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Energy & Utilities careers

Hydroelectric & Biomass

How efficiently do hydroelectricity and biomass produce energy?

In a world hooked on fossil fuels that are rapidly disappearing, the energy industry has been reaching out for other sources of power. Hydroelectric and biomass are two viable alternatives that are going a fair way to plugging the huge hole that will appear once the world’s oil reserves dry up.

Growing environmental concerns have also pushed the energy and utilities industry to seek new ways of powering the world. Hydroelectric and biomass are two extremely clean methods of producing power, hence why many governments have favoured their selection over the last few decades.

The earth is a sensitive thing. We won’t be able to keep extracting fossil fuels forever, so the energy industry is desperately seeking a viable alternative. Given that hydroelectric power alone caters for 20% of the world’s electricity, it’s anything but a gimmick.

Admittedly, biomass also triggers environmental concerns when it is burnt for energy. However, this form of energy has alternative uses, as other methods of extracting energy from biomass make it much more environmentally friendly.

What jobs make up the hydroelectric and biomass sector?

Both falling under the tagline of renewable energy, governments and companies throughout the world are investing in alternatives, such as hydroelectric power and biomass. This is good news for employment prospects as investment always leads to job creation.

Taking it to the top, any hydroelectric power station requires an immense amount of planning, construction and maintenance to become fully operational. Producing these huge structures is an industry in itself, which requires pretty much every profession in the construction industry, from architectssurveyors and engineers, to general operatives on the ground.

Once the power station is in place, energy engineers, safety officers, water scientists, facilities managers and others are required to keep these beasts working. Given the water pressure that these structures are constantly experiencing, they require a huge amount of attention from a large number of highly-skilled individuals.

What is biomass?

Biomass is biological material derived from recently living organisms. It is created largely from five different kinds of materials:

  • Agricultural residues
  • Food waste
  • High yield crops
  • Virgin wood
  • Industrial waste.

As you can see, farming plays a big part in the production of biomass which is reflected in the careers available in this area. Once the crops are harvested, the materials are sent to a plant for processing. This process is entirely dependent on the way that the biomass material will be converted into energy (e.g. thermal, biochemical or chemical).

So, if all this talk of decomposing living organisms and water-powered energy-pumping machines has got you bouncing up and down with glee, perhaps a career in hydroelectric and biomass energy is the one for you! Take a peek at our energy job roles to see if any of them are a perfect jumpstart for your career!