As I explained in Part 1 and Part 2 earlier, while you can explore your areas of interests in RE, your coursework should also help you understand the challenges that are currently in the landscape of Energy and your reading should enable you to spot the workable solutions to those challenges. For example: bringing the fluctuations between peaks and valleys to a more manageable level, community-based solutions to tackle decentralized energy solutions, integration of RE into the existing grid, barriers around the world for the adoption and scaling up of RE (one of the hot favourites), etc. The list is endless.
My primary areas of interests lie where technology meets society. Its that holy point of intersection for me with an infinitely large radius. The solutions to the problems we face today are already available, (perhaps not the perfect ones, and do not wait for perfection!) along with the means to achieve those ends. However, they are not in one place. That’s the problem and what interests me to study and work on is this challenge. So I work on bringing the holy trinity together: challenges, solutions and means. This is what I’m trying to convey in my post too.
Here, I would like to share a list of websites that I frequently read on the topics of my interest which I suggest you give them a try.
- Power Technology Well written, documented and detailed reports on technology use, problems with governments, socio-economic impacts, and economics
- Futurism (I usually read these on my iPad, and I just discovered that the web interface is not that great. But give it a try!)
- Raconteur On issues of technology and sustainability.
- NREL I’m sure most of you already know this!
- Clean technica
- Research & Policy
- Natural Resources
- Institute for New Economic Thinking (for issues that are to be seen from a macroeconomic perspective) https://www.ineteconomics.org/topic/innovation
- Bill Gates, this man reads books like I read newspapers, 1-2 a week. From the vast readings that he does, he makes videos and writes on certain aspects that he feels deeply about. Another source where you can find plenty of problems => Challenges => Solutions. https://www.gatesnotes.com/
I haven’t mentioned a few other websites like IEA or IRENA which you will anyhow refer to, either for your coursework and assignments or your natural interest. ALong with the above, I also read the news from my home country quite regularly with special interest on Solar Energy, Electric mobility, Waste management, Water resource management and economic development. “But what is the point in knowing all this, Zee? I want to know how to search for a damn internship.” Is this what you’re thinking about?
In the spirit of “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”, employers are interested in what value you bring to the table than what they are offering you. This is true of the changing global competitive labour markets where companies are constantly on the lookout to spot smart graduates who can think and work on their own. While the group assignment culture at the TU will hone your existing group working skills or teach you if you don’t have them, a lot more is dependent on how you can take it and work; also, on what ideas can you come up with, how you can connect the dots, and understand a big picture. Yes, initially you may be working on a micro level defined project. But you have the power to look at the big picture of the impact of what your technology can do, what problem it can solve and what new business opportunities it can create.
Instead of plainly looking for internships and clicking on apply button, understand what the problem is, what are the skills that you have (and can upgrade as needed) and how can you create a solution.
Make this solution as a pitch deck when you apply to the company or the position that you like. As a recruiter, they want to know what you got and what value can you bring apart from, of course, learning from them.