With Japan desperately fighting a nuclear meltdown after a devastating tsunami and oil prices rocketing after national conflicts, finding clean alternative forms of energy is set to be the burning issue of 2011. This will lead to a strong increase of hiring in the energy sector over the next 5-10 years, propelling executives with knowledge in this area to the top of the wanted list.
Clean Power: A Background
Nuclear energy has long been considered a clean and powerful alternative to fossil fuels as it is air emissions clean. However, as evidenced by Chenobyl in 1986, Nuclear energy presents rare but devastating mass environmental risks. And with the unfolding disaster in Japan, China halted production on 8 nuclear plants, Germany took a number of plants offline and New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo wants NY Nuclear plant ‘Indian Point’ shut down.
The Nuclear energy industry is in crisis. Thus, clean and safe energy sources such as Geothermal, Biomass, Fuel Cell, Wind, Solar and Hydro power all present huge opportunities for sustainable power generation that minimalize harm to our environment and do not put lives in risk.
A recent U.S. Department of Energy report
estimates that wind energy could provide up to 20% of US electricity by 2030, generating 500,000 jobs, increasing annual property tax revenues to more than $1.5 billion, and reducing greenhouse gas equivalent to taking 140 million vehicles off the road.
This is just one example of clean energy success and is not restricted to the world’s largest economy; 50 % of Brazil’s automobiles run on ethanol and the biofuel sector there is booming, representing 37.7% of the world's total ethanol used as fuel. And as HSBC recently highlighted in a marketing campaign, ‘0.3% of Saharan solar engery could power Europe
What does this mean to senior executives?
It goes without saying that executives with clean energy or scientific backgrounds are set to be in high demand over the next 5-10 years. However, the industry also needs entrepreneurial, sales and marketing executives to take clean technologies to any place they currently are not; from global organizations to solar power in the home.
And this is not the only application.
Executives who boast knowledge of clean technologies offer optimization potential to current or future employers, saving the organization money, building Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) points and generating powerful marketing and PR messages.
Where to start?
At home. Research state and national clean energy programs and start at home – reduce your carbon footprint and bills, and gain valuable knowledge on the consumer technologies available.
Seek a short course in clean energy and contact experts for information on the industry and where you can receive further education. Executive recruiters in the energy sector can be an invaluable source of information on what the current hiring demand is and how you can build a desirable profile.
In the workplace. Research which energy technologies are used, how you can implement clean alternatives and draft a document detailing potential costs and benefits. Employ consultants and staff who have the expertise to consult on and implement your research.
Established energy professionals should prepare for the rise in executive opportunities in energy by building their network with executive recruiters and fellow industry professionals. This will ensure you will be considered for executive jobs as they come available, rather than the select few that are advertised.
It is a great time for clean energy and a watershed point for our entire planet. Social responsibility is rightly becoming a priority for organizations and the brightest professionals worldwide are increasingly attracted to the clean energy sector. Join our linkedin group to receive a new whitepaper focusing on the energy sector to be released in April – BlueSteps members will receive it first.
This article was written by Christian Pielow from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).
BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com.