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Why are renewable energy sources important?

May 20, 2024

There’s no denying that fossil fuels are causing irreversible damage to the climate. If humans continue at our current rate, the planet will reach a tipping point that presents an existential threat to humans. Thankfully, there are steps we can take to mitigate these risks, and there are plenty of scientists and engineers around the world working hard to help push us towards a greener future.

Renewable energy is one way that we can stop further climate change and start to take steps to repair the damage already done. Rather than continue to burn fossil fuels which add CO2 and other dangerous gases to the atmosphere, we can instead turn to renewable energy sources.

Energy sources like solar power, wind power and wave power can meet and exceed our energy demands. And since they are renewable, we never have to worry about depleting these resources.

What are renewable energy sources?

A renewable energy source is one that can be replenished after consumption either through natural reproduction or through naturally occurring processes. An example of this would be wind power. We can harness the power of the wind by placing wind turbines in strategic places where it is reliable windy. The wind turns the turbines and this generates electricity. Another example is solar energy, which allows us to turn sunlight into electricity.

Another missing part of the puzzle is energy storage. At the moment, renewable energy can be passed straight to the National Grid where it can be put to use, but it cannot be stored to use during peak times. This means that we still rely on fossil fuels to an extent, as these energy sources will allow us to quickly increase energy production to meet demand.

Once we master the art of storing the energy generated from renewable sources in large scale batteries, we will be better equipped to move away from fossil fuels for good.

What does the future of the renewable energy sector look like?

The renewable energy industry is growing more every single year. Every year is a record-breaking year for the sector, and this is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. In 2023, 44.5% of the energy used in the UK was generated by renewable sources. While this is promising, there is a lot more that needs to be done if we are going to be able to reduce our use of fossil fuels entirely to help keep on track with our environmental commitments.

Is the renewables sector a good career choice?

Yes, the renewable energy sector is a fast-growing, rapidly expanding and vital industry for the UK. If you want to be at the forefront of innovation that will change the way we live, you should consider an engineering career in the renewable energy sector.

As our reliance on fossil fuels decreases, the engineers working in these sectors are likely to be redeployed to help with decommissioning outdated power plants and managing the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

There will still certainly be roles available in the fossil fuel sector for years to come, but if you want to truly future-proof your career path, training in renewable energy could be the way forward.

There are roles in research and development to help make renewable energy more efficient and widely available. There are engineering roles available to oversee the construction of new renewable energy sites. 

There are also opportunities for entrepreneurs to help make renewable energy accessible to more people by installing the same technology on a smaller scale in individual homes. We can also expect to see an increase in demand for car charging stations, so country-wide infrastructure will need to be addressed.

What happens if we don’t switch to renewable energy?

If countries around the world fail in their commitment to switching to renewable energy, it’s unlikely that we will be able to reach our target of keeping global warming below 1.5°C. To achieve this goal, our greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2025 and then reduce by 43% by 2030. By switching to renewable energy, we will be on the right track to prevent further damage to the planet and start to take steps to reverse this damage.

While individuals can make a difference with their choices, it’s down to governments and large companies to take the big steps away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources. If you’re thinking about a career in renewable energy, you can help to shape the future of energy production in the UK. It will also help to ensure skills shortages are not the reason that we are unable to meet these targets.

Renewable energy could also help to improve our living standards, as energy should be cheaper and this could help to prevent spikes in energy prices that have been one of the driving forces behind inflation in recent years.

Nolan Recruitment is a Specialist Engineering Recruitment Agency. One of the UK's best Engineering & Technical Recruiter

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