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Energy Sector Translation – Critical, Complex, and Changing

Energy Sector Translation – Critical, Complex, and Changing

Global energy production is changing at an unprecedented pace. Traditional energy sources like fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), nuclear fission, and hydropower provide most of the energy used around the world. But according to a research paper from May of 2022* global renewable energy consumption has maintained an average growth rate of 13.4% every year over the past decade. Few fields are as critical in the effort to support more livable human communities and a healthy planet, so the incentives in these renewable energy fields keep increasing.

Change in the energy sector is focused on increased energy production from 11 primary renewable energy fields**:

  • Solid biomass
  • Liquid biofuels
  • Biogas
  • Geothermal
  • Hydropower
  • Solar photovoltaic (PV)
  • Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)
  • Solar heating/cooling
  • Wind Power
  • Municipal and industrial waste
  • Tide, wave, and ocean energy

The concerns woven into energy sector texts and translations involve politics, regulations, workplace safety, new technology, process innovations, complex machinery, regional climate conditions, mathematical calculations, engineering, patents, and traditional scientific knowledge all at once. In order to accurately convey this array of concepts from a source language to a target language translators can’t depend on superficial knowledge and reference sources. For energy sector translation projects Skrivanek assigns translators with actual training in the specific energy fields involved.

Take a look at this example of a field-specific concept from the U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA) Glossary    

Elution:  The process of using a solvent (eluent) to remove select ions (e.g., uranium) from an adsorbent such as ion-exchange resins.

The U.S. EIA  glossary and others are available to translators, but terminology cannot be truly understood without background context. The number of words that would be needed to thoroughly explain the underlying concepts for even just the short definition of “elution” would take paragraphs. Technical renewable energy texts require the kind of deep understanding of entire processes that is only available to individuals with energy sector education, not mere cursory knowledge of terms. Incomplete understanding of an unknown term can cause a translator to mis-translate entire paragraphs without even realizing it.

The sophisticated translation technology that we use at Skrivanek provides tremendous assistance to our energy sector translators. Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools, Machine Translation (MT), and Translation Management Systems (TMS) are the main tools employed to increase the speed and accuracy of technical translations. Translation cost goes down and consistency is guaranteed by such processes as the use of translation memories for repeated terms and phrases.

Our translation teams can help you translate all of your energy-related documents, from marketing brochures to instruction manuals. We will also localize your website, training videos, and e-learning modules with content and brand accuracy for every one of your markets around the world. During times of change and high demand for excellence, it’s best to partner with a superior language service provider with experience in your field. Contact us for a consultation about your project.



J. V. McShulskis


* The Impact of Globalization on Renewable Energy Development in the Countries along the Belt and Road Based on the Moderating Effect of the Digital Economy Yu Zhang 1,*, Le Su 1 , Warren Jin 2 and Yunan Yang 1,* (May 2022)

** Environmental and Energy Study Institute



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