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Engineering Renewable energy engineering

  1. Feb 13, 2016 #1
    hello everyone, I just need some advice from others right now, so I'm going into the field of renewable energy engineering. more importantly I just wanted to know about the job prospects, where it could be in the years to come,job settings ( what would be the environment I would work in ?). and I would really like to know if this field would allow me to travel because I love exploring new places. Cheers.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2016 #2
    If you go looking for a degree in renewable energy engineering, you may not find all that much. It's not really a specific field of study.

    Integrating solar systems in to the local grid is a form of "renewable energy engineering." You can do that with an electrical engineering degree.
    Burning digester gas from a waste-water treatment plant in a modified engine on a generator is straight mechanical engineering.
    Designing blades that capture more of the wind energy for a wind turbine is aerodynamics engineering.

    Do you get my drift here? There really is no one field that can be called "renewable energy engineering." Those who are selling this concept to you are pushing an agenda.

    As for where those jobs are, they're all over the world. Servicing wind turbines and installing new ones is a big business. Many are out at sea. If you can stand a life like that, go for it.
  4. Apr 13, 2016 #3
    I kind if find myself overwhelmed by everything like OP. I've been working as an electrical engineer for a year now and to transition into the renewable energy sector, more specifically solar and/or wind application design, it seems that a master's degree is required. Does anyone here have a job designing renewable power systems? What is your background? And how many years of experience did you have under your belt to land that position? It appears that the only thing needed right now is technicians and technologists but not engineers-in-training. :(
  5. Apr 14, 2016 #4
    The field of "renewable energy" is not defined very sharply, since it overlaps with lots of areas. New battery technologies do not sound like "renewable energies" to most people. And without context they aren't. But for me they are possibly the most exciting current trend for the renewable sector. I doubt that generalizations like "a master's is required" or "no engineers-in-training are hired" hold true to this variety (not sure what an engineer-in-training is, though). I doubt you need a master's degree to install PV panels on building roofs, for example. And said master's is probably insufficient to become the head of a university's research group on new solar panel technologies.

    So I somewhat doubt that individual statements of people in the field are really helping you. But anyways: I do work in applied research on renewable energy systems and technologies. Background is a master's in particle physics, a PhD in statistical physics and a very good programming background. My experience for the first job in the field amounted to zero (unless you count PhD and post-doc in a completely different field as experience), and I was hired for a) being a good programmer and b) being a physicist. For the 2nd job (same company) I had three years of experience and was hired for not being an engineer :rolleyes:.
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