Europe’s green recovery create opportunities for young engineers

| Specials U-Today

The announced European recovery and resilience funds are coming into play and are being underlined in the recent announced REPowerEU initiative. Working on the energy transition and securing access to energy are going hand in hand. These developments all require a well educated workforce and provide opportunities for young engineers.

The following pieces are falling into place, highlighting the pivotal role of sustainable energy (and the need for well-trained energy engineers) during the post-pandemic recovery and beyond: The European Green Deal.

During the pandemic we saw a temporary positive impact on some of the measurements of for example CO2 emissions or use of fossil fuels. When we return to “business as usual”, we must ensure that the economic recovery doesn’t undo all the previous hard work put towards climate goals.

Green and sustainable

The European Parliament wants Europe’s future to be green and sustainable, so members have resolved to use the European Green Deal as the cornerstone of the EU’s recovery. They want to kickstart the economy sustainably and create jobs to protect key industrial sectors while pursuing an ecological transition. Thus, sustainable energy will play an integral part in this green recovery.

The energy storage industry alone will take centre stage. The continent expects to increase its production capability 20-fold in the next seven years. This could result in 100,000 new jobs every year. This growth will be delivered by a new wave of experts that need to be trained in the skills of tomorrow. This is where EIT InnoEnergy’s role in training top talent for the energy transition comes in.

Having already introduced a Master’s in Energy Storage, EIT InnoEnergy launched in 2020 its plan to build a Battery Academy to train and upskill 16,000 European workers in this value chain by 2025.

The Green Recovery Alliance

The EU Parliament, together with big names from politics, industry, the European Trade Union, and the private sector – including EIT InnoEnergy’s CEO Diego Pavia – have signed the Green Recovery Alliance that builds upon the European Green Deal. This new alliance places sustainable energy at the heart of Europe’s economic recovery, creating countless opportunities in this sector for years to come, and thus jobs for trained young professionals. Dr Frank Gielen, Education Director of EIT InnoEnergy, shares: ‘Turning Europe into a climate-neutral continent in three decades was already a daunting task. We will need to fill hundreds of thousands of new jobs and roles by 2030 to meet energy demands and reduce emission targets. By 2050, it will be millions. This new alliance simply reinforces our resolve to utilise sustainable energy to recover post-pandemic.’

An urgent need for trained energy engineers Signatories of the new alliance are committed to investing in solutions that are aligned with climate commitments while reviving the economy. With sustainable energy innovation at the very centre of the agenda of EU governments and industry – this sector is ramping up, creating an urgent need for trained energy engineers. EIT InnoEnergy Master School will continue with its mission to prepare the next generation of energy engineers via innovation and entrepreneurship training, which now becomes even more vital. As Dr Gielen explains, ‘Right now, we are creating a scalable, networked learning infrastructure that will implement specialised learning enablers and ‘Green Deal Digital Learning Spaces’ tailored specifically to meet the priorities areas of the Green Deal plan.’ With these essential elements all coming together to ensure a smooth and prosperous green recovery as well as being more energy independent in Europe, it’s the perfect time to find out what part you can play in this exciting process!

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