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  2. Renewable energy sources make up 26% of the world’s electricity today, but according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) its share is expected to reach 30% by 2024. “This is a pivotal time for renewable energy,” said the IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol. In 2020, the UK hit a new amazing renewable energy milestone.

  3. EDF Renewables North America Rodica Donaldson has been with EDF Group, a global leader in low-carbon energy, since 2008. She started her career in the renewable energy industry at EDF Renewables in North America.

    • Day-To-Day Working Life in Renewables
    • Developing A Career in The Renewables Industry
    • Diversity and Inclusion in The Renewables Sector
    • Love What You do; Do What You Love
    • The Future Role of Renewables

    Q. Where are you in the country right now? A. I’m working from home in Aberdeenshire at the moment. I’m usually based in the Edinburgh office, but when lockdown happened, my partner and I moved back up to Aberdeenshire, to be closer to family. Q. What does your job as M&A Manager involve? A. This is a new role for me – and a new role for the business! So in part, I’m still developing what I want the role to be and how this new team can support the business strategy with Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) activity. The M&A part of my job title refers to either acquiring or divesting companies or new renewable sites – whether solar, wind, battery or other technologies. My role is also wider than specific projects though. There is a holistic piece, working with all the different technology teams and across projects to bring a one-business cohesive approach. I was involved in M&A from a financial perspective in my previous role at EDF Renewables, so I’ve got experience of the M&A transactio...

    Q. What’s your background – did you study finance? A. At school, I studied Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geography, purely because I really enjoyed those subjects. Then I did a degree in Geology and Physical Geography at university. What my Geology degree taught me was how to weave together information from the spectrum of subjects I studied at school. And that’s been one of the greatest transferable skills I’ve taken from my degree into my career – the principles of how to bring together information from different sources to build the bigger picture. Q. What did you do after graduating? A. I wanted to do something more commercially minded, so I trained as a Chartered Accountant in an accountancy practice. I joined a graduate scheme and started off in audit. It was a great way to see how different types and sizes of businesses work. From there, I joined another large company in a finance role. And then I moved into valuations: looking at modelling and how you value parts of a busi...

    Q. Do you think the industry could do more to promote diversity and inclusion? A. At a conceptual level, you can always do more. The moment we stop and say ‘we’ve cracked it’ is the point at which progress stops. For me, we always need to be questioning ourselves and checking to see if our standards need to evolve. This doesn’t just apply to diversity and inclusion though; but life in general.

    Q. What’s your favourite part of your job? A. There are two things I really love about my role. The first is that I really like learning and every day in this job – in fact, in this industry – is a school day! I’m constantly learning and that’s really important to me. It can be challenging, but that also makes me feel like I’m growing and developing. Being part of a pioneering team and company is really motivating. The second thing I like is the diversity of people I work with. There are so many subject experts and people with diversity of interests around the business. Everyone has their own specific lens for looking at a project. It goes back to what I took away from my degree – I love it when we all come together with our different viewpoints to create a solution. It’s really satisfying and it gives me a sense of accomplishment. Q. And what’s your least favourite part of the job? A. I spend a lot of time speaking to people and pulling together lots of information. Sometimes there...

    Q. How has the pandemic affected the industry? A. I don’t think the appetite for investment in renewables has really slowed during the pandemic. The focus from the government on increasing renewable energy generation and the strong results from the recent offshore auctions from the Crown Estate are a testament to that. Q. How is your role helping the UK accelerate to a net zero future? A. I’m clearly not in a frontline role! But, as a business, we have a plan to deliver a certain amount of energy in the future and M&A is a way of helping us fulfil our pipeline to make that happen. Either by bringing on new projects or finding new partners, like our acquisition of Pivot Powerin 2019. Q. What do you see for the future of renewables? A. I foresee bigger projects – and a more diverse level of technology included in these. As projects increase in size, I think it’s also likely that we’ll start to see more multi-party projects to share the cost and risk. And, generally in society, we’re s...

  4. EDF Renewables in Germany is a subsidiary of the international EDF Renewables Group. As one of the leading companies in the RES sector, EDF Renewables is active in more than 20 countries. Website

    • Day-To-Day Working Life in Renewables
    • Developing A Career in The Renewables Industry
    • Diversity and Inclusion Within The Renewables Sector
    • Love What You do; Do What You Love
    • Future Developments in Wind Power

    Q. Where are you right now? A. I’m in at home, which is in a little village about 12 miles outside Stirling. Usually I’d be commuting to our office in Edinburgh or travelling down to London for meetings between Tuesday and Thursday each week. I’ve always worked from home on Mondays and Fridays while at EDF Renewables; but obviously during the pandemic, I’ve been working from home every day. I miss the office and face-to-face contact. I didn’t realise until lockdown that I’m such an extrovert; I like to think with my mouth open and in active discussion with my colleagues! Q. What does your job as Senior Offshore Development Manager involve? A. I co-ordinate the external and internal consultancy work required to put together our offshore wind tenders So my team decides where to locate our projects, how we build and connect these to the grid, and so on. It’s proper multi-disciplinary stuff, as I work with a diverse range of nice folk: from engineers and consent managers, to technical p...

    Q. What was your route into the renewables industry? A. In my previous life, I was a university lecturer at Edinburgh in biochemistry. So I went down the degree, PhD, post-doctorate studies and lectureship route. It was a busy job – I was lecturing and running small group tutorials – so there wasn’t much of a work/life balance. I also spent a lot of time in the lab, on my own, conducting experiments on bits of plant tissue – and I realised I missed interactions with other people. My husband and I knew the directors of a renewables consultancy, called Natural Power, based in Dumfries and Galloway. We’d always wanted to give living in this rural area a bash – it has amazing mountain biking! – and I’d get to spend more time working in a team with other people. So we made the leap to Natural Power: my husband headed up the IT team and I became a consent manager for onshore and offshore wind farms. Q. Were you worried about changing career path? A. It was such a total change that no-one...

    Q. Do you think the industry could do more to promote diversity and inclusion? A. I’m really conscious of the fact that women are under-represented in the industry – especially in offshore wind. The signatories of the offshore wind Sector Deal have committed the sector to increasing the representation of women in the workforce to 40% by 2030. In 2019, it was 16%, so we have a massive hill to climb. It’s why I always make an effort to wear a frock – and I make sure that it’s flowery if I can – whenever I go to a face-to-face meeting. I want to send out a message to everyone that you can be a flowery frock-wearing woman in this industry! But part of it is also making the work environment flexible. I’ve chosen not to have children; but those who do might not want to work five days a week. Yet their contribution is so valuable and we need a diverse workforce because different people working together come up with better ideas. A diverse group of colleagues working as a highly functioning...

    Q. What do you enjoy about working in the offshore sector? A. I like onshore wind because people can see where their electricity comes from. And I think that is really important. But I love offshore because of the scale. Offshore wind farms are much bigger; produce far more electricity; and, therefore, make a huge difference to the reduction of carbon footprint of our energy mix. Offshore wind projects just keep on getting bigger too! My first onshore project that I managed the consent for was a 24 MW site. But future offshore wind farms will have turbines that alone can generate at least 18 MW… So sites will be able to produce a lot more electricity. Q. What’s your favourite part of your job? A. I love that every day is like a school day. It’s always mentally challenging and stimulating – and that’s what I really like about my job. I love interacting with a huge variety of people every day – not only different skills sets, but also age and experience. It’s a very stimulating enviro...

    Q. What do you see for the future of wind power? A. We all know now that we’re going to need floating offshore wind at scale. At the moment, the industry is talking about it and there have been some 50 MW scale projects. But if we’re to hit the Government’s Net Zero targets, we need large-scale floating offshore. And along with this is a need for innovation in hydrogen and batteries, so we can balance the grid system. The whole area is really exciting as there are so many possibilities for the future. Does working in renewables appeal to you? Search EDF Careers page for jobs at EDF Renewables. Or follow us on LinkedInto get more of an insight into day-to-day working life in renewables.

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    related to: What do you need to know about EDF renewables?
  2. Renewables Are at the Center of the US Energy Transition. Read What Hurdles Are Expected. EY Will Work With You to Master This Disruption & Position You to Succeed.

  3. Your first donation to EDF of $35 or more will be matched by the Wilson Charitable Trust. Give now and help drive innovative policies that accelerate progress on our climate goals.

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