From this IEEE Roundup article (December 2012):
“[T]o smarten up the grid, utility companies need power engineers—lots of them—and soon. That’s because during the next decade, about half of the estimated 7000 engineers in the field in the United States are expected to retire.”
The solutions offered by the article all amount to throwing more money at encouraging students to take up power engineering, e.g.
“One of the possible solutions is the IEEE Power & Energy Society’s Scholarship Plus Initiative is a multimillion-dollar three-year program that encourages EE undergrads to pursue careers in power engineering by awarding them scholarships and providing career experiences as undergraduates.”
“[T]he Portland General Electric Foundation awarded a $50 000 grant to Portland State University to help prepare engineering students for careers in the power industry. “
“Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy at the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability reported that the department used $100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—the economic stimulus plan enacted in 2009—to retarget programs toward smart-grid education. The department granted 54 awards to rebuild various university power and energy programs and fund research projects.”