WORKING IN THE ENERGY CONSULTANCY SECTOR?

WHAT IS YOUR QUALIFICATION?

By Eleen Korir

Image result for careers in the energy industry

INTRODUCTION

The Human Resources Department at Eenovators receives numerous applications from interested parties who want to join our vibrant team. We receive applications from across different disciplines and it has been of interest to assess what disciplines the applications originate from.

There are several careers in the energy sector cutting across both the technical and non-technical lines. The most common being energy engineers who hail from different backgrounds including: chemical and process, electrical, mechanical, instrumentation and control, energy management/technology, renewable energy amongst others.

The non technical careers include: marketers, communication specialist, public relations, strategists, finance, energy talent managers, energy lawyers, statisticians, trainers, monitoring and evaluation specialists, energy software developers and other related fields. There are many more emerging careers that come into place every day, given the transformational nature of the energy field.

GENDER BALANCE

It was worth noting that an overwhelming majority of the applications (85.2%) were received from male applicants and only 14.8% were received from the females as shown in the figure below.

Figure 1: Chart Showing the gender balance

WHAT DOES THIS TELL US?

Are men more interested in the energy field that women? Probably yes? Or is it the perception that this is an engineering field that is male dominated? In my opinion, this is an open field for everyone regardless of the gender. As we will see below, there are so many career options in this field that women can participate in. For example, in our company, at most times, we have more ladies that men.

SOURCE OF APPLICATIONS

The applications we receive and those used for this write up were mainly form our career tab on our website; https://eenovators.com/index.php/careers/. On a few occasions, we receive them from our contact email info@eenovators.com and also through referrals from friends of Eenovators. Majority of these job applications are from applicants spontaneously sending in their applications with the hope that they will find an opportunity to join the firm. Fewer applications are received in response to adverts for positions the firm is seeking to fill. Majority of the applications received are from candidates in the technical field with minimal numbers in the non-technical field.

Here is a brief analysis of applications we have received in the last six months.

Figure 2: Graphical representation of different disciplines

From this graphical representation, majority of the applicants have studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering (39.3%) followed by Renewable Energy (21.4%), Mechanical Engineering (10.7%) and closely followed by applicants who have studied Energy Technology.

Observations:

The results of the energy consulting applications give room for a couple of questions for reflection:

  1. Do most people perceive energy consultancy as an electrical and electronic engineering niche?
  2. Is renewable energy as a field of study taking its place as the next big thing in the energy space?
  3. From a non-technical angle – are applicants from the communications and public relations fields identifying potential areas for practice in the energy consulting field?

The energy field is diverse and has plenty of careers from different disciplines that one can venture into. We have observed and experienced candidates with Chemical and process engineering capabilities, performing extremely well yet from the results above we observe only 3.9% (2 out of 56) applications received. This might be as a result of the perception that energy consultancy involves electrical works only. The truth is, energy consultancy is not a preserve for electrical engineers alone.

Energy comes in many different forms ranging from electrical energy to thermal energy to mechanical energy. As an organization we have found find huge opportunities for energy management in the Thermal energy space. It is as such a perception out there that that energy is majorly related to electricity, which is not the case. The high number of applications received from electrical and electronic engineers is a testament to this myth.

Instrumentation and control professionals are also important in the energy sector as they help in understanding:

  • The production or process industry set up
  • How instruments are used to measure/monitor signals
  • Then control the machinery/processes accordingly.

In cases where automation is involved, instrumentation and control form part of the system for example in setting up energy monitors, energy efficiency projects.

What happens at Eenovators Limited?

At Eenovators, our engineers get involved in setting up energy management systems in our Eagles Energy Management Program that provides a platform for:

  • Energy data collection
  • Monitoring
  • Management.

They are involved in installing real time energy monitors for:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Fuel
  • Water

They also install instruments that monitor occupancy, temperature and, humidity.

This means engineers with a background in instrumentation and control come in very handy.

Renewable and clean energy is one of the safest ways to ensuring there is reduced emission of greenhouse gases. Very useful as the world looks into combating climate change. The professionals in energy technology and renewable energy are best placed to bring out the best solutions which include; solar technologies, wind power, generation, use of biogas amongst other sustainable energy solutions.

What about professionals in the petroleum engineering? Do they qualify for energy consultancy? Energy consultancy is very broad. Eenovators have only indulged in a section of it which is largely in the energy efficiency. Petroleum engineering has not been a part of what we do. Although, they can fit in in fuel use analysis for energy efficiency. They also can do much work in the petroleum industry ensuring quality petroleum products that are less harmful to the environment.

Below is a pie chart representation of the numbers in each of the qualification

Figure 3: Chart Showing number of applications received

It would be important to urge more engineers from diverse fields to develop an interest in the energy space and look out for careers in the energy industry. This does not only apply only to engineers and technicians but also non-technical professionals. Business Development opportunities in the energy industry are continually available and need to be exploited.

Careers that also have a big role to play in advancing the energy industry to the next level include:

  • Lawyers
  • Environmentalists
  • Public Relations Professionals
  • Human Resource Practitioners
  • Finance Professionals
  • Statisticians

Energy is a dynamic discipline. It integrates with many fields to make it grow and have a positive impact on our environment.

With the New Energy Reguations 2019 , all these careers are very vital in ensuring Kenya is an energy efficient and sufficient country.

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