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Your Questions About Renewable Energy

Joseph asks…

What kind of Engineer deals with coming up with new ways to use renewable energy?

When i say renewable energy i mean like solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power . Is there a certain type of engineer who works in these areas? Where is a good place to go to school for this type of Engineering.

admin answers:

Renewable energy is a specialized area of engineering. There is no engineering degree that focuses solely on renewable energy. The closest ones that I can think of are Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. The principles of chemical reactions are important in the study of energy. But to design and construct the harnessing devices requires knowledge of mechanical engineering.

Every engineer is taught the basics of every engineering discipline so even Computer Engineers can qualify if they specialize beyond their undergraduate education.

If you live in the Philippines, the best school to go to is of course the University of the Philippines. Among private universities, De La Salle University – Manila is best, followed by MAPUA. Ateneo De Manila’s engineering is handled by the Physics department as I have been told so I would be hesitant towards that school. The University of Sto. Tomas seems to have strong engineering background as well, but I have no certainty about that. In choosing the right school, accreditation of the engineering department and not just the school accreditation is important.

Mark asks…

What would happen to all the existing gasoline automobiles if renewable energy took over?

I’m not saying I’m against renewable energy. I’m just wondering – what would everybody do with their car that runs on regular gas?

admin answers:

I think we are a long way from renewable energy replacing the combustion engine. When I think of renewable energy I think of electricity for houses and businesses. But when we do settle on one or a few technologies to replace the conventional gas engine. I think there will be a transitional period where new cars will have the new technology but we will still have the infrastructure for gas engines, it could take decades to phase out the older cars.

Here in CA we have tougher emissions laws, so if you have an older car you could get an exemption for not passing emissions, it was a program that let just the oldest cars be exempt, then every few years they let a few more years be exempt. Now all the cars that were sold after the date the laws went into effect have to pass smog, if you didn’t buy the car in CA then you will need to get a catalytic converter put on it to pass. Millions of cars are junked each year, when you turn in an old clunker when you buy a new car they are often sold for scrap and they are taken off the road. All that being said, to say that people won’t be forced to convert cars or get rid of them for many many years.

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