Renewable energy, hope of the future

Renewable energy, hope of the future

Opting for post graduate diploma courses is a good option for graduate engineers for their first footstep in this emerging sector, says Jyotirmoy Roy 

Global economic market is still experiencing a hard time, which is affecting all market sectors including power sector. Despite this economic turbulence, renewable energy market manages a continuous growth. 

In recent years, the majority of annual global investment in power generation is flowing to renewable energy instead of fossil fuel and nuclear. 

This investment is happening in the mainstream renewable energies such as wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal, hydro, biomass, geothermal, tidal, wave etc. The renewable energy contribution is increasing in the total energy mix in different countries. More than 30 countries around the world already reached above 20% renewable energy share at their national level. 

The major contribution of renewable energy in India comes from wind. Globally, India stands fifth in rank with over 17GW installed capacity. 

Solar power has just started to play an important role at utility level in the Indian energy mix with over 1GW installed capacity in the last few years. Generation of small hydro and biomass power is over 3.3GW and 3.2GW respectively.

Under different national and state level policies in India, additional capacity of over 27GW is projected from various renewable energy sources in next few years. With the expected growth in this sector, more than eight million new jobs are expected to be created in India only by 2030. 

Renewable Energy World reported in recent years, 2.3 million new jobs have been created in the renewable energy sector, and at least 20 million additional jobs will be created by 2030. 

Over two million green jobs in energy efficient buildings are also projected in Europe and USA, with the potential much higher in developing countries.

Leading renewable energy markets are Germany, China, USA, Italy, Spain, India, Japan, and UK. To maintain the sustainable growth of the renewable energy sector, development of skilled manpower is essential. 

Various institutes in Europe, USA and Asia are offering different renewable energy courses at various levels ranging from short courses to doctoral degree courses.Various institutes of the leading renewable energy countries are offering conventional engineering bachelor degree by integrating renewable modules. 

Master’s program has also become a popular curriculum in this sector, covering solar, wind, biomass, fuel cell, energy efficiency in building etc. Various renewable energy fellowship schemes are also being made available by universities/institutions and also R&D institutions, to conduct research on all aspects of renewable energy. 

Opting for post graduate diploma courses is a good option for graduate engineers for their first footstep in this emerging sector. The prospective job areas within the renewable energy sector are research & development, product development, sales engineering, project development engineering, system design engineering, construction engineering, operation and maintenance. 

Graduates may also explore the opportunities of summer placement within the sector. Integrating enough skilled manpower and sustainable policies, renewable energy is expected to be one of the mainstream energy sources in near future.

(The writer is a researcher andguest lecturer at Loughborough University, UK)