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Rising salaries in renewables to retain green skills and talent

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A quarter of renewable energy professionals worldwide have secured a significant pay rise in the last year, as the industry focused on reducing talent from leaving the market to pursue other opportunities in technology or fossil fuels, as their skills continue to be in more demand.

The latest Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) explored the opinions of 12,000 energy industry professionals and discovered that an increasing green skills gap is putting individuals with renewable energy experience in even more demand. The study found that just over 50% of low-carbon energy professionals secured a pay rise last year, and 24% of the workforce stated that the increase exceeded 5%. The increases were recorded as more significant and frequent for engineers and hiring managers.

Confidence in salary was high in the report despite the current economic challenges, with over 65% of clean energy professionals expecting a pay rise before the end of the year. For a large majority, the average pay remains the highest in North America for contract-based positions and in Australasia for in-house professionals. The report believes this trend in salary increases is partly the requirement for pay to maintain pace with rising inflation and interest rates and with businesses focusing on retaining and supporting employees during economic challenges. The other influential factor is the increased competition for green talent.

Over 30% of clean energy professionals stated they had been headhunted six or more times in the last year, and 40% said they were open to moving to another energy market. The power market was considered the most popular for a possible move, but 40% stated they would be willing to work in the oil and gas industry.

Transforming markets with digital technology

The study discovered that technology is considered the top industry of choice for a career change for clean energy professionals. Over 30% of respondents said they would consider moving to a technology business. The report explains that the digitalisation of renewables is creating an overlap of skills with the technology market, including rapidly emerging skills associated with artificial intelligence (AI). Over 33% of renewable energy professionals use AI often at work, with adoption levels higher than in other energy markets. A further 13% highlighted they will adopt AI technologies this year.

The most popular application of AI in renewables is the automation of project management processes, like staff collaboration. Many companies are utilising data analytics to strengthen energy production and energy efficiency. Many respondents in the study stated that they consider AI adoption as beneficial for their skills and career development. 60% believe AI will improve career progression and think AI will be a critical supportive tool at work rather than a replacement for human capabilities.

The renewables industry welcomes the benefits of AI, with many businesses enhancing performance and inspiring others to follow a similar path. In a rapidly evolving sector, individuals are actively exploring new technologies to enable further progression and improve their work-life balance. Renewable energy businesses will need to stay connected with AI to retain talent. 

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