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What does COP26 mean for the renewable energy sector?

22 Nov 2021
Iain Atkinson

While COP26 might have gone out with a fizz rather than a bang, there are still some significant ramifications for the renewable energy sector. 

Iain Atkinson, Associate Director at Eden Scott, discusses his views on the event and provides his insight on what it means for renewables.

Overall, what was your view on the outcomes of COP26?

Unfortunately, I believe that COP26 didn't achieve what it set out to, namely to encourage all leading nations to make impactful commitments to tackle climate change. 

There was a noticeable lack of engagement amongst some key countries, with many others failing to sign up to pledges that would lead to change in the immediate future. 

That said, some progress is better than none, and we have seen some moves to tackle coal usage and cut down on carbon emissions, albeit not in the timeframe we would have liked to see.

What implications do you feel COP26 has on the renewables sector?

Ultimately, change needs to be driven by government legislation and funding. The renewable sector needs support to move forward innovation, attract new talent and accelerate progress. 

COP26 hasn't necessarily led to much change in this area. However, there are already many exciting areas of development well underway in renewables, which is great to see progress despite these challenges.

Which developments in renewables are you most excited for?

There are some really interesting things happening in push wave and tidal technology right now and in offshore wind. One challenge will be accelerating renewables programmes, and I'm looking forward to seeing how quickly this can progress.

It's also encouraging to see more work going into electric vehicle infrastructure, with more opportunities developing in this sector.

What challenges does the renewable energy sector face when it comes to recruitment, and how can it be addressed? 

Right now, the renewables sector is experiencing a skills shortage. With so much innovation taking place, workers with the necessary skills and experience are hard to come by. 

Hard, but not impossible. 

As larger energy companies transition away from oil and gas, many skilled workers will be looking for new opportunities. For renewable energy companies, that means a chance to work with capable employees with transferrable skillsets. 

How can renewable energy companies secure the best talent?

The renewable energy sector is an appealing space for people interested in making a difference.

Often, candidates want to be a part of a high-profile project or join at the beginning stages of a new project so that they can really make their mark. 

Highlighting upcoming opportunities to work on innovative and meaningful projects is a great way to generate interest from candidates.

Beyond a competitive salary and benefits package, the ability to work from home is also becoming a meaningful incentive.

Those companies ready to embrace remote working also benefit from a much wider talent pool. Understandably, some companies want team members to come into the office, but the world is transitioning away from this sort of work model. 

Offering fully-remote opportunities will help renewable energy companies struggling to recruit to remain competitive to candidates.

Final thoughts 

Thanks to Iain for giving his thoughts on the renewable energy sector. If you'd like to speak with Iain about expanding your renewable energy team, you can contact him via 07714 124 033

Next steps

Need recruitment support? Contact the Eden Scott team. 

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Iain Atkinson
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