Education

For a greener, cleaner future

Freepik  

Energy is one of the cornerstones of any burgeoning industrial power but, for developing countries like India, it is a matter of critical choices. Although India is one of the lowest per capita greenhouse gas contributor globally, its improving living standards, rising aspirational young population and the modernisation of its industrial sectors portend that the country’s energy needs will grow at around three times the current global rate. Hence, the International Energy Authority has attributed one-quarter of the global growth in energy demand estimated up to 2040 to India.

India has been at the forefront of adopting innovative solutions in renewable energy generation to support the rising demand. Projects involving biomass, hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar energy generation are being developed. India’s strategic plan is to integrate these technologies into the existing grid allowing for a flexible and secure energy supply that progressively substitutes for the fuel-stock use of coal, oil and solid biomass like wood, which totals almost 80% currently, to a 60% from renewable energy source by 2030.

The advent and policy thrust to renewable energy systems will require a paradigm shift in the management of energy transition and absorption. Specialised manpower for the purpose will be required to navigate this transition. Energy engineers will be required to manage what will be a new era in sustainable energy production and delivery. Renewable energy presents a huge window of opportunity for employment growth within the sector.

The widening gulf between energy demand and supply coupled with the Indian government’s thrust on long-term sustainable energy goals, and the impetus to solar and other renewables means that the employment market is open for aspirants with a rigorous background in energy technologies along with a holistic understanding of its concomitant parts viz. policy, environment and fiscal can look at a bright future.

Graduates in Energy Engineering are a new breed of engineers who are designers and enablers of innovation in energy technologies and simultaneously proficient in the under-pinning theoretical disciplines of engineering mathematics, mechanics, thermodynamics, structures, fluids and computational fluid dynamics, also straddle the traditional disciplines, pursuing learning in control systems, manufacturing technologies and electronics. They approach solutions to engineering challenges from the vantage of systems analysis and resolution.

Opportunities

Energy Engineering presents a breadth of career pathways for students ranging from the variety of services within the value-chain of the Indian power sector from the conception of a product or service through to the delivery of electricity to consumers. Energy engineers of the future will fashion the markets in terms of system delivery, working to create the appropriate environment for sector growth and enabling suppliers to enter the marketplace, and creating the right conditions to enable the markets to thrive. They will be in demand within the energy sector in the fields of equipment manufacturing as energy engineers look at the delivery of products to the energy industry, and address the challenges of production, design and delivery. Energy engineers will also manage the transition from a fossil fuel-based energy system to one which is fed by other, more sustainable energy technologies.

Green energy generation will create a demand for skill sets in the construction and installation of wind or solar farms which in turn have to be run and maintained and which will need its own skilled manpower. Transmission and distribution will follow and demand its own set of specialists focusing on transmission system and delivery within and between states while distribution service providers will secure service delivery and provision.

Green energy is now an article of faith within and between nations while it is as clear to see that energy security is paramount for every country. The meeting point of these two aspirational roads, is the Energy Engineer: Someone who meets the criterion of saving the planet, while securing the nation.

The writer is Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of East Anglia, the U.K.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 7:14:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/energy-engineering-and-its-scope-in-india/article34829395.ece

Next Story