Why the energy sector is a great field to work in

There are so many different industries and professions to work in, and we’d be lying if we didn’t declare a bias, but the energy sector has to be one of the greatest. With much to offer and a dynamic range of different opportunities you’d be hard pressed not to find a job that doesn’t match with a particular education or skillset that doesn’t somehow relate back to the Energy Sector.

There’s more to energy than just oil and gas. It’s true that oil and gas companies are the largest companies in the world and they just happen to be in Energy. Their scale alone means that those companies are always on the lookout for great talent in a wide variety of fields. Whether it be public relations to engineering, or factory worker to executive, energy multinationals can offer some very unique yet diverse positions for potential job-seekers.

Energy is always current, (no pun intended). There’s not a day that goes by or there’s a news story about energy. Arguably most of the time we talk about energy prices, but renewable energy technology, pipelines, exploration, and environmental topics all feature prominently in many a news cycle. With so much going on, there’s never a dull moment in the sector.

We rely heavily on energy; without it our economy wouldn’t function. The industry is in no means fly-by-night. There will always be development and innovation in the energy sector and there will always be opportunity for growth. New and exciting technologies are constantly being developed and there’s still a very big part of the pie to be distributed. This all makes energy one of the key investment areas in many economies meaning there’s a lot that both the start-ups and established companies can gain.

There’s more to “energy” than just oil and gas

When energy analysts talk about their jobs one of the most common reactions is “oh, so you mean oil and gas”, or to a lesser (but increasing degree) “oh, so you study solar and wind power”. While it’s true that much of the focus in the energy sector is focused on these main areas, there are many facets to the industry. In the broadest sense, all industry relies on energy for production and manufacturing to keep machines running and factories producing, but the energy industry is one in and of itself.

Mining

Raw materials (admittedly including oil and gas) are the basic components that keep the energy industry running and producing. Coal is still the most popular source of fuel for many power plants in the world and the sheer scale of the industry (though dwindling) is often overlooked when discussing energy in casual conversation. With renewables, new minerals and metals are also increasingly being mined and commercialized allowing us to transition to a zero-carbon energy landscape; and let’s not forget uranium mining for nuclear power.

Equipment manufacturers

One of the key sources of data and indicators for the energy industry are the equipment manufacturers. From the biggest turbines to the smallest wires, the energy industry’s equipment suppliers are an industry unto themselves producing the components and heavy machinery that’s needed to produce and transport electricity.

Water and Wastewater

Equally as vital to our daily lives as electricity is water. Of course, water and electricity don’t generally mix, but in terms of their supply water, and electricity and gas industries share many of the same characteristics in their supply and end-use billing. Each of these sub-industries learns from and serves as a model to the other especially in countries which have embarked on a path of deregulation and unbundling of utilities.

5 Tips for a Perfect Interview

With so many CVs floating through the HR departments of businesses all over the country, getting noticed is tough. If you manage to get through the first rounds and are invited in for an interview you have already done a great job. But, don’t pat yourself on the back just yet. Getting into the room is only valuable if it ends with a job offer.

So, how do you convince the recruiter that you are the one for the job? Here are some fail-safe tips that will help you nail your job interview.

Be Yourself

A job interview is your chance to really shine. You can show the recruiter that you are more than just words on a piece of paper. If your CV has been chosen from the dozens or even hundreds that were undoubtedly sent in, you have already impressed the recruiter. They can see you have the academics and the achievements. Now, they want to see whether or not you are someone they could imagine working with. This is the time to let your personality shine through. Be friendly and don’t be shy. Remember, the recruiter is a human just like you so the odd joke (in good taste) or anecdote will make you seem interesting and memorable.

Dress the Part

I was once told that your personal brand is what people say about you once you’ve left the room. You do not want to leave your interview and have your recruiter commenting on what you were wearing. Men, you’ve got it easy – suits and ties with nicely polished shoes will do the trick. Women, you’re going to want a smart skirt or dress that ends just above the knee with a blouse and blazer. Or a pant suit if you feel more comfortable in trousers. Make-up and jewellery should be subtle and hair should be tidy.

Be Polite to Everyone

From the moment you walk through the door you are being assessed. Being rude or stand off-ish with the reception staff or security will not win you any points. Smile and chat with everyone you meet as this will make the best impression. Who knows, that comment from the receptionist about how lovely you are could tip the decision in your favour.

Be on Time

For heaven’s sake be on time. If you know you will be travelling during rush hour, give yourself plenty of extra time. If you arrive really early you can always go and get yourself a coffee or read through your notes beforehand to pass the time. However, there are some circumstances where you simply cannot help being late. Your train might break down or there might be a severe accident on the road. In this case, make sure you contact the recruiter as soon as you can and be apologetic.

Don’t Be Afraid to Sell Yourself

Selling yourself is a hard thing to do. There’s no denying that to most people talking about how great you are does not come naturally. The interviewer is here to listen to you and they want to know what makes you a good candidate for a job in their company. You need to make them believe you are the right choice. Be charming, think before you speak, and talk confidently about your achievements (you can even embellish a little – but don’t lie). Just try not to come across as obnoxious or narcissistic.

Is Energy a Good Career Choice?

The short answer to this question is yes, very. So, really the question you want to be asking is “why is energy a good career choice?” This question requires a bit more depth of analysis and that is what this article will do.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past five years, you have probably noticed that energy has been appearing in the news a lot recently. Traditional fossil fuels have come under fire from environmental activist groups and renewables is the word of the moment. On top of that, there has been an influx of new technology, from electric cars to lithium-ion batteries, all of which is designed to help the world transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable methods of energy generation.

If you are on the fence about whether a career in energy is a good choice, here are some reasons why you should go for it.

It Is Evolving Fast

If you want a career that is fast-paced, energy is the one for you. With the all of the legal, commercial and technological developments happening in the sector, there is always something new to learn about. It is challenging to keep abreast these advancements but it is also exciting. In our lifetimes we are going to see some incredible changes to the energy industry and those working in the sector will be on the front line.

It Is Really Important

Energy is going to shape the future of our planet. If we cannot control our energy consumption or find ways to reduce our emissions, the word as we know it may cease to exist. This means that decisions made in the sector today will have a resounding impact on the world as a whole. There’s nothing quite like going in to work each day and feeling like you are helping to change the world. Just make sure you’re working for the right side!

It Is an Expanding Market

Energy is one of the few markets at the moment that is constantly finding new jobs for people. Solar panel technicians and wind turbine operators are now in hot demand, along with a range of other specialists. From high level scientific roles to manual, hands-on jobs, the industry is employing people with all different interests and skill sets. What’s more, many jobs are so technical that you will receive world class training to get you up to speed when you start. These skills will be valuable as you progress up the career ladder.

There is Money to Be Made

It is estimated that China will spend $360 billion on renewable energy by 2020. Money is pouring into the energy sector from all angles. Despite the closure of numerous coal plants, the sector is thriving. Those who are getting in now and making a name for themselves stand to make some serious money. They say money can’t buy happiness, but it certainly helps.

It Is Full of Transferrable Skills

There is an increasing number of people who change career at some point in their life. You might decide to join the energy sector today and then change to something else in a decade. The great thing about a career in energy is that it will equip you with skills you can transfer to other careers. Whether you specialise in research, legal aspects, maintenance, engineering, or sales, all of this can help you later down the line.

The Church of England is threatening to pull polluting companies’ stocks from its £12 billion investment pot

Ever since the Deepwater Horizon disaster public opinion of fossil fuel companies has cooled dramatically. Many investors have chosen to divest from traditional fuel companies and direct their money towards more ethical organisations. In recent months a policy change in the UK allowed pension fund trustees to divest from fossil fuels and invest their money elsewhere. Previously this was disallowed if it meant jeopardising the chance of getting the best returns for the beneficiaries of the fund. This reflects a growing sentiment of disdain towards fossil fuel companies.

Now, firms responsible for polluting the earth could be struck from the Church of England’s investment portfolio in the next five years. This will hopefully act as an incentive for these companies to pull their weight in the battle against climate change. The Church of England currently has an investment pot of £12 billion.

A meeting that took place last weekend saw senior officials discuss a plan to sell stakes in fossil fuel companies unless they can show tangible evidence that they are taking the fight against climate change seriously.

The biggest church organisation in the UK voted almost unanimously to carry out the action. This called for firms to ensure their strategies match up with the Paris Agreement, designed to cap global temperature rises to below 2 degrees Celsius.

On the Church of England’s website, the institution stated that doing their bit to stop climate change is part of a greater plan and is an essential part of its commitment to protect God’s wonderful creation: planet Earth. In 2015 tar sands oil and coal were blacklisted from the church’s potential investments.

In an annual investment report, the Church Commissioners claimed that by the end of 2017 its portfolio was notably lacking oil and gas stocks and that this type of investment comprised less than 4.5% of the entire portfolio.
Altogether, the vote to move forward with this action is going to affect a huge amount of money. The Financial Times said that the Church of England is sitting on an £8.3 billion investment pot, £2.3 billion retirement fund and £2 billion worth of separate invested funds.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and principal leader of the Church of England spoke last week at the London Stock Exchange. As he addressed the public at large he explained that the threat of climate change is not something to ignore. He stated firmly that this is a problem for the entire global community in a way that nothing has even been before. Welby speaks wise words – if the world does not act now, there will be precious little left for the next generations to enjoy.

Welby went on to say that businesses should be motivated to do their bit in the anti-climate change revolution. He said that the risk to businesses was “incalculable” and that there is no way at all to tell how changes in temperature might affect global markets.

The Church of England is threatening to pull polluting companies’ stocks from its £12 billion investment pot

Ever since the Deepwater Horizon disaster public opinion of fossil fuel companies has cooled dramatically. Many investors have chosen to divest from traditional fuel companies and direct their money towards more ethical organisations. In recent months a policy change in the UK allowed pension fund trustees to divest from fossil fuels and invest their money elsewhere. Previously this was disallowed if it meant jeopardising the chance of getting the best returns for the beneficiaries of the fund. This reflects a growing sentiment of disdain towards fossil fuel companies.

Now, firms responsible for polluting the earth could be struck from the Church of England’s investment portfolio in the next five years. This will hopefully act as an incentive for these companies to pull their weight in the battle against climate change. The Church of England currently has an investment pot of £12 billion.

A meeting that took place last weekend saw senior officials discuss a plan to sell stakes in fossil fuel companies unless they can show tangible evidence that they are taking the fight against climate change seriously.

The biggest church organisation in the UK voted almost unanimously to carry out the action. This called for firms to ensure their strategies match up with the Paris Agreement, designed to cap global temperature rises to below 2 degrees Celsius.

On the Church of England’s website, the institution stated that doing their bit to stop climate change is part of a greater plan and is an essential part of its commitment to protect God’s wonderful creation: planet Earth. In 2015 tar sands oil and coal were blacklisted from the church’s potential investments.

In an annual investment report, the Church Commissioners claimed that by the end of 2017 its portfolio was notably lacking oil and gas stocks and that this type of investment comprised less than 4.5% of the entire portfolio.

Altogether, the vote to move forward with this action is going to affect a huge amount of money. The Financial Times said that the Church of England is sitting on an £8.3 billion investment pot, £2.3 billion retirement fund and £2 billion worth of separate invested funds.

Solar Power Records Weekly High Thanks to UK Heatwave

The recent spell of hot weather saw solar power overtake gas as the UK’s primary source of energy. In fact, thanks to the heatwave, solar power broke several generation-related records and became, for a small amount of time, the UK’s top source of electricity. Looks like sunshine is good for more than just a tan.

This comes as welcome news in the wake of what has been a relatively slow year for solar installations. The number of new solar installations has all but flatlined over the past year but this run of mostly cloudless days has proved perfect conditions for high power generation in this sector.

Between the 21st and 28th of June solar power generation broke the record for weekly output. The energy source produced 533 gigawatt hours of power. Within that week long period, solar generated over 75 GWh on five of the seven days, which was another record in itself. Yet another record was broken when solar output hit a high of over 8 GW for eight days straight.

While the records will not create any lasting impact and are mostly symbolic, it shows how far solar power and its related technology have come in the past few years. In recent days we have seen a return to the norm as gas and nuclear have generated the bulk of our power.

Duncan Burt, director of system operations at National Grid, said: “During the past 12 months alone, we have seen renewable generation records broken and we expect this trend to continue, as technology advances and we find new ways to accommodate and manage more wind and solar power on our network.”

On Saturday afternoon, for a total of about an hour, the solar panels peppering the country’s fields and rooftops constituted the number one source of electricity. It contributed over 27% to the energy mix. It must be noted, however, that to date solar power only comes top at the weekends when the demand for power is lower.

On May 14th, earlier this year, the record for peak solar generation was set at a whopping 9.42 GW. This is promising news for a country with ambitions to transition fully to renewables over the course of the next couple of decades. However, the solar capacity by the end of May this year was 12.8 GW, which is only 1.6% more than it was last May.

Unfortunately, this might be the last spike in solar power we see any time soon as solar records are predicted to slow down. Subsidy cuts have seen growth peter out and the incentives in place for householders to put panels on their roofs are going to expire next year. Right now, there is no indication that a replacement scheme will be implemented.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. Some developers believe that by going large, they will be able to build solar projects without subsidies.

Hive Energy spoke to an industry audience last week and announced that thanks to improvements in technology, its planned solar farm in Kent is likely to have around 14% more capacity than originally anticipated.

The Cleve Hill scheme is predicted to have a capacity of as much as 400MW, which would completely overshadow the UK’s current largest solar farm, which is located in Wales and has a capacity of 72.2MW.

Dr Alastair Buckley, a solar expert at the University of Sheffield, said: “This marks the start of subsidy-free solar being economically viable, and I genuinely believe we’ll see bigger changes to the electricity sector in the next 10 years than we’ve seen in the past 10.”

Top 5 Colleges to Study Renewable Energy as a Postgraduate in the USA

More than ever, the world is focusing its attention on renewable energy. Renewable targets are springing up across the world and countries are making a serious effort to reach them by transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass etc. Never has there been a better time to get your knowledge of renewables up to scratch and join the expanding workforce that is setting the ball in motion for huge, global changes.

By 2020 it is estimated that China will have invested £300 billion in renewable energy. That’s just one country! This shows just how important the arena is and how seriously people are taking it.

Nowadays, the job market is fiercely competitive and a lot of people are actually over-qualified for the jobs they are in. Everyone has a bachelor’s degree so you need something that will make you stand out. Studying energy as a postgraduate course will get you one step ahead of everyone else and show that you mean business.

Are you thinking about studying renewable energy as a postgraduate degree? Here are five of the best colleges in the USA for this subject.

Oregon Institute of Technology

This might not be one of the big US names you’re used to hearing but the Oregon Institute of Technology is one of the foremost colleges in the country when it comes to renewable energy. Currently, the college offers a four year undergraduate degree as well as a master of science in renewable energy engineering. The course’s modules look at solar, wind, energy management and a variety of other topics.

University of California Berkeley

Berkeley is well known around the world for the quality of its education. It currently offers a market leading MBA in energy and clean technology, which is targeted at individuals in business and public policy and aims to equip them with the skills they need to address pressing energy-related issues. The university also has a Renewable Energy Speaker series, which will be of interest to anyone studying the topic.

University of Michigan

This university has its very own energy institute that offers masters courses in energy systems engineering and in sustainable systems. The course provides a wealth of information to students and prepares them for the energy and environmental challenges the future generations are going to face. The ultimate goal is for graduates to be capable of engineering systems that are sustainable economically, socially and environmentally.

Stanford

Stanford offers both masters degrees and professional certificate programs in renewable energy. The certificates have been specifically designed for working professionals who do not have the time to complete a full degree but would nevertheless like to broaden their understanding of the renewable energy sector. The certificates take between one and two years to complete are available online to give students maximum flexibility with their learning.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

It comes as no surprise that the world famous MIT makes it on to this list. While the college has a specific energy minor that students can read, it takes a more full-on approach than just that. At MIT, professors believe that energy permeates all aspects of modern life. Because of this, energy is taught across all disciplines, departments and programs. Energy research into renewable systems and environmental challenges form part of MIT’s exciting energy programs.

The 4 Most Powerful People in Clean Energy

The world of energy is changing at an incredible rate. Every day more and more technology is developed that will aid the world transition away from traditional fossil fuels and over to renewable energy. It is a huge shift that needs to be undergone but it is happening, slowly but surely. Electric vehicles are becoming more mainstream, huge amounts of money are being invested into clean energy, and countries are setting ambitious emissions targets. The ball is rolling.

But, no revolution can gain momentum without some leaders at its helm, guiding the way. The renewable revolution is no different. It has some seriously impressive people at its helm. Various scientists, innovators and politicians have all come forward to show their support for the movement, but some are making more of an effort than others. Here are the most powerful people in clean energy right now and what they are doing to help the world fight climate change.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is not just one of the most powerful people in renewable energy but he is one of the most impressive individuals on the planet. The brains behind Tesla, SpaceX and Solar City, it seems like everything the man touches turns to gold – and the clean energy space is no exception. Musk has been a key player in the development of electric vehicles. In fact, Tesla’s model 3 is one of the most affordable electric vehicles on the market right now. He has huge plans for the future and could be pivotal to the renewables revolution.

Bill Gates

You might associate Bill Gates more with technology than energy, but the truth is that these two sectors are interlinked and the uber-successful philanthropist has his hands in both pies. In recent years, Gates has made it clear that he is willing to pour his fortune into making the world more sustainable. He is part of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, along with Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson. He is also behind Mission Innovation, a pact between ten countries to pump more money into clean energy projects.

James Dehlsen

Compared with the first two behemoths on this list, Dehlsen might seem somewhat out of place. In fact, you’ve probably never even heard of him. But, Dehlsen has done incredible things for the renewable energy sector and has made an impact on the wind power scene. In 1980 he created Zond, a wind power developer that is now GE Wind Energy. His contributions to the US energy sector did not go unnoticed as he was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2008.

Steven Chu

You might remember Chu from his days as the U.S. Secretary of Energy under the Obama administration. If not, you might know him as the guy who co-won the Nobel Prize for physics. Either way, you really should know who he is. Chu has long been a very vocal advocate of renewable energy and his research has made him one of the preeminent figures in this arena. Since resigning as Secretary of Energy, Chu has worked on various renewable energy projects and continues to do his bit in the battle against climate change.

The Alternative Energy Sources of the Future

Solar and wind seem to be all everyone can talk about when it comes to renewable energy. Little do people know that these two energy sources have only made a small dent in the energy mix so far. However, as costs continue to come down and more people understand the benefit of adopting green energy technology, solar and wind will rise to greater heights.

However, if we really want to make fossil fuels a thing of the past we are going to need to be more innovative. This means thinking outside of the box and looking at other ways we can generate energy. Luckily, we do not need to pin all our hopes on solar and wind. There are several other ways to generate energy and a group of scientists have come up with some potentially excellent alternative energy sources. Some of them might seem like a long shot, but anything is worth a try, right?

Space Solar

Not all of the solar energy emitted by the sun actually makes it into the Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, most of it stays out in space. So, space-based solar power generation makes a lot of sense. The main challenge for this energy source is the cost of getting a generator out into space and then bringing the energy back to earth.

Human Power

There are billions of people on this planet and they move around all the time. Scientists have long thought about harnessing the energy that could be generated simply by people going about their daily lives. This would be the ultimate renewable energy source.

Tidal Power

Tidal Power is growing in popularity in a number of countries. While some are making it a viable energy source, there is still a long way to go in most nations. However, the full potential of tidal power is enormous. The US alone has the capacity to generate over 250 billion KWh per year.

Hydrogen Power

Hydrogen counts for 74% of the mass of the entire universe so if this can be turned into energy it is good news for the planet. Unfortunately, hydrogen is usually found fused with other atoms, such as oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. To separate these atoms you require energy, so the process could end up being counter-productive. This one needs more research and development.

Magma Power

We all know that the centre of the Earth is extremely hot, so why not try and turn this into energy, If magma could be tapped for geothermal heat we would have another viable alternative energy source. Scientists in Iceland are currently looking in to the possibility of this.

Nuclear Waste

When nuclear fission takes place in a nuclear reactor only around 5% of the uranium atoms are actually used, the rest simply becomes nuclear waste. This then sits in storage for thousands of year as it breaks down. There is a lot of talk right now in the energy community about using these leftovers to generate energy.

Algae Power

Who would have thought that this little pond plant would be capable of generating energy? Algae grows all over the place and could produce serious amount of energy if we were capable of harnessing its full potential.