Transitioning away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy is a critical, global imperative and one that asks a lot of everyone involved. From producers to consumers and at every step between, there will be significant changes required to the long-standing ways in which we produce, transmit and consume energy. Nowhere will the change be felt more acutely than in the energy industry itself. In particular, the nature of how clean energy is produced will exert outsized influence over how the energy industry approaches its labor practices. Follow this logic.
Renewable energy sources present unfamiliar challenges to continuity. No longer will it be geopolitical unrest roiling oil producing nations and pinching supply. Instead, low wind, extreme weather and other factors will impinge on production producing peaks and valleys in demand and activity that are unfamiliar to the current operations of energy companies. Unlike oil, coal, or gas which can be stockpiled in excessive volume, renewables often struggle to produce reserve margins even half as robust as their dirtier predecessors.
As is the case in many industries where there are highly variable shifts in the production environment, the energy industry must avail itself of the flexibility and agility of contingent workforce management to deliver an elastic and quickly adaptable workforce, nimble enough to react quickly to rapidly changing demand and other market conditions. Moreover, as the emerging renewable energy industry continues to expand, it (as with so many other industries) is growing more heavily reliant on skill sets not typically associated with energy production. New energy technologies rely much more heavily on, well, technology and the highly specialized skills of a labor force trained in a dizzying array of scientific disciplines, information systems and computer sciences.
Not only is production of energy in transition, but so is the storage and distribution of energy produced by wind, solar, geothermal and other sustainable processes. In fact, these new generation methodologies will rely much more heavily on storage due to the inconsistency in wind, sun and other sources of power. They are also employing a more decentralized model for production and transmission as individual consumers of solar are tied into networks/grids enabling them to upload excess generation/capacity back into the grid for distribution to others. This distributed network presents very different challenges for the energy industry workforce as well.
In order to remain ahead of these myriad challenges in a field already moving at speeds far beyond more traditional legacy industries, renewable energy companies will need reliable, experienced provider/partners with the knowledge and expertise required to help source, field and manage the technologically advanced and specialized workforce critical to success. nextSource partners with energy industry clients to deliver this insight, services and support.
In their 2018 Energy Utilities Industry Report, nextSource digests the broad themes and articulates the major challenges facing energy companies. Download the free report and then reach out to learn more about how our organization can help ensure yours is fully equipped to harness the potential of the paradigm shift currently taking place in global energy production, transmission and storage.
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