It would be fair to say that 2020 has been a challenging year for most people. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has hit many industries hard, forcing record numbers of job losses and has seen many industries and businesses crumble under the pressure.

But it is not all doom and gloom. For some industries, there has been more than a spark of positivity to come out of the year that everyone wants to forget. One of these is the energy sector. A number of disciplines in the field have gone from strength to strength in recent years, and even a global pandemic has not put a complete stop to that.

This is great news if you are a graduate who is looking to get into the energy sector or an experienced energy expert looking to further their career. There are some huge projects and initiatives set to be launched in 2021, and it is a really exciting time for most disciplines of energy. The renewable energy industry in particular has seen a real uptick in demand in recent years and is certainly set to continue on this trajectory in 2021 and beyond. As we’ve mentioned before, there have been some highly exciting projects in the field over the last year that have created a wealth of employment opportunities.

But it’s not just been renewables that’s seen an increase in activity that could provide interesting career opportunities. The potential for the reintroduction of nuclear power reprocessing in America, for example, is certainly something for energy professionals to keep an eye on.

With all of these new initiatives going on and an increased focus on renewable energy, there has never been a better time to be looking for a career in the energy industry.  Demand for skills in the arena is going to be higher than we have seen for a long time, which is certainly great news at the end of a tough 2020.

Here, we are going to take a look at some of the exciting projects that you can get involved with in the New Year.

Three exciting energy projects for 2021

1.   Pecan Prairie Solar Project, United States

The Pecan Prairie Solar Project is a massive solar project in southwestern Leon County in Texas, United States.  Founded by ConnectGen, the project is set to install around 500MW of solar power, which should be enough to power more than 50,000 homes across the state of Texas.  ConnectGen expects the launch of the construction of its Pecan Prairie Solar Project in 2021 and the start of operations in 2022.

Texas ranks 4th in the nation for installed capacity. The estate is already reaping the benefits of economic growth, with an additional 13,310 MW of power planned over the next five years. Over 10,000 solar jobs have been created in the Lone Star state alone, and the industry is expected to continue to expand with more projects getting off the ground.

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2.   Aphrodite Gas Field, Cyprus

Based off the shores of Cyprus, around 160 kilometers south of Limassol, the Aphrodite Gas Field is expected to be in full operation in the next couple of years.  It is valued at $3.5billion and the block, which is part of the exploratory drilling block 12 in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, is thought to contain over 4.5 Tcf of natural gas and 9 MMboe of condensate within five reservoir sands. Noble Energy are the operators of the site, which will supply domestic gas to Cyprus. There has also been a signed agreement between the Cyprus and Egypt governments for an additional subsea natural gas pipeline, which will supply gas to Egypt for exporting to the EU as LNG. This is expected to create jobs across a range of specialisms.

3.   Long Son (No.3) Refinery, Vietnam

Following the establishment of the Dung Quat and Nghi Son refineries, the state-owned PetroVietnam is working to build its Long Son refinery, which will be located in the province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, approximately 100 kilometres east of Ho Chi Minh City. The Long Son refinery, covering an area of approximately 460 hectares (1136 acres), will have a capacity of 200,000 barrels per day, producing liquefied petroleum gas, unleaded petroleum products, gasoline, kerosene and sulphur. Some of the crude oil that will be processed at Long Son will be imported from the Middle East to complement Vietnam’s own domestic supply lines.

The Long Son refinery project has faced a variety of delays to date related to site approval, as well as difficulties sourcing a suitable project partner. While officially still in the feasibility phase, the project is expected to begin construction soon with the start-up expected in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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A Promising Future

Despite the pandemic, the energy industry is continuing to flourish and go from strength to strength, with plenty of exciting projects on the horizon to get involved with. There really has never been a time quite like this for the energy sector. The projects listed above are just some of the ones in the pipeline. We may be experiencing circumstances like we have never faced before, but one thing is for sure; people always need energy.

If you are looking for a career in industry, or need tips on how to apply for jobs and impress potential employers, take a look at the wealth of career-based information that we have on our blog.

And don’t forget, our jobs page is being constantly updated with new roles across oil & gas, renewables, power and mining – why not take a look today to find your next role.

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