Last year was very interesting and eventful for the energy industry. The highlights include Japan’s fundamental shift in nuclear policy, the war in Ukraine, LNG shortages and record energy prices, a pause on Japan’s offshore wind auctions after a shock Round 1 result, as well as a major spotlight on co-firing with hydrogen and ammonia. Now, let’s take a look at what effects these events had on the talent market here in Japan.
Continued growth in renewables :
The renewables sector as a whole continued to grow. Though markets such as PV solar saw some consolidation, demand for talent was driven by growth in energy storage, EV charging infrastructure and wind power. As has been the case for the last 10 years in Japan, demand for quality talent outstripped supply, leading to greater than 30% of all job changes within renewables involving people joining from other sectors. The biggest ‘transfer’ areas were:
Electrical engineering skills remain in high demand due to bottlenecks in grid connection, as well as a trend for higher-volume, smaller capacity power plants. Increasing realization within the industry about the need for quality asset management and operations & maintenance (O&M) was also a catalyst for rising demand. We’ve seen people from telecommunications, railways and power utilities moving into this area.
Structural and mechanical engineering talent was also in high demand for wind power, especially as for those with marine engineering experience. There was a clear need for people with experience in shipping or floating facilities in the oil & gas exploration space to move into offshore wind projects.