Renewable energy is a growing field that most investors and consumers support. However, the technology is not quite where it needs to be in the U.S. Innovative technology is required to make significant progress towards 100 percent sustainability.
And that means we need more renewable energy engineers.
These professionals have grown the awareness of and interest in renewable energy with the technology they provide. Let’s see how these cutting-edge tools impact your life and your home for a more sustainable future.
Why renewable energy engineers are so important
What exactly is the role of an energy engineer in helping us attain renewable energy? While the world has gained a lot of ground in this area, we still have far to go. In 2016, the United States only had roughly 13% renewable energy generation. That percentage is far behind many other countries, such as Denmark and Germany. Even China leads in renewable energy investing.
To help achieve global goals, America must ramp up its interest in renewable energy. Improving technology while implementing more renewable systems across the country is key. That will require electrical engineers who specialise in this field.
Some engineering contributions they make include:
- Planning for our energy future, including adapting existing systems or building new ones
- Design and maintenance of the required equipment
- Supervision and monitoring of different systems
- Troubleshooting potential problems and hazards
Energy engineers are also critical to developing new technology that helps leap us forward into expanding renewable energy sources. For example, they have developed microgrids. These are small, stand-alone energy grids that can help communities that need energy independence or more sustainable systems. They can also provide power to remote areas.
But not all of this ingenious engineering is located at an industrial energy facility. Some of it is available inside your very home!
Smart home innovations that save you energy
You can ramp your contribution to global sustainability with systems that use energy-saving smart home automation. This automation allows you to connect parts of your home, such as light fixtures, air conditioning, heat, or appliances, to your device for better control.
Engineers have designed some great tech to help:
- Smart appliances help you manage your food, set temperature controls to be more energy-efficient, or select the ideal cycle for washing your clothes to save on water and heat.
- LED bulbs use less energy, plus these bulbs last 75% longer than standard bulbs.
- Power saving modes on devices such as your cell phone.
And of course, solar panels are a trend that you see popping on homes all over the country. Power harvested from the sun is stored in batteries. The beauty of solar panels is that you can potentially sell the power you don’t use to the national power grid. (Check local laws and regulations.)
That is just one way you can use renewable energy for your home. You can choose these unique energy options:
- Invest in a renewable electricity supply.
- Install air source heat pumps for heating and hot water.
- Rely on a biomass heating system, using wood pellets, chips, or logs to heat your home and water sources.
Other ways to protect a sustainable future
Making these changes to your home may take time, money, and research. In the meantime, there are other ways you can support renewable energy. These include:
- Make your next car purchase electric. When the time comes to replace your car, making the more sustainable choice is important. The technology has grown so that these cars are faster and their batteries last longer. Equally important is the growth of available charging stations, thanks to renewable engineers.
- Sustainable farming. Technological advancements in sustainable agriculture have come a long way. More than half of consumers already expect farmers to utilise technology in eco-friendly farming practices. Buy food and produce from companies that care about the environment. You can also support your local farmer’s market, community-support agriculture, or grow your food to help protect the planet.
- Get involved. While you don’t have to become an energy engineer, you can educate friends and neighbours, support political candidates and parties that share your values, and join causes that promote sustainability. You may know the names and faces of these 7 women warriors for climate justice, but they all started somewhere. If this is your passion, get involved and spread the word.
Of course, if you are interested in becoming a renewable energy engineer, your timing could not be better. In February 2021, oil giant Shell announced it will provide net-zero emissions products and services by 2050. The work necessary to accomplish this will supply plenty of jobs for renewable energy professionals.
Renewable energy is an achievable goal in the next few decades. Companies must make bigger contributions and invest in the skills of energy engineers to innovate new solutions. This technology can transform the way we live to be better for our planet.