A year ago we wrote about the growth expectations of the battery storage market in the UK which looked set to create up to 10,000 jobs by 2020. Twelve months on, we look at what has changed and what effect it’s had on the jobs market.
According to the report published by Solar Media early last year, the UK could experience a rise of more than 200% in battery storage projects. National commitments to phase out coal, falling technology costs and more than 30GW of wind and solar capacity ripe for co-location with batteries was expected to accelerate this growth.
So, did 2018 pan out as predicted?
The short answer is yes. The energy storage market has continued gaining momentum as expected. By May 2018, investment in energy storage could be seen by way of developing technologies and projects by big companies. Pivot Power announced plans to deploy more than 2GW of battery storage projects to the national grid, whilst Newcastle University’s ground-breaking pumped heat energy storage system hit the headlines as the first grid-scale system of this nature placing the UK at the front of energy storage.
But what does this mean for jobs in the sector?
Some experts estimate that the sector will experience growth at a similar rate to that of solar during the early 2000s, which will support job creation. The UK ranks second in Europe for its number of renewable energy jobs with the Government calculating that there are already 400,000 jobs in the low carbon economy. In addition, a £20M competition for large scale energy storage solutions has been launched by the Department for Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This will play an integral part of the smart energy future in the UK. One of the seven key aims set by BEIS for the winning project is to secure increased training and employment in large-scale energy storage technologies. According to Renewable Energy Association’s Head of Policy Frank Gordon, this type of support and investment will help increase jobs in cleantech design, manufacturing and operations.
The renewables team here at Astute have seen things move on very quickly in the sector over the past year. The growth in the battery storage market has been reflected both in terms of job activity and the type of jobs in demand. In addition, there’s been an increase in interest across industry events where more technical battery and energy storage exhibitions are being planned to keep up with demand. Existing events are also adding battery solution areas to their current offering, a direct response to the changes in the market.
In terms of job roles, we are seeing a demand for technician and service engineer roles as more equipment is installed in the field which requires maintenance and repair.
Alternatively, browse available jobs across the whole of the renewables industry here; Renewables jobs.