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Power grids and power management

If electricity is the blood of the economy, then power grids are the circulation system. The world is growing in complexity, with increasing requirements for power grids and demand for respective jobs.
The key changes in power grids and power consumption are linked with smart grid technologies. These are grids with intelligent control systems that allow, based on the power consumption level in a building/office (precisely determined by equipment, lights and electric sockets), for the setting of optimal operation modes (e.g. washing clothes at night, when power rates are lower). They can also quickly respond to any problems (e.g. voltage surges), thereby preventing damage to equipment, and automatically recover after a breakdown.
These technologies reduce losses in power delivery systems and make power delivery more reliable and increase continuity. They can also help consumers choose an energy supplier and manage consumption and spending. In addition, users who own their own micro generators may have surplus power to sell.
Another trend is the evolution of distributed generation. A total blackout is a favourite device of writers in disaster films: insidious hackers or natural calamities disrupt power mains and a whole city falls into darkness. Distributed power allows for the prevention of such a scenario, as local accidents in separate grid sections will not lead to global implications. Developed countries have put it on their active agendas as far back as the 2000s: in particular, the USA passed a law offering considerable benefits to small electricity producers after a major accident in the power system on the north-east of the USA and in Canada in 2003. The share of centrally produced electricity has been declining since then. There are no equivalent initiatives in Russia yet, but as companies lack funds to upgrade the mains, distributed power may become a topical issue in Russia in the near future, creating a need for respective specialties.

Professions

Electric vehicle charging station operator

The profession appears after 2020

Specialist servicing the infrastructure for charging electric cars and other vehicles (e.g. unmanned cargo aircraft). The US has the best developed grid of this kind at the moment, with around 7,000 charging stations.

Professional skills and abilities

Power consupmtion system designer

The profession appears after 2020

Specialist working to maximize the comfort and power efficiency of user environments. This system designer advises on the best tools to use in a particular situation and what to do with the most power-intensive household appliances, such as the air conditioner or refrigerator.

System engineer for smart power grids

The profession appears after 2020

Specialist tasked with designing and modelling smart grids, micro generation systems, and smart power environments for various purposes; develops technological and infrastructural requirements to systems throughout their life cycle. Provides solutions for the same task as the designer of power consuming systems, but on the end of power supply. There are foreign companies that provide the service (e.g. Siemens offers the SureGrid service, enabling real-time power consumption control within a specific building).

Energy auditor

The profession appears before 2020

Professional engaged in auditing and consulting in power consumption. Inspects private homes, residential blocks, detached buildings and factories for energy losses and provides recommendations on power consumption optimization. Energy audit already exists as a licensed activity. The job is quite popular, with 845 vacancies in July 2014, according to HeadHunter. Demand for these specialists will rise even higher in the future.

Power grid adjuster/controller in distributed generation

The profession appears before 2020

Specialist analyzing potential system failures, designing the most efficient operation modes, and ensuring the designed safety of power grids and waste disposal. Familiar with non-destructive control methods and smart grid commissioning.

Professional skills and abilities

Electricity consumer rights expert

The profession appears before 2020

Checks power grids for compliance with safety, efficiency and other user requirements, providing professional advice on energy saving legislation. Europe and the USA have a carefully elaborated system of electricity consumer rights protection, with many experts on the subject, who commonly provide advice on how to pay less for power. The service will become sought-after in Russia as well, not least of all to make sense of all the complex benefit and subsidy schemes, which are the subject of complaints even from professionals.

Professional skills and abilities

Power marketing expert

The profession appears before 2020

Specialist with a good knowledge of the Russian and global power market, dealing with power sales. Need for the profession is caused by the increasing competition on the power market and emergence of a large number of private businesses. There is no demand for it in Russia as of now, but issues of micro generation and distributed grids will become highly topical very soon. In the west, however, the specialty of power marketing expert is quite developed.

Where can i receive basic training
in the specialty?

Moscow Power Engineering Institute
the National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University
Novosibirsk state technical university
St.Petersburg Polytechnic University

Employers in the Russian Federation

Россети
Э.OН Россия
КЭС-Холдинг
МРСК ЮГА
МРСК Сибири
МРСК Центра
ТРК
МРСК Центра и Приволжья
Янтарьэнерго
Кубаньэнерго
Московская объединенная электросетевая компания
ФСК ЕЭС
Московская объединенная энергетическая компания