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Energy Consultants

History

Energy has played a key role in human development. For thousands of years, fire (fueled first by wood, then charcoal, and then coal) was the main source of energy. In the last 200 years, many other types of energy (natural gas, oil, nuclear power, and energy derived from renewable sources such as water, the sun, and wind) have been discovered, and the methods to tap these resources have improved as our society has advanced technologically. In addition, as people have come to realize that supplies of some of these resources (such as coal and oil) are not unlimited, improving energy efficiency to conserve these resources and protect the environment has grown in importance.

The expertise of energy consultants has been sought by companies, governments, and individuals since the earliest extractions of natural gas, oil, and coal from the earth, and demand has only grown with advances in technology and the identification and utilization of renewable energy sources. Many of the first management consulting firms provided expertise to oil, coal, and natural-gas companies, as well as to government agencies that sought to regulate the energy industry. While large management consulting firms remain major players in the energy consulting industry, there are now a number of boutique firms that specialize in energy consulting. Job opportunities are expected to remain strong for energy consultants as a result of increasing demand for fuel and power, the passage of laws such as the Energy Policy Act (2005) and the Energy Independence and Security Act (2007), and the growing emphasis on the development of renewable energy sources and the implementation of smart-grid systems (technological infrastructure upgrades that are modernizing the delivery of electricity and improving energy efficiency). 

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