rapid growth. They are especially important in young markets such as the green energy industry. They are the source of innovative new technologies, for example wind power generation using kites or foldable solar cells, or even modern storage solutions for energy plants.
The industry is also flourishing in Europe and has a large number of motivated and growth-oriented teams. Also as technology pioneers, European startups use modern algorithms or artificial intelligence to offer cutting-edge products and solutions. Due to working in a growing and promising field, the renewable energy sector is one of the most popular investment fields for investors – again and again startups in this field receive large financing rounds.
Renewable energy is one of the most promising assets for the future. This translates into the investment sector: in the last years, investment in this field has exceeded investments in fossil power. Besides financing for further research and development, for example for new technologies like hydrogen, tidal power or different offshore energy, renewable energy investors mainly finance solar, wind, hydro or other renewable energy plants.
European solar and wind investments
Solar and wind energy are the two most ‘traditional’ renewable energy, also in Europe. In 2021 over €41 bn was invested in the European wind energy markets – this amount covers for roughly 25GW of new capacity. In addition to different types of energy being invested in – starting with wind and solar energy over biogas, geothermal, hydro, tidal or hydrogen energy as well as energy storage, there are also different types of investors involved in the field.
Probably the first that comes to mind. Traditional asset managers that see the potential of renewable energy and finance plants/installations.
Of course, when it comes to energy, utilities can’t be overlooked. Utilities are companies that deliver energy to their customers/end-consumers. Most electric utilities invest in multiple energy sources – the trend is moving more and more to invest (also) in renewable energy sources, as they are the most promising and cheaper compared to other sources of electricity.
Family offices hold the task to protect and manage assets of one or multiple wealthy families. Most family offices have one or more focus areas in which they invest – one of them being renewable energy.
Independent Power Producers (or short IPPs) are also important players in the renewable energy market. They invest in and then operate power plants. Unlike utilities, they do not own a power grid where they can distribute energy to end consumers and either sell their energy directly through a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) or feed their electricity into the grid of a grid operator.