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Why to study this degree?

According to the forecasts of the International Energy Agency, the use of the energy in the world will increase by one third by 2040 (World Energy Outlook 2015), mainly due to the economic and demographic growth in developing countries. On the other hand, the current energetic system based in fossil resources is unsustainable because of the limited availability of these resources, as well as to their environmental impact. Therefore, the transition towards a new energetic model that guarantees universal access to an affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy is one of the great challenges that society must face in the coming years. This challenge has been recently recognised by the UN as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. To achieve this challenge, it will be necessary to increase investments in renewable energies, improve substantially the energy efficiency in industry, buildings and transport, and expand current energy infrastructures, among other actions.

In Catalonia, the National Pact for Energy Transition aims to achieve an energy model based 100% on renewable energies by 2050 and meet the objectives of the new package Clean Energy for All Europeans of the European Union. In this future scenario, highlights the growth of wind energy, as well as photovoltaic solar, whose installed power is expected to be multiplied in the coming years. A part of this new “energy mix” and most of the transformations will lead to increase energy efficiency with new technical implementations and social processes where the application of sustainability criteria will be imperative. In spite of these prospects, at present there is a lack of qualified professionals in the fields of the renewable energies and of the new technologies of the conventional energies. There is also a lack of experts in control, automation and optimisation of processes that allow to obtain energetic savings or in sustainable building technologies.

On the other hand, it will be necessary to train the population in genergal in the new energy scencario. This training will not only be at the technical level but it will have to imply important changes of mentality to understand and accept the new situation. In this sense, it will be necessary to integrate the concepts of energy efficiency and renewable energy in all educational levels. It is evident the need for well-trained professionals to lead the transition of the energy model and to communicate to society the ideas of sustainability and rational use of resources.