If you are thinking about going for a Master’s degree in Renewable (Green or Sustainable) Energy, this is unarguably the best time to get into the field. Not only because it’s trending, it’s one of the top three career paths to make a global impact right now. The renewable energy sector jobs are not limited to the engineers and techies only. The renewable energy sector also needs accountants, administrative assistants, lawyers, policy advisers, economists, business analysts, salespeople, and managers. Apart from excellent job prospects, renewable energy is also critical for the safety of our planet. Issues like climate change, global warming, and depletion of fossil fuels make renewable energy sector an important one. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma and other tech titans are investing heavily in clean and sustainable energy. With the UN estimating world population to reach eight billion by 2025, the production and consumption of energy are bound to increase. So, where should you go for studying a postgraduate degree? In this post, we will look at the best countries and top universities for Renewable Energy.
Top 5 Countries to Study Renewable Energy
In the USA, a new solar energy system was installed every 2.5 minutes in 2014 and has one of the world’s largest installed solar PV capacities and an installed wind energy capacity. However, it is also one of the world’s biggest energy consumers, so the demand for renewable energy will keep on increasing. Renewables only accounted for about 13% of USA’s electricity generation as of 2014, and they are working towards reducing carbon emissions by 80% in next 15 years. Although there are few conflicts on the Government agenda, the US corporates are investing heavily in renewable energy. Things got a little bit complicated after the US President Donald Trump decided to quit the Paris Climate Accord. But, as per the recent advancements, the scopes in the renewable sector are quite promising in the USA.
In the US, the solar energy jobs are growing 12 times faster than overall the economy. Last but not the least; the US is one of the best destinations for studies, research and innovation. So, you can certainly choose the US as your study abroad destination for renewable & sustainable energy.
Top Universities for Renewable/Sustainable Energy in the US
- UC Berkeley
- UT Austin
- University of Michigan
- Oregon Tech
- North Carolina State University
- UMass Lowell
- University of Maryland
- Marylhurst University
- Colorado Tech
- Santa Clara University
- University of Wisconsin
- Ecotech Institute
- Northeastern University
- San Juan College
Denmark is actively working towards becoming 100% fossil-fuel-free by 2050 by leveraging wind power. In 2014, Denmark set a world-record by producing 42.7% of their overall electricity needs from wind power. The country is pretty much on track to achieve the 50% mark by 2020. Even with two wind farms offline, that’s the highest percentage of wind power ever achieved worldwide.
As per Lars Christian Lilleholt, Denmark’s minister for energy, utilities and climate, “Hopefully, Denmark can serve as an example to other countries that it is possible to have both ambitious green policies with a high proportion of wind energy and other renewables in the energy supply, and still have a high security of supply and competitive prices on electricity”, as reported on The Guardian.
Top Universities for Renewable/Sustainable Energy in Denmark
- Technical University of Denmark
- Aalborg University
- University of Copenhagen
Germany leads the world in solar PV capacity and has even been able to meet as much of 78% of its electricity demand from renewable energy. For a relatively cloudy country with more than 80 million populations, Germany looks set for a bright future with solar energy. Germany’s renewable energy output including solar has increased more than eightfold since 1990.
Germany is shelling out a fortune (in fact, bleeding money) in the renewable energy sector. It reflects the engineering prowess of the land of BMWs and Mercedes. It evokes the environmental ideals of a society that idolizes the Black Forest, led the way in organic farming, and still celebrates Goethe’s nature-loving poems. Read more about the Renewable Energy Job Market in Germany.
Top Universities for Renewable/Sustainable Energy in Germany
- TU Berlin
- TU Cologne
- TU Munich
- University of Oldenburg
- SRH Berlin
- Leipzig University
- University of Freiburg
- Offenburg University
- University of Kassel
- Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
- University of Stuttgart
- Kiel University
- University of Gottingen
Being a very windy place, the UK generates more electricity from wind farms than from coal power plants by using a combination of grid-connected wind farms and standalone turbines. Within the UK, Scotland deserves special mention.
The UK has been one of the leading countries in terms of jobs in wind and solar energy. Apart from wind energy, UK is also active for producing energy from the Waste (EfW), Anaerobic Digestion (AD), biomass and gasification. But, the recent the job market in the UK is a little bit tricky; especially for the international students. There has been a major slowdown in the last 2 years. The solar power industry in the UK lost more than half its 35,000 jobs due to the subsidy cuts and other changes in government energy policy in 2016.
Saying that the bio-fuel and bio-mass marketplace has boomed incredibly well in the last 2 years. Many small to medium-sized bioenergy plants being built and the job market is growing. In fact, the UK has been facing a little skill-shortage within this niche. There are significant employment opportunities for the UK, and that the economy could benefit considerably from the deployment of bioenergy (biomass heat and biomass electricity). Know more about the Bio-Energy Jobs in the UK.
Image Source: Green-Watch
Job opportunities are also very good for skilled professionals working within grid connection, overhead line engineering, and energy regulation policies. So, apart from technical areas, you can also go for subjects like MSc Carbon Finance or Economics & Energy Policy. Have a look at the Shortage Occupation List in the UK.
The education and research in the field of renewables are world-class in the UK. So, if you are specifically looking for top quality education, you can definitely consider UK. Besides, UK degrees are highly recognised. So, even if you have to come back to the UK, that shouldn’t be a big problem. In terms of jobs within the renewable sector, India comes within the top 5 countries.
Top Universities for Renewable/Sustainable Energy in the UK
- University of Cambridge
- Imperial College London
- University of Manchester
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Glasgow
- University of Reading
- University of Bath
- Ulster University
- Newcastle University
- Loughborough University
- University of Dundee
- Cranfield University
- University of Nottingham
- Queen Mary University of London
- London School of Economics & Political Science
- University of Leeds
- Kingston University
- Northumbria University
Apart from being home to the Nobel Prize and practising one of the best education systems in the world, Sweden puts a lot of emphasis on sustainability and green energy. In 2015, Sweden became the first fossil-fuel-free country in the world. Both the public and private sector invests heavily in solar, wind, energy storage, smart grids, and clean transport. In fact, Swedes are challenging everyone else to join them in a race to become the first 100% renewable countries. Now that’s a win-win competition for everyone!
When you study in Sweden, you’re encouraged to think independently, creatively and critically. The universities help each and every student to reach their true potential, irrespective of their backgrounds and personalities. Sweden has a long and proud history of academic excellence. Despite its relatively small population, Sweden hosts some of the world’s best universities. It’s a very cosmopolitan and open to foreign students. Government’s investment in technology and climate change research and the country’s ranking in Global Innovative Index are two standout features. Besides, the government and the universities offer generous scholarships and grants for attracting students from all around the world.
Top Universities for Renewable/Sustainable Energy in Sweden
- KTH Royal Institute of Technology
- Chalmers University of Technology
- Uppsala University
- Linnaeus University
- Halmstad University
- Kristianstad University
- Dalarna University
- InnoEnergy Master’s School
- Linkoping University
- Lund University
Image Source: CleanTechnica
So, are you ready for the Green Colar Jobs? Apart from these top 5 countries, you could also consider Canada, Norway, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Australia among the popular study abroad destinations. “The European wind energy sector alone is expected to create 250,000 new jobs over the next decade,” informs Vicky Kenrick, Sustainability Specialist at Allen & York. So, Europe does stand out as the perfect study abroad destination for a career in the renewable/sustainable energy sector.