If the world is to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, humanity must reach net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. This means a radical reassessment of how we think about and consume energy.
To meet the net zero challenge, every house, building and industry will need to transition to clean energy. The energy sector must lead the way, and the National Grid estimates that over the next 30 years, the UK energy sector must recruit 400,000 skilled workers to deliver energy transitions and provide services to new clean energy systems.
This presents significant challenges as this number cannot be met through the existing UK workforce alone. Of the 400,000 needed, PWC research suggests that there is a skills gap of around 200,000 workers in the future pipeline.
The energy industry and the government must increase the pool of skilled workers through changes to education policy and increasing the uptake, either voluntary or mandatory, of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in schools and universities. The government is also considering how immigration policy impacts the skills gap.
This has never been more important as supply for green energy options is already outstripping demand. The cost-of-living crisis and soaring energy prices have also made green energy the financially smart option. This is because it is much cheaper per KW hour, and options like solar panels have now reached economies of scale. Consumers who invest in solar panels and an electric car can massively reduce their living costs.
However, consumers face a challenge and long waiting lists to install these options, currently due in part to a lack of skilled workers. Those looking for solar panel installation Bristol have a few options, including specialists such as https://solarpanelinstallerssw.co.uk/domestic-solar-panel-installers/bristol/ who work locally throughout Bristol and Somerset.
Despite the potential wait, renewable energy is the future of energy consumption in the UK. The energy sector and government must prioritise efforts to help consumers who want to get on the front foot and make the transition.