Demand for energy professionals is at a breaking point. It will increase in the thousands in the nearest future

17 April 2023

Existential threat of climate change, the importance to ensure energy independence and the ongoing energy transition in Lithuania is propping up the demand for energy professionals. According to Ignitis Group and EPSO-G data, Lithuania will require at least 2,500 additional energy specialists by 2030, and around 1,500 of them will work on offshore projects.

According to the Association of Lithuanian Higher Education Institutions (LAMA), only around 5–10% of students applying for engineering degrees are choosing energy studies (in 2022 around 2,800 students applied for engineering studies). This clearly indicates that the demand for energy professionals in the future will be huge, and the energy sector will become the new IT sector, where specialists will be in high demand, with companies competing for them.

“A couple of decades ago there was a breakthrough and a major shift in demand in the IT sector, and now we are clearly seeing that the energy sector is taking over the role, and the demand for energy specialists will only grow in the coming decades. The energy sector is expanding rapidly, and the specialists working in the field require, besides basic IT skills, knowledge about data management, artificial intelligence, machine learning and many more skills. The demand in Europe for renewable energy specialists is already growing by orders of magnitude, and we are competing for them with the largest global energy companies,” said Mindaugas Keizeris, CEO at EPSO-G.

“On 17 April we celebrate the Energy Day. And it’s a great opportunity to check how well we are prepared to carry out our plans to have complete energy independence by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. It’s one thing to develop solar, onshore and offshore capacities for generating green energy, and it's entirely another thing to ensure that we have the necessary energy professionals,” said Živilė Skibarkienė, Management Board Member and Head of Group Organisational Development at Ignitis Group.

To tackle the challenges related to the demand for energy professionals, the largest energy companies Ignitis Group and EPSO-G, together with the Ministry of Energy, started the #EnergySmartSTART programme last year. It’s intended for schoolchildren, students and anyone who is interested in energy. Last year, we organised educational excursions, gave lectures at schools and granted scholarships.

We wish to promote the energy professions to students and encourage them to choose energy studies. Last year alone, Ignitis Group has granted EUR 150,000 for 50 scholarships, and EPSO-G has granted EUR 36,000 for 18 scholarships in higher education institutions in Lithuania that have electrical and energy engineering studies as well as other studies important for the transformation of the energy sector.

This year, Ignitis Group has already announced that it will double the grant for scholarships to EUR 300,000 (100 first- and second-years will receive EUR 300 for 10 months).

The programme also serves as means to promote energy professions. From the start of the programme, almost 3,000 visitors have visited the generation facilities of Ignitis Group, such as Vilnius CHP, Kaunas CHP, Kaunas HPP and Kruonis PSHP. Over the year, #EnergySmartSTART lecturers gave lectures to nearly 5,000 schoolchildren and students and visited 118 Lithuanian education institutions.

About #EnergySmartSTART

All energy companies who might have their own initiatives are welcome to join the long-term #EnergySmartSTART programme because the programme is open to all energy sector participants.

In the future, we are also planning to provide targeted financial support to students in their second and third year of studies, etc., not just for first-years. Additionally, the creators of the programme have a plan to support Lithuanian students who successfully enrol in the world's top-ranked energy programmes.

#EnergySmartSTART website has useful information for teachers, schoolchildren and students. You are welcome to browse the current career opportunities in the energy sector. It is likely that you will find an offer that suits you because the energy sector employs over 100 different professions, from chemists to robot engineers, from HR specialists to renewable energy experts.

Discover yourself in the energy sector!