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William V. Liuzza
January 31, 2023
This is our first newsletter of 2023, and I’ll be sharing some of our observations, milestones, and challenges in talent acquisition within renewable energy from the past year. But first, I need to say a sincere THANK YOU to our customers, partners, and job-seekers for supporting EnergeiaWorks. And, of course, I thank my fast-growing team at EnergeiaWorks, because #teamEW wouldn’t be #teamEW without each one of you.
In my 23 year career in private sector recruiting, 2022 goes down as the most complex I’ve ever seen. Yes, there were certainly more challenging moments during the recessions of 2001 and 2007-2008, but those challenges corresponded predictably to recession patterns, such as mass layoffs, slow hiring, and an abundance of purse-tightening. By definition, the early part of 2020 was a recession (24 million US jobs were lost in 3 weeks!), but what quickly followed was a surge in hiring in renewable energy, largely led by the election of the Biden Administration. Since then, the EnergeiaWorks team has doubled in size to keep up with the demand for talent in clean energy. In 2021, our industry experienced the perfect storm of supply and demand for talent, thanks mostly to the Great Resignation. But last year, the demand for talent was led by the signing of the IRA and global energy crises, and talent quickly dried up! Even though EnergeiaWorks increased our revenue in 2022 over 2021, our profits were cut in half because every search took us 35% more time to fill — more research, more outreach, and more time to make each placement. During 2022, I had the opportunity to discuss these issues in an interview with ROI-NJ. I also had the pleasure to sit down with Renewables Unscripted to talk about some of these challenges in a video podcast.
While the official numbers from SEIA, AWEA, ESA, and the Solar Foundation won’t be out for months (I’ll gather this data and aim to put out another conclusive report at the end of Q1), I can confidently say our industry added thousands of jobs in solar, offshore wind, EV infrastructure and energy storage. But it should have been more! Along with staffing shortages across renewable energy, 2022 brought major problems in supply chain, shipping, and transmission to our industry. These issues all need to be resolved this year so we can get back to project development and construction of large-scale solar, wind, and transmission projects.
If you’d like more information about global jobs in renewable energy, I recommend IRENA’s employment report. Domestically, The Solar Foundation covers important ground with their annual Solar Census (sponsored by EnergeiaWorks), and U.S. Energy & Employment Jobs Report issues a comprehensive report.