From nuclear to renewables and from energy-from-waste to heat, power is one of the most exciting and diverse sectors in the construction industry today, not least because it is packed full of potential work

Of course, these opportunities rely heavily on investment and although there has been little question that this is one of the few sectors that will benefit from government funding, there are still question marks over whether public cash will attract enough top-up private investment and exactly where the money will go.

To answer some of those questions, a market overview from Davis Langdon kicks off this latest infrastructure supplement on page 4, and examines just how much investment into power will be needed by 2015. The report delves into the details of October’s Comprehensive Spending Review and National Infrastructure Plan, looking at exactly where the promised “non-negotiable” investment is likely to go, and how it will be delivered. It lays out precisely which areas within the power sector are worth keeping an eye on over the coming months and years, with a timeline of announcements to look out for over the next 12 months.

Moving the funding debate on, Mark Richards, projects and infrastructure partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner, highlights the critical role of private sector cash if key power schemes are to be delivered successfully in the UK. Turn to page 9 to read his thoughts.

One of the fastest growing areas within the power sector is nuclear. With individual projects worth hundreds of billions of pounds and both nuclear decommissioning and new-build work increasing in the UK, this is one sector it will pay to join. And with an estimated 33,000 people needed to do the work over the next 10 years and not nearly enough properly trained up, it’s little wonder that Atkins set up its own nuclear training academy three years ago. On page 10, the firm’s head of energy talks about how the academy is progressing and why it’s on the verge of going global. He also offers some advice on what skills are needed for a career in nuclear and how to get involved.

Power could be one of the most lucrative sectors for construction companies and individuals over the next 5-10 years but, like in any growing sector, there are pitfalls to be aware of. So it would be wise to read up on legal issues that could crop up with new energy developments. On page 14, Heatons law firm has done the research for you by pointing out what to look out for, from planning to testing and commissioning. As with the power industry itself, there’s plenty to look at.

Emily Wright, deputy features editor, Building