Renewable energy technology has advanced enough in recent years to compete with conventional production sources, even without public subsidies and state aid. Each day signals the start of construction of a PV project, the commissioning of an offshore wind plant, a co-development agreement, or a PPA negotiation.

There is a strong appetite for investment, both nationally and internationally. And, if the global economic situation allows it, years of constant growth await us towards an obligatory decarbonization of energy.

Taylor Hopkinson has been committed to the cause for more than 10 years, headhunting world-class talent for the renewable energy industry across six continents. And, for more than 4 years, we’ve been operating in Iberia from our office in Madrid.

As the head of our Spanish office, I’d like to share our insights and outlook for the current renewables market in Iberia which has led to the creation of thousands of jobs:

The solar PV sector in Spain has completely changed in the last 18 months after a 5-year government moratorium with the suspension of the economic incentives for new installations of production of electrical energy from sources of renewable energy, waste and cogeneration.

In the past few years, three renewable energy auctions were held. The last auction, in 2017, awarded almost 4,000 MW of Solar PV, as well as 1,100 MW to wind farms.

In addition to the auctions, several projects are being developed with other schemes, and the Spanish Government has recently released a new Energy Plan with a roadmap to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050.

In the shorter term, the objective is to reach 8,409 MW by 2020 and 36,882 MW by 2030.

There are a number of forces driving these numbers:

  • Spain has the highest solar resource of all European countries
  • There is enough and appropriate land extension at reasonable price to develop new projects.
  • Spain’s electrical Grid is developed enough to incorporate several facilities.
  • We have one of the highest spot prices of the EU.
  • We have a stable legal framework and reliable partners and providers.

Despite these market strengths, we must remain aware of the challenges. Among others:

  • Electrical interconnection delays.
  • Grid Access & Connection conflicts due to inefficiencies in regulation.
  • Most electrical nodes are almost saturated.
  • Future Capacities – New infrastructure needed.

With all these data on the table, and if the government can mitigate the risks, the outlook for the Spanish renewable sector cannot be better.

As a result, headhunting in the sector has taken a 180-degree turn.

Where before there were 20 valid candidates for a new job opening, there are now 20 job offers for one valid candidate.

This has forced clients to become more sophisticated and improve their selection processes. Clients must be faster, more competitive, and offer better conditions, not only at a salary level, but also at the level of labour flexibility, career path, and variable incentives.

Although the market grows steadily, competition is voracious. Developers all compete for the same points of connection, EPC companies all want to build the same projects, and the off-takers negotiate for the same PPAs. And only those companies that have committed and talented teams will succeed.

Having the right headhunter has become vitally important. Companies need an “on the ground” ally that, in addition to deeply understanding the complex renewables markets, has a strong reputation among the candidates.

Right now, candidates are overwhelmed with calls and messages from recruiters practically every day. We are at the point where in-demand candidates pick up the phone only when it’s somebody they already trust that has their best interests in mind. Candidates need to know they can have an honest and open conversation about a job offer, as well as the market situation or the latest regulatory changes.

In summary, the future prospects in the Spanish renewable market are exceptional. But, as in all markets with such potential, competition is also overwhelming. Aa a result, companies that are able to retain and attract the best professionals will be much more likely to succeed.

If we want the next generations to enjoy a planet like the one, we have known, clean energies play a vital role in our lives.