CAT warns of skills gap in renewable energy
The Centre for Alternative Technology has warned of a growing skills gap in building the green economy as the fifth generation of students graduated from its renewable-energy master course. Over the last five years, the renewable-energy industry has grown massively, with for example, there now being about 8600 jobs in the wind industry alone and predications that this figure could rise to over 11 600 jobs under Government projections.
Arthur Butler, tutor on the MSc course on renewable energy and the built environment (REBE) at CAT, said, ‘There is a growing demand for engineers with the skills to install and maintain the renewable capacity we need to build the green economy that the UK has already signed up to. At CAT most of the teachers on our popular masters degree programme still practise as consultants and specialists within the industry, meaning they are always up to date with developing technologies and practices.’
The REBE programme was developed in response to a real need for engineers to be trained theoretically and practically in renewable systems as they relate to the built environment. This is a growth area not only in Europe but throughout the world as countries face up to the problems of fossil-fuel depletion and climate change. CAT course are accredited by the University of East London.
Among growth in renewable energy in the UK is installed solar PV capacity growing by more than 30 times from 18 MW in 2007 to nearly 600 MW at the end of 2011. Government figures show that from 2007 to 2010, the capacity of onshore wind power installed in the UK almost doubled and that there is more than three times as much offshore wind.