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We are born into and derive sustenance from nature. However consumerism and profits have had several adverse effects, at the foremost of which is climate change, attributable primarily to the uncontrolled emission of greenhouse gases. This has had deep consequences on flora, fauna, and the natural resources. Our oceans have heated up at a rate not seen in at least 11,000 years, increasing the planet’s temperature faster than in any comparable period since the 1970s. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) underscores the urgency of peaking global greenhouse gas emissions and reaching zero emissions by 2050 to mitigate the potential catastrophe. The study of renewable energy is a step towards achieving these goals.
Read on to gain an overview of the renewable energy sector and the education you need to lead the transition to a green economy.
The Bachelor of Science in Renewable Energy is a comprehensive undergraduate programme centred around sustainable energy systems and their practical applications. Some of its learning outcomes include:
•An interdisciplinary understanding, from the traditional sciences of physics, chemistry, materials science, and environmental science to specialised fields like biomolecular engineering, photochemistry, and electrochemistry.
•It aims to prepare graduates capable of designing and implementing low-carbon and carbon-free energy solutions that effectively address global energy needs while minimising environmental impacts, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change.
•It allows students to delve into the intricacies of solar energy conversion, hydrogen and fuel cell production and storage, energy storage through batteries and supercapacitors, new thermal energy generation, energy efficiency and saving, and intelligent grid technology.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the United Nations’ International Labor Organization (ILO) released a report that indicates a growth of 700,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector, reaching 12.7 million worldwide in 2021. Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and the energy crisis, the industry saw significant growth, with solar energy being the fastest-growing sector and providing 4.3 million jobs, making up over a third of the global renewable energy workforce. The World Economic Forum predicts that the shift towards clean energy will result in 10.3 million new jobs worldwide by 2030.
India, with its target of 500 GW of non-fossil fuel energy sources by 2030, has the potential to create 3.4 million clean energy jobs and provide employment for over a million people. Most of these jobs are expected to come from distributed renewable energy, bringing the energy transition closer to communities and creating local employment opportunities.
Governments and corporations are taking bold steps towards a more sustainable energy future. There is an increasing need for experts in the field who possess a deep technical understanding and the ability to develop innovative solutions that minimise their impact on the environment, promote geopolitical stability, and drive economic diversification. This industry needs leaders with a unique combination of business acumen and interpersonal effectiveness, capable of leading teams and effecting meaningful change.
And we think that you can be one!
Today, thanks to prolific media coverage and the work of hundreds of dedicated nonprofits, people are waking up to the enormity of climate change that threatens humanity and the planet. As the demand grows for cleaner energy alternatives, the renewable energy industry continues to increase in popularity. Take a look at some of the sought-after jobs in the industry:
They are pivotal in the examination and resolution of environmental concerns, utilising their research skills to design and execute plans aimed at addressing these issues. They leverage a comprehensive understanding of natural sciences, to conceive waste-reducing initiatives, consult with policymakers, and remediate areas affected by severe pollution. Their job usually involves conducting research, performing experiments, and analysing environmental data to devise effective solutions.
Sustainability engineers are crucial in creating systems that align with sustainability criteria. They employ innovative mapping technologies and various tools to generate models and gather data, which informs their design approach. Working in tandem with renewable energy specialists, they determine the most efficient solutions and execute the installation of renewable energy sources.
They design comprehensive plans encompassing residential neighbourhoods, communities, land utilisation, transportation systems, and public utilities. Specialising in renewable energy, urban planners may fashion projects that embody sustainable principles. Working in close collaboration with engineers, builders, government entities, and other clients, they shape and revise designs, seamlessly integrating various ecological elements.
Energy engineers are crucial in promoting energy efficiency in buildings by implementing energy-efficient systems and structures. Their expertise encompasses lighting systems, air conditioning, indoor air quality, and other building-related systems. They are typically engaged during the construction or remodelling phase of building development, where they work to design and execute energy-saving programs that optimise building performance and reduce energy consumption.
Solar consultants use their domain expertise to develop strategic solutions to reduce energy consumption for businesses and households. They conduct a comprehensive assessment of energy consumption, providing clients with a clear understanding of their usage patterns. They also offer expert guidance and sell relevant solar products to clients, thereby assisting them in making informed decisions related to their energy usage.
Energy Auditors offer practical and tangible guidance that can result in substantial yearly savings. They assess the energy consumption in buildings of diverse sizes, spanning from residential to industrial, with the aim of reducing energy waste and mitigating carbon emissions. This may involve carrying out different inspections, including walkthroughs, general inspections, and investment grade audits. They can scrutinize the building’s infrastructure and energy bills to analyze utility data, thereby identifying opportunities for enhancement.
Some other jobs in the sector include:
The Government of India has reiterated its focus on energy transition with the Union Budget 2023, which is expected to fuel green growth in the country in the coming years. It also reinforces our commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070.
The training and skills provided by the Energy Sciences Major at Atria University are in sync with these goals. With an immersive, project-led curriculum, it covers all critical areas in the future energy industries to develop the leaders of this emerging field.
Energy Sciences Major at Atria University
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