The Role of Trades in Renewable Energy
Imagine being able to solve the world’s energy problems, just by going to work. People in the trades can have an important role in promoting renewable energy to help make the future more sustainable.
Most people likely think that engineers and policymakers are the most important experts involved in renewable energy projects. However, inventing new technologies or making policies to encourage the use of renewable energy is not very useful unless people have access to these sources of power. People might want solar energy for their homes, for example, but they cannot use this energy until someone installs the system in their homes or offices.
This point is where the trades are essential. In 2018, about eleven million people around the world were employed in the green energy sector, but that number is increasing. Many governments are emphasizing training and funding for green energy jobs, including the trades. Older workers will likely retire in the next few years, leaving space for younger workers to fill their spots.
Many different aspects of the renewable energy sector need tradespeople to work with new technologies or older systems. For example, solar energy has been available for years, but the specific practices change as inventors make new discoveries and develop new technologies to fill the needs that they see. If tradespeople keep their knowledge current, they can be ready for all kinds of jobs.
Tradespeople are necessary for installing and repairing renewable energy devices. Solar panels, for example, are not useful unless someone can install them on the roof of a building or the side of the road and repair them if they are damaged. Geothermal heating and other forms of renewable energy also require people to dig holes, connect wires, and take care of other technical aspects of the work.
If you decide that you want to be part of the movement for renewable energy, you will have many career options. You could work as a general technician in an energy company, participating in whatever projects come your way. You might even be able to work at a university or an organization like the United Nations, helping to test renewable energy projects, or even start your own company to work with one or more types of renewable energy.
Working with renewable energy takes skills that many tradespeople have not learned yet. If you choose this field, you could spend some of your time training others in how to install the equipment or deal with problems. Another role could be in helping to make information available. If you like to write or give lectures, you could submit articles to trade magazines or participate in conferences, helping to show how the trades can be an important part of the transition to renewable energy,
With governments investing more money in renewable energy, this is a good time to consider a career in this field. The trades are an important part of the transition from fossil fuels to other sources of energy, and you can use your skills to help move Canada in that direction. Everyone can help with this important task.
EnergyNow Media. “Revitalizing the Skilled Trades: How to Attract a New Generation of Workers in Canada.” https://energynow.ca/2023/07/revitalizing-the-skilled-trades-how-to-attract-a-new-generation-of-workers-in-canada/.
Power Mag. “Addressing a Skilled-Trades Gap in the Energy Sector—and How to Ease the Transition.” https://www.powermag.com/addressing-a-skilled-trades-gap-in-the-energy-sector-and-how-to-ease-the-transition/.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. “The Role of Trade in a Development-Led Global Energy Transition.” https://unctad.org/system/files/official-document/cid53_en_0.pdf.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. “Skills Development for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Jobs.” https://unevoc.unesco.org/pub/solar_energy_demands-discussion_paper1.pdf.