Optimize green job creation and climate impact while reducing costs on renewable energy projects

July 26, 2023 | 6 minute read
Janet Poses
Product Marketing Director
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Many of the traditional barriers to project creation, such as funding, space, and public support are being removed when it comes to renewables projects.

Unlike many industries, renewables projects create a virtuous cycle of job creation, environmental progress, and increased efficiency as we continuously learn from project to project how to best harness our abundant natural renewable resources.

Funding commitments around the world

This virtuous cycle, accelerated by geopolitical concerns of energy dependence on specific countries, has led to record levels of funding globally. Not only public funding but leveraging partnerships with private industry to increase overall investment. According to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Investment 2023 report, about $2.8 trillion is planned to be invested globally in energy by the end of 2023. More than $1.7 trillion—almost 65%—is expected to go to clean technologies including renewables, electric vehicles, nuclear power, grids, storage, low-emissions fuels, efficiency improvements, and heat pumps.

In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is a $27 billion investment to mobilize financing and private capital “to create good-paying jobs and lower energy costs for American families … while cutting harmful pollution to protect people’s health and tackle the climate crisis.”

Across the European Union, €600 billion in investments from the NextGeneration EU Recovery Plan and the EU’s seven-year budget will finance the European Green Deal, which was put in place to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy with the goals of no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, economic growth decoupled from resource use, and no person and no place left behind.

The Australian government last year released its Budget October 2022–23, which included record funding of almost A$25 billion for clean-energy spending to support the government’s net zero commitment by 2050. This initiative is supported by other government investments that will help industries and regions benefit from the energy transformation.

Jobs in renewable energy industries

From many perspectives, the job growth associated with renewable energy is every bit as important as the positive environmental impact. The transition from jobs in fossil fuels to renewables that require training and reskilling is by no means the first major industry transition economies and workers have faced, and it will by no means be the last.

In the US today, there are over 8 million jobs in renewable energy. In 2021 and 2022, energy jobs grew faster than overall U.S. employment.

Clean energy jobs increased in every state and grew 3.9% nationally. With President Joe Biden’s goal of an electric grid run on 100% carbon-free sources by 2035 and a net zero economy by 2050, energy jobs are expected to see continued growth in every pocket of America.

About 1.3 million people were employed in the European Union’s renewable energy sector in 2020. Across all renewable energy sectors, the creation of over 3.5 million jobs by 2030 is projected. The biomethane and heat pumps sectors are estimated to need more than 1 million workers by 2030, according to industry reports. That same number of workers is projected for the photovoltaic solar energy sector by 2030, with up to 66,000 jobs just in manufacturing. Since the launch of the Pact for Skills, more than 1,000 organizations have pledged to reskill over 6 million people in Europe.

Renewable energy trade associations and representatives of installers of clean technologies, with the support of the European Commission, have set up a large-scale skills partnership for the renewable energy industrial ecosystem.

In Australia, the 2022-23 Budget investment of almost A$25 billion in new energy industries will support the country’s goal of becoming a “renewable energy superpower” to export clean energy and create thousands of jobs for Australians.

This budget includes funding toward building the clean energy workforce, part of the government’s commitment to support 10,000 new energy apprenticeships. This investment will deliver financial support, assistance and mentoring directly to new energy apprentices.

Estimated job opportunities just from the offshore wind industry in Australia range from 3,000 to 8,000 jobs annually.

Renewable energy jobs hit 12.7 million globally in 2021 with a projection to reach 38.2 million by 2030. An International Labor Organization report shows that an increasing number of countries are creating jobs in renewables with almost two-thirds of the jobs being in Asia.

Solar energy was found to be the fastest-growing sector. In 2021 it provided 4.3 million jobs, more than a third of the current global renewable energy workforce.

The environment

A large percentage of the greenhouse gas production that traps the sun’s heat is created by burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and heat. A 2019 study titled “The Production Gap” reported that fossil fuels are the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for over 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and close to 90 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions.

Renewable energy is an imperative to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, reaching the goals of reducing emissions by almost half by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050.

Competitive costs for renewables

Prices for renewable energy technologies are dropping rapidly. The cost of electricity from solar power fell by 85 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to a UN report. Costs of onshore and offshore wind energy fell by 56 percent and 48 percent respectively. Although solar and wind are still a bit higher than before the pandemic, higher costs for fossil fuels improves their competitiveness.

Increased efficiency and decreased risk on renewables projects

The starting point of generating cost-effective renewable energy is manufacturing the equipment and building the wind farms, solar farms, and hydropower plants as efficiently and predictably as possible.

Beginning with the permitting phase, Oracle Aconex brings the multi-organization project team, including state and local regulatory agencies, together in a single system. Having all parties in lockstep across project phases while managing thousands of pieces of information reduces miscommunication, rework, and delays, enabling project success.

Tracking and reporting provide transparency including workflow due dates, approvals, and ball in court. Early alerts let the project team members take timely action to keep the project on track, and a full project record supports ongoing operations and maintenance.

Schedules can be developed using the critical path method, integrated with task management within Oracle Primavera Cloud. Information delays are prevented and there is assurance that field teams are building from the latest information.

As part of the Oracle Smart Construction Platform, the integration between Oracle Aconex and Oracle Primavera Cloud Schedule ties project deliverables to your schedule so you can track date changes to see if there is a variance between plan and actual and take timely, appropriate action.

In one consolidated view, keep track of all of project workflows, including associated documentation, durations, due dates, approvals, and status. Automated payment and lien management using Oracle Textura Payment Management helps ensure timely and accurate payments to decrease risk of overpayment and noncompliance.

Develop a full and accurate record to support ongoing efficient operations.

To support the technological innovations and rapid growth in renewable energy projects, Oracle’s fast to deploy, connected SaaS solutions pave a rapid, reliable road for private organizations and public sector agencies to meet environmental sustainability goals as they build crucial green infrastructure projects.

The Oracle Smart Construction Platform combines our industry-trusted applications with a common data environment and an ecosystem of partners to help owners and delivery teams work together and continuously improve performance. The platform connects teams and data, synchronizes work, and empowers individuals to make informed, proactive decisions. Power performance with proven Oracle Construction and Engineering solutions for scheduling, portfolio management, construction project management, project controls, construction payment management, and more.

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Janet Poses

Product Marketing Director

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