What you need to know about renewables in 2023, and what’s next for 2024.

January 4, 2024

No doubt it’s been an exciting year for Intelletec Energy, our clients, and the U.S. renewable market. In 2023 we’ve adapted to market changes, deepened our relationships, expanded our networks, and hit company goals. We also watched history in the making as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) had a massive impact in real time on both our client's needs and the industry as a whole.

Our team was on the frontlines as this dynamic played out and independent power producers (IPPs) shifted from smaller-scale residential, commercial, and industrial projects to utility-scale projects as new renewable energy projects were commissioned and development pipelines began to move. As a result, we’ve placed more top-notch candidates in project development roles than ever before. We also responded to a greater need for top talent in finance and asset management due to the influx of investments and tax cuts that are changing the renewables landscape. 

So to ring in 2024, we’ll recap some of the top trends that changed the game in 2023. We’ll also share our thoughts and insights on what’s ahead, including hot jobs to keep an eye on. 

What changed the game in 2023

2023 has been a banner year for renewable energy capacity and growth in the U.S.  Investment floodgates have opened wide through incentives from landmark regulations like the IRA and tax equity financing options are paving the way for the green energy transition, industry innovation, and renewable job growth, too.

There’s been so much happening, that we’ve summarized the need-to-know news affecting the industry right now and in years to come. Check out our thoughts on 4 major trends from 2023 that we think made a lasting mark this year. 

  1. The renewable market is expanding and driving toward net-zero

This past year brought fast-growing renewable energy sectors like solar, storage, and wind to record highs and the expansion of other innovative sustainable energy solutions- like carbon capture technology and green hydrogen, to name a few. 

As innovation and investment have increased across the market, we are also seeing changes in hiring trends coupled with a higher demand for skilled workers at every level. 

Key Trend Takeaways:

  • Electrification and renewables are helping the global drive toward global net-zero commitments: Renewable mainstays right now include solar, wind, hydro-powered renewables and other renewables; nuclear energy; hydrogen; sustainable fuels; and electric-vehicle charging.

  • Climate technologies are moving beyond electrification and renewables. Climate technologies to keep an eye on include: carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS); carbon removals; natural climate solutions; circular technologies; alternative proteins and agriculture; water and biodiversity solutions and adaptation; and technologies to track net-zero progress.

Read the report here:  The Top Trends in Tech 2023, McKinsey 

  1. We’re seeing a crossover between the renewable and technology industries

Renewables are trending in tech! ‘Sustainable tech’ is making a notable appearance in mainstream technology industry trends and tech workers looking to make the jump into renewables will be a hot commodity. 

Key Trend Takeaways: 

  • Sustainable Technology is ready to take off.  Climate tech will continue to take center stage in 2024 and beyond as countries and corporations continue to work on meeting net-zero commitments and need novel ways to do it.

  • The climate tech lookout includes innovative solutions to broader environmental problems, such as carbon capture and storage, as well as green and renewable energy technologies.

  • Tech is changing the landscape of the renewable job market.  More and more energy companies are now looking for skilled tech workers. 

Read the story here: The Top 5 Tech Trends in 2024 Everyone Must Be Ready For, Forbes

  1. Global investments continue to boost the renewable industry, coupled with favorable policy and shared climate goals

The post-pandemic recovery was especially favorable to renewable energy investments and brought major legislation that is changing the game, including reshoring supply chains, reducing energy costs, creating educational and professional opportunities, and removing bottlenecks in getting renewable energy projects off the ground.  

Key Trend Takeaways:

  • A rising tide lifts all boats: the boost in global investments happened across nearly all energy categories, stemming from post-pandemic recovery investments.

  • Solar and EVs are king right now and they led the expected increase in clean energy investment in 2023

  • Clean energy investment is starting to flow, but imbalances point to continued industry risks ahead. 

Read the report here: World Energy Investment 2023, IEA

  1. We are on the Brink of Something Positive… 

Renewable electricity has reached a series of positive tipping points in recent years and is set to pass a critical milestone before the start of 2024.

Key Trend Takeaways:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector, the largest source of the world's emissions, are expected to fall for the first time, according to London-based think tank Ember.

  • Renewables are starting to meet the rising energy demand globally for the first time. “Despite the fact that the world's demand for electricity is still growing,  emissions from the power sector are set to fall because of the expansion of renewable energies such as solar and wind, which is outstripping that growth in demand” (BBC.) 

Read the story here:  Why 2023 Is A Clean Energy Milestone, BBC

What to keep an eye on in 2024

2023 paved a promising runway, making way for the renewable energy boom and global energy transition. 2024 will continue to bring innovation, breakthroughs and address ongoing challenges, too. Here’s what we’re watching in the New Year.

Private Investments: Scaling up clean investment is the key task for the sustainable and secure transformation of the energy sector. And it will take both public and private funding.  In fact, clean investments need to at least triple to meet net-zero targets according to the UN. 

Automation & AI in renewables: Who isn’t excited about the potential for AI and automation to exponentially increase productivity, efficiency, and accuracy in renewables? The sky's the limit here! Some use cases include AI technology that gauges local support for renewable projects before they break ground, measures emissions in real-time, and automation that cuts timelines for renewable projects.

Multi-use land: Land is at a premium, so why not find multiple uses for it? An example of this helping to keep farmland intact and also use that same land for renewable projects, like agrivoltaics. Agrivoltaics is the use of land for solar photovoltaics (solar PV) and agriculture. This practice started in Europe and now the concept is becoming more widely adopted.

Hot renewable jobs in the New Year:

  1. Project Development: Project Development focuses on renewables development through an awareness of permitting, interconnection, real estate, commercial, regulatory, and site design issues related to solar energy, wind, and battery storage development.

  2. Origination: Originators specialize in Power Purchasing Agreements (PPA) between buyers for the power that their renewable energy assets will produce.

  3. Energy Finance / FP&A: Financial planning and analysis roles in energy finance at renewable development firms and more.

  4. Asset Management: Roles cover the systematic and strategic management of physical and financial assets associated with renewable energy projects. This includes wind, solar, hydro, and other forms of renewable energy installations. The goal of asset management is to optimize the performance, reliability, and profitability of assets throughout their lifecycle. This includes financial optimization.

As this year comes to a close, we’re as excited as ever about the future of renewable energy, job growth in the U.S., our partnerships with our clients, and helping great candidates find their next role in renewable energy.

Are you looking for a new role in renewable energy in 2024? Work with Intelletec - our clients are hiring. Get in touch with one of our recruiters today! 

Want to keep reading? Here are our sources. 








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