Technological progress is reducing labor intensity across the energy system. A comparison of different power generation technologies suggests that renewables tend to create more upfront jobs in construction and manufacturing, whereas thermal generation requires more ongoing employment in operations and fuel supply.
The role of digital technologies for generating, handling, and communicating data has taken center stage in energy discussions. Huge investments are being made in digitalization of the electricity sector and integration of renewable resources. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry is using digital technologies to improve operational performance while keeping costs under control.
In some countries, the high penetration of renewable energies, combined with reduced demand following the economic crisis, has dropped power prices on the wholesale market. Under these conditions, flexible approaches can provide competitive advantages.
The power industry doesn’t have a reputation for customer focus. However, as customer expectations rise, social connectivity spreads, and distributed generation gains steam, this must change.
As the power industry evolves, utilities must see their professionals not as experts focused on technical excellence, but rather as ones who possess management, analytical, and commercial capabilities. An aging workforce and widening skill gaps in the utility sector have begun to threaten ongoing operations.