The future for those working directly or indirectly in the renewable energy industry could hardly look brighter. The world’s demand for new and cheaper energy sources continues to skyrocket, a trend that’s been growing for over a decade. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, global energy consumption is projected to increase by over 48% by the year 2040, to an amazing 816 quadrillion Btu annually.
The 2016 Renewables Global Status Report, published by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), states that renewables are the fastest growing energy sources in the world today, rising by 2.5% per year—and that 2015 broke records for new installations. Investment in existing renewable sources and new technologies also reached record highs, over $286 billion globally. Currently, there are over eight million people working in the renewable energy industry, and that’s expected to increase over the next decade at a rate much higher than average. Clearly, the need for easily accessible engineering PDH courses and green building courses will grow along with this energy sector.
Engineers Will Play a Critical Role in the Renewable Energy Revolution
The engineering disciplines will be crucial in developing, implementing, and maintaining renewable energy systems. Among the most important will be:
- Electrical Engineers– Finding the most efficient ways of integrating renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and other systems into existing power grids will be key. Engineers to perform grid design, analysis, and management will also be in high demand, as well as those who will develop new technologies and ensure compliance with regulatory bodies. Electrical engineers will be involved in every facet of renewable energy from the ground up.
- Civil Engineers– Civil engineers of all types can be expected to be involved in the design and construction of nuclear power plants, wind farms, solar arrays, hydroelectric dams, hydro and ocean power generators, energy delivery systems such as natural gas and biomass fuel pipelines, electrical distribution grids, and much more.
- Mechanical Engineers – Some argue that mechanical engineering will only play a minor part in the growth of renewable energy, but is it really the case? The emerging technologies rely on machinery that must be designed, built, and maintained. Often, this machinery must operate in the harshest environmental conditions. Blades and pylons for wind generators must be designed, new types of packaging for sensitive components, mounting systems for heavy equipment, thermal airflow systems—these things and many more considerations involving the actual machinery that produces renewable energy will be the job of the mechanical engineer.
The engineering disciplines may overlap in the production of renewable energy systems. For example, the electrical engineer understands the theory behind how a generator works, but needs the expertise of the mechanical engineer to visualize how the windings and rotating parts operate together.
Engineers Need Training to Adapt to a Changing Renewable Energy Environment
New renewable energy technologies are being developed at a feverish pace to keep up with demand for even more efficiency from power sources. Regulations and laws are also in a constant flux, creating a need for trained and qualified engineers to ensure compliance. Engineering continuing education is more necessary now than ever before.
Visit us here to learn more about the convenient and affordable engineering PDH courses, green building courses, and other ongoing education programs at 360training.com.