Top 5 Colleges to Study Renewable Energy as a Postgraduate in the USA
More than ever, the world is focusing its attention on renewable energy. Renewable targets are springing up across the world and countries are making a serious effort to reach them by transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass etc. Never has there been a better time to get your knowledge of renewables up to scratch and join the expanding workforce that is setting the ball in motion for huge, global changes.
By 2020 it is estimated that China will have invested £300 billion in renewable energy. That’s just one country! This shows just how important the arena is and how seriously people are taking it.
Nowadays, the job market is fiercely competitive and a lot of people are actually over-qualified for the jobs they are in. Everyone has a bachelor’s degree so you need something that will make you stand out. Studying energy as a postgraduate course will get you one step ahead of everyone else and show that you mean business.
Are you thinking about studying renewable energy as a postgraduate degree? Here are five of the best colleges in the USA for this subject.
Oregon Institute of Technology
This might not be one of the big US names you’re used to hearing but the Oregon Institute of Technology is one of the foremost colleges in the country when it comes to renewable energy. Currently, the college offers a four year undergraduate degree as well as a master of science in renewable energy engineering. The course’s modules look at solar, wind, energy management and a variety of other topics.
University of California Berkeley
Berkeley is well known around the world for the quality of its education. It currently offers a market leading MBA in energy and clean technology, which is targeted at individuals in business and public policy and aims to equip them with the skills they need to address pressing energy-related issues. The university also has a Renewable Energy Speaker series, which will be of interest to anyone studying the topic.
University of Michigan
This university has its very own energy institute that offers masters courses in energy systems engineering and in sustainable systems. The course provides a wealth of information to students and prepares them for the energy and environmental challenges the future generations are going to face. The ultimate goal is for graduates to be capable of engineering systems that are sustainable economically, socially and environmentally.
Stanford offers both masters degrees and professional certificate programs in renewable energy. The certificates have been specifically designed for working professionals who do not have the time to complete a full degree but would nevertheless like to broaden their understanding of the renewable energy sector. The certificates take between one and two years to complete are available online to give students maximum flexibility with their learning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
It comes as no surprise that the world famous MIT makes it on to this list. While the college has a specific energy minor that students can read, it takes a more full-on approach than just that. At MIT, professors believe that energy permeates all aspects of modern life. Because of this, energy is taught across all disciplines, departments and programs. Energy research into renewable systems and environmental challenges form part of MIT’s exciting energy programs.
The 4 Most Powerful People in Clean Energy
The world of energy is changing at an incredible rate. Every day more and more technology is developed that will aid the world transition away from traditional fossil fuels and over to renewable energy. It is a huge shift that needs to be undergone but it is happening, slowly but surely. Electric vehicles are becoming more mainstream, huge amounts of money are being invested into clean energy, and countries are setting ambitious emissions targets. The ball is rolling.
But, no revolution can gain momentum without some leaders at its helm, guiding the way. The renewable revolution is no different. It has some seriously impressive people at its helm. Various scientists, innovators and politicians have all come forward to show their support for the movement, but some are making more of an effort than others. Here are the most powerful people in clean energy right now and what they are doing to help the world fight climate change.
Elon Musk is not just one of the most powerful people in renewable energy but he is one of the most impressive individuals on the planet. The brains behind Tesla, SpaceX and Solar City, it seems like everything the man touches turns to gold – and the clean energy space is no exception. Musk has been a key player in the development of electric vehicles. In fact, Tesla’s model 3 is one of the most affordable electric vehicles on the market right now. He has huge plans for the future and could be pivotal to the renewables revolution.
You might associate Bill Gates more with technology than energy, but the truth is that these two sectors are interlinked and the uber-successful philanthropist has his hands in both pies. In recent years, Gates has made it clear that he is willing to pour his fortune into making the world more sustainable. He is part of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, along with Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson. He is also behind Mission Innovation, a pact between ten countries to pump more money into clean energy projects.
Compared with the first two behemoths on this list, Dehlsen might seem somewhat out of place. In fact, you’ve probably never even heard of him. But, Dehlsen has done incredible things for the renewable energy sector and has made an impact on the wind power scene. In 1980 he created Zond, a wind power developer that is now GE Wind Energy. His contributions to the US energy sector did not go unnoticed as he was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2008.
You might remember Chu from his days as the U.S. Secretary of Energy under the Obama administration. If not, you might know him as the guy who co-won the Nobel Prize for physics. Either way, you really should know who he is. Chu has long been a very vocal advocate of renewable energy and his research has made him one of the preeminent figures in this arena. Since resigning as Secretary of Energy, Chu has worked on various renewable energy projects and continues to do his bit in the battle against climate change.
The Alternative Energy Sources of the Future
Solar and wind seem to be all everyone can talk about when it comes to renewable energy. Little do people know that these two energy sources have only made a small dent in the energy mix so far. However, as costs continue to come down and more people understand the benefit of adopting green energy technology, solar and wind will rise to greater heights.
However, if we really want to make fossil fuels a thing of the past we are going to need to be more innovative. This means thinking outside of the box and looking at other ways we can generate energy. Luckily, we do not need to pin all our hopes on solar and wind. There are several other ways to generate energy and a group of scientists have come up with some potentially excellent alternative energy sources. Some of them might seem like a long shot, but anything is worth a try, right?
Not all of the solar energy emitted by the sun actually makes it into the Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, most of it stays out in space. So, space-based solar power generation makes a lot of sense. The main challenge for this energy source is the cost of getting a generator out into space and then bringing the energy back to earth.
There are billions of people on this planet and they move around all the time. Scientists have long thought about harnessing the energy that could be generated simply by people going about their daily lives. This would be the ultimate renewable energy source.
Tidal Power is growing in popularity in a number of countries. While some are making it a viable energy source, there is still a long way to go in most nations. However, the full potential of tidal power is enormous. The US alone has the capacity to generate over 250 billion KWh per year.
Hydrogen counts for 74% of the mass of the entire universe so if this can be turned into energy it is good news for the planet. Unfortunately, hydrogen is usually found fused with other atoms, such as oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. To separate these atoms you require energy, so the process could end up being counter-productive. This one needs more research and development.
We all know that the centre of the Earth is extremely hot, so why not try and turn this into energy, If magma could be tapped for geothermal heat we would have another viable alternative energy source. Scientists in Iceland are currently looking in to the possibility of this.
When nuclear fission takes place in a nuclear reactor only around 5% of the uranium atoms are actually used, the rest simply becomes nuclear waste. This then sits in storage for thousands of year as it breaks down. There is a lot of talk right now in the energy community about using these leftovers to generate energy.
Who would have thought that this little pond plant would be capable of generating energy? Algae grows all over the place and could produce serious amount of energy if we were capable of harnessing its full potential.
Top 4 Countries in EU for Renewable Energy
We all know how important it is to protect the environment. The Paris Agreement alone showed us not only the significance of keeping climate change under control, but also the concerted effort the world is willing to make to save itself. While there are a number of different ways we can reduce our carbon emissions and combat global warming, obtaining energy from renewable sources is the best and most effective way to make an impact.
Across the globe, countries are pouring financial and human resources into research and development of new renewable technologies. Countries have been setting themselves impressive targets for renewable energy usage and it seems almost like nations are competing with one another to be the most green. This is a competition where there are no losers – the greener the country, the better it is for the world as a whole. We should all be getting behind this drive for more renewables.
In the EU, there are some serious movers and shakers that are doing impressive things in the renewables sphere. Here is what the five most pioneering countries are doing to save our planet from climate change.
There seems to be no limit as to what the Scandinavians are capable of. Progressive, liberal, and setting the bar high for the rest of Europe, Sweden is showing just how far they can go in their drive for a greener nation. Well over 50% of the country’s energy mix is sourced from renewables and this figure looks set to carry on rising. In fact, Sweden has announced that it wants to be the first country in the world to be completely fossil fuel free. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this impressive nation.
Finland has been outstanding with regards to its effort towards fighting climate change. The nation obtains around 40% of its energy from renewable sources, with a particular focus on ground heat, hydropower, bioenergy and wind power. For Finland, in particular, a drive for more renewables in its energy mix is essential due to the Arctic conditions much of the country faces. The need for heat is present for over half of the year and the country needs to find a way to sustainably provide this for its citizens.
Latvia sits at third place in the rankings for which countries use the highest percentage of renewable energy. Currently Latvia uses 37.6% renewable energy – an astonishing amount by EU standards, especially given that the target for the EU as a whole is only 20%. Latvia has reached this figure thanks to its excellent hydropower capacity. We look forward to seeing Latvia add even more renewable energy to its mix and carry on fighting against climate change.
At number four we have Austria – a country that reached its 2020 goal set by an EU directive four years early, in 2016. At the moment, Austria is sourcing around 34% of its energy from renewables. Its main focus is on hydropower but it also has a huge wind capacity and is installing more and more solar panels every day. Austria’s investment in renewables is not only helping the planet, but, on a more local level, it is providing over 41,000 jobs. Win-win!
Top 4 Countries for a Career in Energy
Energy is quickly becoming one of the biggest industries in the world. Thanks to the development of new sustainable energies as well as an influx of new technologies, there are more jobs than ever in the energy sector. This means that there are an unprecedented number of exciting opportunities for people interested in the energy sphere. Whether its on-site maintenance and operations control or engineering back in the lab, there is a huge range of jobs and careers available. All you have to do is reach out and grab one.
Although coal and fossil fuels seem to be declining, there has been a huge spike in activity in solar, wind, tidal and biofuel energies, all of which need skilled workers on board to keep moving forward. If you think you have what it takes to prosper in the demanding but rewarding world of energy then you might want to start making plans now. The first thing you need to decide on is where on earth you should go to make the most out of such a career. Here are the world’s top countries for a career in energy.
Despite Trump’s withdrawal from the Clean Energy Plan and the Paris Climate Accord, the USA is still doing incredible things in the energy industry. California, for example, is investing huge amounts of money and resources to reduce carbon emissions and make the state as green as possible. It might even become the first state to mandate the use of solar panels on new homes. Whether you are interested in renewable energy or want to get involved with fracking operations in the shale fields, there is an abundance of opportunities in the USA for young energy hopefuls.
China is a world leader when it comes to renewable energy, which is a huge relief given that it is home to a billion people. In fact, China accounts for around 31% of the world’s wind energy. Currently, China is the world’s number one investor in renewable energy technologies both at home and abroad and is on the look out for intelligent professionals to join its work force and help it maintain its position on this global platform.
Formerly, Kenya had to import its electricity from neighbouring countries and that has caused issues with energy security in the country. Now, Kenya is putting all of its time and resources into generating its own energy using geothermal energy production. The energy sector in Kenya is still in its early stages, making it a great time for professionals to join the work force and help the nation develop its own energy mix from scratch. You will also benefit from endless sunshine and a change of scenery.
Costa Rica is hot right now in the energy world, which is great for people looking to move abroad to start their energy careers. Home to huge swathes of pristine rainforest, volcanoes, beaches and cities, the landscape of Costa Rica is as diverse as its energy mix. The country takes renewable energy very seriously and has set some impressive targets it hopes to meet. These include becoming completely carbon neutral by 2021. So far, good progress has been made and the country has already shown it can last for two whole months using nothing but renewable energy.
Too Few Women in Energy is Holding Back Battle Against Climate Change
Experts insist that the lack of female workers in energy firms is causing the move towards a cleaner future to slow down. This gender imbalance, explains Catherine Mitchell, a professor of energy policy at the University of Exeter, means that the energy industry is less open-minded and less willing to explore new ideas.
Mitchell continues her statement by targeting old white men as being a main source of the problem. She says that the industry is dominated by this demographic and that is slowing down the energy transition at a time when we cannot afford to be wasting a single second. Mitchell’s credentials are hugely impressive with over 30 years of experience advising governments, regulators and businesses on energy issues.
Next month, an energy conference is being hosted, which will include women-only panels designed to address the issue of low numbers of females working in the energy sector. Mitchell is helping to organise the event and is hopeful that allowing these women to get together and speak will be helpful in pushing the energy industry towards better gender equality.
Of course, it is not a hard and fast rule that women are more progressive than men when it comes to energy. However, there is evidence that the conventional parts of the industry – fossil fuel power generation for example – are far more male dominated than more innovative, green companies.
Mitchell warns of the dangers Britain will face if it does not get its act together and start moving in the right direction – towards a fully renewable energy network. She believes that old-fashioned attitudes will be fatal to the movement if we don’t check them.
It is not just Mitchell that takes this stance on the lack of women in the energy sector. Juliet Davenport, chief executive of Good Energy said that there was certainly some weight behind the argument. She noted that the energy sector is trailing behind other industries when it comes to workplace diversity. She also pointed out that sustainable energy businesses have a much better balance, leading to the plausible conclusion that better diversity means a more concerted effort in the right direction.
Of the 89 top energy companies in the UK, it is an appalling fact that around two thirds do not have a single woman sitting on their board. Meanwhile, at energy industry events, it is not unusual to see panels filled exclusively with men, or featuring just one woman.
The idea of being the only woman in the room can be understandably intimidating and this alone can put women off working in the energy sector. One female executive said she has been in this position before at a meeting with an influential male government adviser.
Furthermore, the energy industry is no stranger to sexual harassment – nor is any male-dominated sector for that matter. Tales of groping and other misbehaviours are alarmingly frequent. And, if it’s not sexual harassment, it is awkward faux pas that make women feel uncomfortable. One female partner at an energy storage consultancy recounted a tale of how she was asked for a coffee refill after being mistaken as a member of the catering team.
However, there is hope for the energy industry yet. The big six lobby group Energy UK has put an end to male-only panels at its events. It believes that this will help the energy industry in its transition towards a better gender balance.
Practice makes perfect: How proper preparation for psychometric reasoning tests can help you land your dream job.
To find out more about this topic, please visit: practicereasoningtests.com
Psychometric reasoning tests are becoming an increasingly common part of the job application process, and the chances are that you will have already had to complete reasoning tests at some point in the past. The reason for their continuing popularity is two-fold. Firstly, they are a really effective way of working out whether someone has the intellectual ability to successfully complete the job. Secondly, they are a cheap and effective way of screening out large numbers of candidates.
How are psychometric tests used?
Best practice psychometric reasoning tests identify a level of ability that is necessary for success in the role, and then set this performance level as a baseline that candidates must achieve in order to progress in the selection process. This baseline will vary from job to job; for example, if a role requires a high level of problem solving and the candidate must be able to understand and respond to novel situations, then the recruiter is likely to require a high level of performance on an Abstract Reasoning Test. This is common in leadership or programmer roles. Alternatively, if a job requires the candidates to be able to understand basic written and numerical information, then the recruiter is likely to set a fairly low level of performance on Numerical and Verbal Reasoning Tests as the required standard. This is often seen in customer service roles for example.
How to perform at your best in psychometric tests
Many people dislike psychometric tests because they see them as difficult, pointless and impersonal. They feel that if they could just get in front of an actual employer they could convince them that they are the right candidate for the role. However, psychometric tests are here to stay and it is important that you are able to successfully complete them. They are designed to be challenging and distinguish between the ability levels of candidates so developing skill in passing these tests is critical for your future career success.
There are a number of activities that are particularly useful when preparing for psychometric tests:
Read up on how to pass tests
When candidates are invited to participate in a psychometric test they are frequently sent a mock test to practice. Candidates are often caught out when they complete this test and expect the actual test to be exactly the same. These mock tests tend to be at the easier end of the scale and present only a very limited selection of questions; they lull candidates into a false sense of security by making them think they have completed all of the required preparation when in fact they have not.
Set yourself up for success by finding out as much as you can about psychometric tests: who are the main the publishers, how are the tests used, what types of psychometric tests there are and how they differ.
Some of the main publishers of psychometric reasoning tests are:
- Talent Q: https://www.talentqgroup.com/
- Saville Assessments: https://www.savilleassessment.com/
- CEB Global (SHL): https://www.cebglobal.com/shldirect/en/practice-tests
- IBM Kenexa: https://www-01.ibm.com/software/uk/smarterworkforce/
- Cubiks: https://www.cubiks.com/products/logiks
- Hogrefe: https://www.hogrefe.co.uk/
Learn test solving strategies
There are two main types of psychometric reasoning tests: tests of speed (which measure what you can achieve within the allotted time) and tests of power (which measure the maximum difficulty of question you can achieve). Most commonly, tests are a combination of the two, with a set number of questions presented within a challenging time frame. However, different types of test require different strategies for success as are they are scored differently so it is useful for you to find out in advance what test you will be taking. Here are some examples of the different ways that tests are scored:
- The score reflects the number of questions the candidate completed correctly – the correct strategy in this instance is to complete as many questions as possible and guess when you do not know the answer.
- The score reflects the number of questions the candidate completed correctly AND considers this as a percentage of the questions that the candidate attempted – the correct strategy in this instance is to only complete questions where you are certain that the answer is correct.
- The score reflects the single most difficult question than the candidate was able to answer – the correct strategy in this instance is to take your time in accurately answering and checking each question as you go along.
Revise basic concepts
Check that you are familiar with the basic concepts and techniques that you will need to use to complete the tests – do not assume that you remember how to perform different calculations, instead revise core concepts. This is particularly important for tests of numerical, mechanical or abstract reasoning. Reading upon on Ability Testing and taking a number of practice tests will help you identify the type of concepts you need to understand. These could include (but are not limited to):
- Numerical reasoning: ratios, fractions, averages, percentages, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.
- Abstract reasoning: sequences, rotation, relationships between items, commonality.
- Mechanical reasoning: levers, gears, pulleys, springs, screws, acceleration, gravity, pressure, friction, weights, volumes, kinetic and potential energy.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
The most important thing that you can do to improve your performance on psychometric reasoning tests is to practice.
Complete as many practice tests as you can, tests that include worked examples explaining why a particular answer is correct are especially useful. Timed tests that allow you understand the rate that you need to work at are also important as they simulate the pressures that you are likely to face during the actual test. The more tests that you are able to complete, the more types of questions you will have encountered in advance; this means that you will already know how to solve them which will help take the pressure off, allow you complete them quickly and move on.
How to Create a Study Plan
Exam season is looming and students across the nation are chewing their nails as they try and cram as much knowledge as they possibly can into their heads. If you are in this situation, or think you might be in the near future then you might find a study plan useful. A study plan outlines everything you need to know and gives you deadlines to which you can work towards. This is a handy way of organising yourself during your revision period and visualising everything you need to do before the big days.
For a study plan to work, it needs to have been created effectively. Here are some tips on how to create a good study plan that will help you navigate your revision period with ease and precision.
Work out your time frame
The first thing you need to do when making a study plan is to decide how much time you are going to allocate to studying. Will you be revising from 9 until 5 every day? Will you work on the weekends? Once you have figured this out, you are one step closer to creating the perfect study plan. Just remember to factor in some time to relax otherwise you will over work yourself and burn out.
Prioritise your study time
Chances are you have multiple exams coming up. Make sure you organise your study plan to deal with each topic or module in the order you sit the exams. Get a solid knowledge of each topic well in advance and then use the days leading up to the exam to refresh your memory. This will avoid any last minute panics when you realise you have run out of study time before an exam.
Colour code your schedule so you can understand it at a glance
Do not underestimate the power of colour coding – especially if you are dealing with multiple subjects or modules. Allocate a colour to each subject so that when you look at your timetable you will instantly be able to see what you should be studying. The association of colour with a subject also helps us remember things better so colour coding might even help with your revision techniques.
Give yourself realistic deadlines
Deadlines that you cannot meet are pointless. They also make you feel guilty or that you are not working hard enough. Set yourself challenging but realistic deadlines for when you need to have each chunk of your studying done. When you reach a deadline, treat yourself with a snack or an hour’s break. This will motivate you to work hard and meet the deadlines you have set.
Stick to your study plan
There is no gain to be had from a study plan if you do not stick to it. Avoid the temptation to swap things around or shift a session from the morning to the afternoon so that you can go for brunch with your friends. Your study plan should take priority over everything else. Social events and other engagements should be slotted in when your study plan gives you free time. Being disciplined in this way ensures you get everything done in time and will make you feel a lot better when you’re in the exam room. Besides, you will have plenty of time to hang out with friends once your exams are all done.
How Long Can I Take to Complete the GEC
The energy sector is expanding faster than any other industry. In just a decade, the number of new technologies that have been developed is astronomical. This progress has been having and will continue to have a profound effect on the world we live in. If you were ever considering delving in to the world of energy in order to get your foot on this rewarding and lucrative career ladder, now is the time to do so.
The Global Energy Certification (GEC) is an online course created by NRG Expert for people who want to broaden their understanding of the global energy market. It covers a range of different sectors under the umbrella of global energy, all of which are examined at the end of the course by way of a two hour examination. The exam, like the rest of the course, can be taken online from the comfort of your own home.
Registration for the GEC works on a rolling basis. This means that you can start the course whenever you like. All you need to do is send off your application and pay the one-off tuition fee of £330. Once you have had your place confirmed you will be ready to download the materials and get started. When you have all of your materials, you will be able to take your learning into your own hands. In other words, you have complete autonomy as to how you choose to proceed.
The pressing question of this article is “how long can I take to complete the GEC?” The answer to this question is 12 months. You must take the exam within 12 months of downloading your materials for the course. If you find that you are unable to do so within this time frame, you will need to alert NRG Expert as soon as possible. The team is usually very happy to make alternative arrangements for students who require extra time, but they can only do so if they know of this requirement.
The course takes a minimum of 100 hours to complete. This means that for the first 6 weeks after registration you will be unable to sit the exam. This protects the integrity of the course. After this initial period, you will be able to sign up to an exam. The exams take place on the 10th of every month and in order to sit the exam you will need to have been registered by the 1st of the previous month. For example, if you want to sit the exam on June 10th, you will need to register by May 1st. If you do not want to sit the first available exam, you may choose any exam you like up until the 12 month period is complete.
Once you have passed the examination, the course will be completed and you will be able to add the GEC accreditation on to your CV. Combine this with some work experience and a winning smile and you will be well on your way to a glittering career in the energy industry.
Exam Dates and Fees for the Global Energy Certification
Have you decided to gain an extra qualification and expand your CV before you enter the job market? If the answer to this is yes then congratulations, you have made a very wise choice. Nowadays, the job market is more competitive than ever so standing out is vital – especially if you want to bag your dream career straight out of university.
The Global Energy Certification (GEC) is an online qualification created by the energy experts at NRG Expert. The carefully crafted course is designed to give you a comprehensive overview of the global energy market and is a great way to boost your knowledge of the industry. Once you have completed the course, you will be able to add the designation to your CV and show potential employers that you mean business.
Interested to know more about the GEC and how it works? Read on and find out all about the course’s exam dates and fees.
When Do I Take the GEC Exam?
Once you sign up for the course, you will have to wait a minimum of six weeks before you are able to take the exam. This is because the creators of the course feel that this is the least amount of time needed to be able to learn all of the material and have a good chance of passing the exam. Once this period of time has finished, you will be able to take the exam on the 10th of any month. This means you need to have registered for the course by the 1st of the previous month. So, if you want to take the exam on May 10th, you will need to have registered for the course no later than April 1st.
Once you register, you have 12 months to take the exam, which is two hours long and can be completed online from the comfort of your own home. The exam is laid out as a multiple choice test and will assess your knowledge of all the modules you have studied as part of the GEC. If you are unable to take the exam within 12 months you will need to contact NRG Expert so that arrangements can be made for you to take the exam at a later date.
How Much Will the GEC Cost?
The GEC costs £330, which is payable as a one-off payment when you submit your application. This cost covers the application process as well as your materials and the exam. Take note that only 200 students can register worldwide each quarter – this protects the integrity of the course. Once you have been accepted onto the course, you will be given online access to all of the materials you need to complete the exam.
If you are unsuccessful on your first attempt taking the exam, you can take the exam again at a cost of £175. You will also be charged this amount if you fail to take the exam within 12 months, unless you contact NRG Expert prior to the expiry date of your exam period. If you contact NRG Expert they are usually more than happy to make alternative arrangements for you at no extra cost. You will also be entitled to a full refund if you pay for the course and then change your mind, provided that you have not yet downloaded the course materials.