The UK Government has set a number of challenging targets for improving sustainability, starting with the overarching goal of an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the UK by 2050. Some of the largest environmental impacts in the UK come from buildings.
- 45% of total UK carbon emissions (27% domestic, 18% non-domestic)
- 73% of current domestic emissions arise from space heating and the provision of hot water
- Domestic use accounts for 58% of the public water supply; all other uses account for 24%, with 18% being lost in the system
- 32% of all landfill waste comes from the construction and demolition of buildings
- 13% of products delivered to construction sites are sent directly to landfill without being used.
The UK cannot meet its declared environmental targets without dramatically reducing the carbon-intensity and running costs of buildings.
Consequently, the Government have committed to releasing £150m funding over the next five years to promote the design and development of more energy efficient buildings.
Up to £60m is being invested through the Technology Strategy Board to support innovation in low-carbon building projects; which is expected to leverage an extra £60m of industry investment and £30m more in funding from government and other agencies.
Over the last five years £83m has already been invested through the Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform. Projects have ranged from small businesses like The Facility, developing new energy efficient designs and systems to refit Victorian homes, to Skanska developing “flying factories” to cut the cost of delivering zero and low-carbon buildings.
Director of innovation programmes at the Technology Strategy Board David Bott said: “The government’s challenging target of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 called for innovation on a grand scale.
Allen & York are a leading Energy & Sustainability Recruitment Consultancy, current roles include;
Energy Consultant – Industrial
Location: Flexible UK
The UK has been the world leader in offshore wind since October 2008, with as much capacity already installed as the rest of the world combined. UK waters provide around 8TWh of electricity annually, sufficient to power around 2 million homes.
In addition a further 3.8GW is either in construction or has planning approval and a further 7.8GW is in the planning stage.
Employment growth in the offshore energy sector has been substantial since 2008 and now stands at around 4,000 full time employees.
Many of these jobs will be engineering positions, as the industry needs to source the expertise to create, construct and connect the wind turbines to the national grid.
Offshore wind engineering roughly falls into the categories of; generation (wind farms), transmission (the national transmission network), and distribution (taking the electricity from the transmission network to the consumers). Take a 3D virtual tour of the RWE npower Gwynt y Môr windfarm to see how this works.
Typical roles include; Grid Connections Engineer, Electrical Design Engineer, Subsea Engineer, Wind Turbine Engineer, Overhead Line Engineer and Project Developer/Manager.
For projects such Gwynt y Môr and Triton Knoll, a combination of civil, mechanical and electrical engineers are required, to install the wind turbines and create the distribution infrastructure, consequently there is a huge demand for experienced engineers throughout the UK. There is also a very well reported shortage of young engineers coming through the educational system to fill these positions.
It is no surprise then that, energy providers such as EDF, RWE npower and Siemens have all recognised the need to increase the pool of engineering talent for the future. All have established a home-grown approach to training their own engineers through in-house apprenticeship schemes.
James Dyson when interviewed by the Telegraph this week expressed his concern over the lack of engineers within the UK, he said “he planned to hire a further 650 engineers this year, 300 at Dyson’s UK base in Malmesbury and 350 in Asia.” “We’ll get all the workers we need in Singapore and Malaysia,” he said. “But we have to be realistic in Britain. If we can get 300 we’ll be doing well. We would recruit 2,000 if we could. We have got the technology and the ideas. We just need the people.” 
Allen & York are specialist renewable energy recruiters and we are currently recruiting for offshore and onshore wind engineers. We are always keen to hear from experienced engineers, current opportunities include;
Construction Project Manager – Offshore Wind
Location: South East England
Structural Engineer – Offshore Wind
Location: South East
Electrical Engineer – Onshore