Energy & Clean Tech
The bIG PICTURE
With energy consumption and natural resource use rising steadily, changemakers in energy and clean technology tackle the impact on our natural world by improving efficiency, developing renewable energy sources, and reducing waste and emissions. With innovations and new technologies prompting significant progress in this field, leaders with engineering, business, finance, and policy backgrounds are playing important roles.
- Electricity generation, transportation, and other human activities increased greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by 14% from 1990 to 2008.1
- The U.S. used nearly 14,000 kWh of energy per capita in 2008, compared to 6,000 in the United Kingdom and less than 3,000 worldwide.2
- Americans generated 250 million tons of trash in 2010, but only recycled or composted about a third of it.3
What can you expect if you decide to go into the energy and clean tech field?
Remember, “technology” is half of clean tech
The field needs business leaders, funders, and policy wonks to keep things rolling, but don’t expect to get too far without at least a semi-technical understanding of how energy is generated and transmitted, how new technologies work, and the technical barriers and opportunities that exist.
In this rapidly growing sector, successful professionals respond well to change, are ready to grow, and have their pulse on what’s next so they can innovate effectively. If you like directions laid out for you or want a well-defined professional ladder to climb, this might not be your space.
Despite the sector’s growth, demand for jobs in energy and clean technology remains higher than supply. To break into the field, be prepared to network like crazy, build your skills in more traditional roles, or start your own venture.