2022 was a huge year for energy. An expected shift to renewables, halted following the energy crisis in Europe and further aggravated by the Russian war on Ukraine, left the energy sector in a scramble to get things back on track. The continued increase in the production of nonrenewable energy, such as coal, which is expected to reach its peak in 2023 as reported by the IEA, forecasts that co2 emissions will reach an all-time high in the coming years.
Thankfully, the current energy prognosis is being taken more seriously now than ever. International pledges to contribute to the cause and reverse the world’s fate by reducing carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 offer a glimmer of hope. The obstacles faced in 2022 have highlighted the importance of shifting to renewable energy to secure a more sustainable future. Additionally, investment in wind and solar has increased their efficiency and cost-effectiveness, allowing them to better compete in the market and become a progressively economical and ethical choice for businesses worldwide. Thanks to these trends, 2023 is set to provide ample opportunities in the energy sector.
According to the Bureau of labor statistics, trade careers in wind and solar are expected to rise steadily. For example, a growth rate of 44% for wind turbine technicians and a 27% increase in solar photovoltaic installers in the next ten years forecasts the chance to make a steady, well-paying salary without a four-year college degree. Additionally, with the power to maximize the infrastructural efficiency of everything from homes and businesses to intricate city layouts, city plumbing, electrical systems, and more, trade professionals with clean energy credentials are already playing an essential role in the future of sustainable energy and will continue to do so throughout 2023.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the digitalization of human decision and problem-solving capabilities so that they may be performed independently by a digital platform. The application of AI is important because it offers the ability to provide consistent technology solutions. For example, a modern-day short-term weather forecast utilizes the current day’s weather activities to predict those of the following day. Additional predictions are combined using the initial weather condition to create various weather outcome possibilities.
The time and effort needed to make these changes and develop different possibilities can be significant. Lacking data, additionally, reduces the accuracy of the outcomes. For these reasons, researchers like atmospheric sciences professor Dale Durran at the University of Washington believe AI could be the missing link when improving the reliability of weather forecasting technology.
By using AI, significantly more simulations can be run to represent a much broader range of weather outcomes over longer spans, increasing the accuracy of the predictions. If applied successfully, AI could be used for much more than weather forecasting and become a game changer for long-term sustainability in clean energy and the shift to renewables. Consequently, computational engineering, programming, and software development, while not strictly energy-related careers, will have a significant and increasingly important role in the energy sector.
Electric Vehicles (EV)
Electric Vehicles were a hot topic in 2023. Launched into the spotlight by Tesla’s initial model in 2008, over time, EVs have proven to have the potential to provide a cleaner alternative to cars run on fossil fuels. However, the source of the vehicle’s electricity will determine the co2 emissions of the vehicle and should be considered before purchasing.
Moreover, 2023 will be a significant year for new EV technology. With a wider variety of options, consumers can weigh the pros and cons of an EV to help reduce co2 emissions. New technology, such as that involved in the development of battery technology, will offer unique career opportunities and, through their ability to make a vehicle more efficient, will provide a secondhand contribution to renewable energy.
For more information on energy, water, and energy careers, visit Watt Watchers and Smart Energy Education. And don’t forget to follow the Smart Energy Education Facebook page for updates on all our projects, scholarship opportunities, blog posts, and more!
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Watt Watchers de Texas
204 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin, Texas 78712