The field of alternative energy has expanded considerably within the last decade and beyond. It is a force that has demanded the attention at a global, national, state and local level.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that renewable-generated electricity will account for 17% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2035, up from 9% in 2008. 6 This growth is driven mainly by the extension of Federal tax credits and the new loan guarantee program in the February 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
From a global perspective, EIA projects that renewable energy will be the fastest-growing source of electricity generation through the forecast period to 2035. 7 Much of the increase is expected to be from hydroelectric power and wind power.
Renewable energy consumption increased by about 8% between 2008 and 2009, contributing about 8% of the Nation’s total energy demand, and 10% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2009.
Americans used renewable energy sources — water (hydroelectric), wood, biofuels, wind, organic waste, geothermal, and sun — to meet about 8% of our total energy needs in 2009.
This field is ever changing and evolving, requiring innovative individuals to develop a comprehensive understanding of energy and materials, expand essential skills needed not only to navigate current demands, but position themselves for future technologies and growth.
"It is important for engineers, as it is for workers in other technical and scientific occupations, to continue their education throughout their careers, because much of their value to their employer depends on their knowledge of the latest technology. By keeping current in their field, engineers will be able to deliver the best solutions and greatest value to their employers."
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition , Engineers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm (visited March 04, 2011 ).
"This degree is extremely beneficial, especially in the Mid-Michigan area with all the new alternative energy companies..this program would both retain graduates in Michigan and retain the businesses, who would need a continual supply of qualified engineers and scientists."
SVSU Engineer Alum