Starting to investigate a new job option will often be a laborious task,
fraught with bad and inconsistent advice...
Because of the current financial climate, many ordinary people are seeking to protect their futures through training into an alternative career.
If you're pondering what career to take - begin your journey with our breakdowns of many different career-paths.
It's simple - just click on the career option to get going...
How would you like to get into an industry that is both cutting-edge and future-proof? Get trained for work in the renewables industry and you'll have the skills to do it. Within months of getting started on a course, you could be ready to work here or overseas in a thriving new job or business. Current global fuel supplies have a limited lifespan. Householders in the developed world know changes will have to come soon. Political leaders are striving to guide people towards greater energy efficiency by promoting and incentivising replenishable alternatives.
Grants are available in the UK to replace inefficient boilers and utilise more 'green' forms of energy. Moves such as these mean the demand for appropriately certified fitters and installers continues to increase. So if you're thinking about training to become a plumber or an electrician, why not gear your skill-set towards green energy?
And if you're already a qualified tradesman or woman, you might think about bolt-on green courses to add to your portfolio.
When we talk about green energy, we mean any functional source of power that has been created from a natural resource. By harnessing the energy from the sun, the wind or the tides we can create alternative sources of power. Wind and water power had commercial uses many years ago, but now we can use the power of the sun for domestic purposes as well. Hence the opportunity for 'green collar' workers.
Energy radiated from the sun can be converted into hot water through solar thermal systems. We have a plentiful range of systems to choose from today, as this technology has been developing for many years. They are used in conjunction with conventional boilers or heating systems, and can provide most of the hot water for a UK family throughout the summer months. If we look at the whole year, roughly fifty per cent of their hot water will come from solar power. Collection equipment comes in the form of the more efficient evacuated tubes, or the perhaps more visually attractive solid flat plates. Installation is quite straightforward - in fact some of the tubular versions can be built whilst actually on the roof.
Photovoltaic cells or panels also absorb the sun's energy, but this time electricity is produced. Again, PV panels are designed to be attached to a roof or wall that is preferably south facing. As sunlight shines onto the panels an electric field is created that goes to an inverter inside the roof. The power distribution panel in the house will take the 'solar' electricity and use it in combination with that from the National Grid.
Consumers will reduce their electricity bills significantly, as sunlight doesn't cost anything to run. Obviously savings will start to take effect once the initial cost of the system has been recovered.
The Grid will also automatically be fed any unused PV electricity, so if householders go away for two weeks, their solar power won't be wasted. To encourage more people to invest in solar PV systems, UK legislation has increased the amount energy companies have to pay for this fed-back electricity. Some European governments have fixed 'feed-in tariffs' for many years, which has led to an increase in the number of systems purchased, and a reduction in the amount they cost.
Ground source heat (which in Britain remains fairly constant at twelve degrees centigrade) can be used to create electricity and warm water. Collector piping is placed down in the earth and fed with a special non-damaging solution that can't freeze. It absorbs the warmth as it circulates around the piping, and delivers it's heat to the connecting pump. This heat can be used to warm the water for heating systems. If consumers choose a ground source heat pump system to replace electric radiators, they'll find the new system much more efficient.
A good training course will prepare you for a rewarding career as a competent green engineer. You can expect to study and qualify in certain essential electrical and plumbing skills, and gain newer certifications that cover green energy. Make sure you come out with a good knowledge of ground and air source heat pumps, and domestic solar technology. That's where a lot of your future work is likely to be.
Essentially, courses are there to equip you for work - so all parts of your training should lead to industry recognised qualifications. Your course may also offer options on how to install rainwater harvesting systems or grey water recycling systems for example.
Every home being sold in the UK must now have an Energy Performance Certificate which states it's current consumption and advises on ways to become more efficient.
In some instances, changes can produce huge savings. And up to 80 per cent of the cost of installation work can often be claimed from the government if owners have 'green' systems fitted by qualified professionals.
That just scratches the surface though. Today renewable energy provides less than two percent of all domestic energy. But by twenty sixteen the law states that for every new property built that figure must be fifteen percent. Issues concerning climate change and rocketing fuel costs mean that green renewable energy is emerging as an excellent business for anyone with the right skills.