The photovoltaics and renewable energy industries are growing rapidly worldwide in response to global climate change and energy supply challenges. In particular, photovoltaic generation is the most rapidly growing sector of the electrical power industry, and the area generating the most rapid cost reductions.
Many exciting areas of PV power are emerging as the price of PV power falls and as new technologies emerge in response to environmental concerns. PV power is increasingly being employed on buildings, sometimes replacing conventional building materials such as roofing, shading devices or walls. At the same time, utility scale PV plants are being commissioned worldwide. PV is also suitable and often least cost for the provision of sustainable electricity to remote areas, and plays an important role in the provision of electricity to people in developing countries who at present have little or no access to electricity.
The major companies employing photovoltaic and renewable energy engineers include manufacturers, research organisations, system design and integration companies, electricity utilities, and major end users of products, for example, communications companies. The number and size of companies employing photovoltaic engineers is increasing, and with it the demand for appropriately trained engineers.