Whilst there’s no definition, almost all jobs can be green. Often, what comes to mind is renewable technology, or ecological roles. However, almost all jobs and industries can be green, and we can look at how you can transfer your existing skills. It’s good to be green to reach our environmental ambitions, not just as a county, but as a nation, and for our incredible planet.
Our Local Enterprise Partnership plays a key role in ensuring, as a county, we focus on renewable energy as a way of growing our economy sustainably.
Renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world.
Renewables in Cornwall
‘Our unique landscape has generated exciting projects in wind, wave, solar and geothermal.’
– Over 1,000% growth in installed capacity of renewables since 2010, with 37% of the region’s electricity generated from local renewable sources in 2016.
– One of the best wind resources in Europe and the best solar in the UK, with around 1,500MW of onshore wind and solar assets and even greater potential in emerging areas such as geothermal, wave, tidal and floating wind.
One of the key areas of growth for Cornwall is off-shore wind power. Floating offshore wind (FLOW) is one of the world’s fastest growing renewable energy sectors. There is the potential for thousands of jobs to be created in Cornwall over the next decade which is an incredible opportunity for Cornish residents. These jobs will come with a range of skillsets, from project management to HR roles, finance, and more technical roles working at sea. However, it’s not just engineers or those with a degree in finance or HR that these organisations are looking for. Organisations are recognising that skills can be transferrable, it’s about pinpointing those transferrable skills and showing how you can use them.
Speak to one of our connectors to find out more about the endless possibilities. At the end of this article you can see how to get in contact.
Image Source: Business Cornwall
Cornwall isn’t just a hub for off-shore wind power. It’s also a region of the UK that aims to be at the forefront of renewable energy. We’ve spoken to Mark Butler, a heating engineer who specialises in renewable energy.
Hi Mark, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, I am a heating engineer in oil, gas and renewables. I setup the renewable heating and hot water department within Natural Generation, a local renewable energy company which delivers wind turbines, solar PV, thermal and ground & air source heat pumps as well as biomass boilers. Going forward from that I run my own business delivering heating systems with an emphasis on renewables. I used to be a Design & Technology teacher at secondary level and I am also a keen paraglider.
What does your job involve?
The design and installation of air/ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar thermal hot water systems.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Meeting customers and designing systems which fulfill their needs in a cost-effective way.
What made you decide to move into renewable energy?
The move into renewable was an easy decision as it is naturally the future as we move away from fossil fuels. It was also useful for expanding my technical knowledge base of the heating industry and furthering my career.
What advice would you give someone who might be thinking of moving over into renewable/green energy?
Truly understanding the heat load calculations for buildings. This is essential to designing and installing heat pumps in domestic buildings as a lot of the U.K housing stock are unable to be heated effectively by heat pumps without firstly installing effective insulation measures. Insulating homes is more important to energy efficiency of homes than the means to heating them and the heat load calculation which are undertaken can underline the failings in a home’s thermal envelope which can then be addressed.
Do you think as a society we’re shifting more toward renewable energy?
I feel that we are moving towards more renewable energy resources, and it is becoming more accepted as the norm.
Do you think there will come a point where all heating engineers will need to work with renewable energy?
I feel that in the future most heating engineers will move over to renewable energy systems but not all building are capable of utilising 100% renewables and hybrid or Bivalent systems will have to be adopted. This is where a heat pump is combined with an additional heat such as gas or oil boiler or other to make up any short fall, but the heat pump will do the majority of the heat load of the building. So, there will be need for gas and oil engineers for the foreseeable future, but they will take a lesser role in the heating industry.
Do you have any worries around the move into renewable energy?
Moving forward we will become more reliant on air/ground source heat pumps. This will put a massive demand on the electrical grid which will be many times greater than at present. Currently, this is not achievable. This means there will need to be government investment in infrastructure and building of power stations as the national grid could not deliver the power requirements of a country wide role out of such systems to replace fossil fuels. Action needs to be taken now as these large infrastructure projects take many years before they can come online.
Mark at work
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