What did I need to learn to do this job?
I first studied theoretical physics for four years at university which taught me how to think about complex problems. After that, I studied energy policy and energy finance.
To do my job well, you need to be able to explain complicated things in a very clear way, and so being a good communicator is important. You also need to closely follow what’s happening in the world of renewable energy by reading lots of news articles and talking to people. Finally, you need to be quite good at maths because working in energy often means juggling lots of numbers.
At school I loved maths and physics, but music was my favourite subject. If I couldn’t work in renewable energy, I would love to be a composer of soundtracks for blockbuster movies!
Brian Denvir, 34, France
European Energy Markets Lead at Google
I’m passionate about fighting climate change and decided after university that I wanted to dedicate my career to that cause. Renewable energy is one of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stop global heating, but energy systems can be complicated to manage. This is what motivates me – fighting climate change and solving complex problems!
Google buys a lot of renewable energy because electricity is needed to power the company’s apps, and it is important this electricity is clean. I help Google buy renewable energy from wind and solar farms, so the electricity needed to show you videos on YouTube or to give you directions on Google Maps doesn’t produce greenhouse gases.
I do this by having conversations with lots of creative people who work on renewable energy. I speak to engineers who build wind farms, politicians who make the plans for using renewable energy and the people who keep the electricity grid running.
My challenge for the next few years will be to help Google operate completely on clean energy everywhere, and all of the time. It’s not an easy problem to solve, but it’s interesting, ambitious and rewarding! Google is a very exciting place to work for someone who is interested in clean energy.
Many of Google’s services also help people to use less energy and reduce their carbon footprint by doing things virtually. For example, if businesses hold more video meetings, people don’t have to travel as much and so they pollute less. Apps like Google Maps can
also tell you the most efficient route to get home, and so you use less energy!
The favourite part of my job is getting to meet and share ideas with other people who are very motivated and passionate about climate change. By working together, we have a much better chance of fixing the problem.
Working with people from lots of different backgrounds was also important in the jobs I did before joining Google. First, I helped governments and businesses around Europe make good plans and rules for using more renewable energy. I then did a similar job for the Irish government, helping it understand the actions needed to meet the country’s climate change targets.
My home country, Ireland, is very windy and so it is the perfect location for wind farms.
I find it very inspiring and motivating to see young people like Greta Thunberg telling adults that we need to do better and end our use of fossil fuels fasterster — they are absolutely right!