Finding your niche in the renewable energy sector

Listen: Oil and gas worker tackles a renewable energy career

The oil and gas sector has been providing a living for workers and their families for generations. But that is changing as the world moves to a net-zero economy. It isn’t a case of ‘if’ it happens – but when and are we ready.

The biggest challenges are finding ways to reduce emissions to reach our goals while making sure workers are treated fairly.  That also sums up the mission of Iron & Earth to “empower fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers to build and implement climate solutions”.

Two pilot projects we completed last year lived up to that mission by training workers as they re-purposed inactive well sites into solar power generation sites.

In a poll commissioned by Iron & Earth in 2021, 88% of fossil fuel workers who responded were interested in training and upskilling to transition to a net-zero economy.

Shawn Hubbard was a worker who was ready for some of that additional training to make a career move. Through our RenuWell program he received hands-on experience installing a solar power generation system in southern Alberta. His career story has been much like the story of Iron & Earth – how to get out of the boom-bust cycle of the oil and gas industry and be an active part of climate solutions.

Shawn talked with freelance broadcaster Don Hill in this installment of our Renewable Conversations podcast.




This blog is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program. 

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Iron & Earth was founded and operates on Indigenous land within Treaty Six Territory and Métis Region 4 in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (in Nehiyawewin/Cree), so-called Edmonton. The home of many Indigenous Peoples including the Nehiyawak/Cree, Tsuut’ina, Niitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Haudenosaunee/Iroquois, Dene Suliné, Anishinaabe/Ojibway/Saulteaux, and the Inuk/Inuit.

We pay our respects to all Indigenous Peoples of this land. Through their spiritual and practical relationships with the land, a rich heritage for our learning and our life as a community has been created and maintained. We recognize that the transition to a low-carbon future must be led by Indigenous Peoples and that there will be no justice unless we acknowledge and repair our relationship with the land.

We are committed to responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and upholding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and acknowledge that we are always learning and unlearning practices that minimize harm and lead to the development of trust between us and Indigenous Peoples across Nations and urban centers.