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Go green: The best countries to get your sustainable energy degree

sustainable energy
Wind turbines and harbour cranes standing along the river Weser are pictured as the sun sets at the North Sea in Bremen, northern Germany — a leading country in photovoltaics. Source: Patrik Stollarz/AFP

Sustainable energy degrees are all about teaching what renewable energy sources are all about. This includes solar, wind, ocean energy and so forth. These classes are usually offered by international engineering schools to keep students relevant with up-to-date issues. It also tackles challenges like how to harness the power of natural resources to minimise waste, reduce pollution and decrease energy consumption — essentially studying to save the planet!

In the US, renewable growth is set to accelerate this year as the new administration starts executing plans which include rejoining the Paris Climate Accord. So much so, that the heavy investment in clean energy hit US$2 trillion. They also have plans to fully decarbonise the power sector by 2035 for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

To no one’s surprise, the sustainable energy sector is now one of the hottest industries to join. Plenty career opportunities are available, including being energy consultants, energy auditors, wind power engineers and environmental managers. Thus stringing along several upon thousands of students applying to study in the green sector. 

With today’s breakneck speed of development in tech and the global momentum to push for political will to implement them, we stand the chance to not let Sir David Attenborough down by saving planet Earth. Below we take a look at some of the best places to pursue a degree in sustainable energy:

sustainable energy

Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State, and Carl Belshause, Fairfield Brewery General Manager, celebrate Anheuser-Busch’s commitment to using 100% renewable purchased electricity from solar and wind power, as long as the sun is shining, to brew their entire portfolio of beer on World Environment Day. Source: Vivien Killilea/AFP

United States

The US, one of the world’s largest energy consumers, is set to command the biggest demand for renewable energy. Solar energy jobs in the US are growing 12 times faster than the overall economy. Plus, with some of the best research institutions in the world, the US is perfect to chase the green dream. 

The unis that are worth checking out here include: UC Berkeley, UT Austin, Stanford, University of Michigan, Oregon Tech, Duke University, MIT and North Carolina State University.

sustainable energy

Danish company Vestas first V164-8.0 MW prototype wind turbine at the Danish national test centre for large wind turbines in Osterild. Source: Frank Boutrup/AFP

Denmark

Denmark is actively working towards the goal of becoming 100% fossil fuel free by 2050 through wind power and is already on track to achieve the 50% mark, taking a big step to stop providing licenses for oil exploration in the North Sea. 

The unis to check out here include: Technical University of Denmark, Aalborg University and the University of Copenhagen. 

sustainable energy

The control centre of the Arkona wind park is seen on its inauguration day in the Baltic Sea as German Chancellor Angela Merkel opens another massive wind farm by E.ON — a key project for Germany’s “energy transition.” Source: Tobias Schwarz/AFP

Germany

A leading country in solar photovoltaics capacity, Germany saw a 25% increase in solar rooftop installations in 2020 compared to the year before. This is set to continue according to the German Solar Association. As a relatively cloudy country with more than 80 million inhabitants, this is more than an impressive feat. 

Some of the institutions to check for sustainable energy degrees here would be TU Berlin, TU Cologne, TU Munich, University of Oldenburg, Leipzig University, University of Freiburg, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and the University of Stuttgart.

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