I am a 25-year old university student and ATA member hoping to get some advice from electricians, particularly those working in renewable energy, energy storage and energy efficiency (or anyone who knows the industry well for that matter).
I recently returned to university to study a bahcelor of electrical engineering with the intention of majoring in power engineering (I also hold a science degree), but would also like to keep the option open of switching to becoming an electrical apprentice if I decide to pursue a more hands-on career (engineers out there: feel free to challenge this assumption!).
I have a few questions about being an electrician in the clean energy field and would appreciate any advice:
- What is or will be the demand for electricians who specialise mostly in clean energy, namely renewable energy, batteries, energy efficiency and the like? I understand that as an electrician, I would of course need to be familiar with all aspects of the trade, but it is the clean energy side that I would be most passionate about.
- As well as enjoying hands-on work, I enjoy quantitative problem solving. To what degree do electricians in this field have opportunities to undertake complex electrical design work as well. This might include PV systems, but also integrated systems incorporating energy storage and energy management systems?
- What opportunities are available for electricians beyond the domestic and commercial markets for clean energy? In particular, can electricians become qualified to work directly on large-scale solar and wind generators?
- In general, what opportunities are available to electricians in this field that would not be available to electrical engineers, especially because of the different technical and safety qualifications of each profession?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and I welcome any electricians or engineers who would be available for a chat over the phone.