ENERGY STUDIES

ENERGY STUDIES Energy is growing exponentially in India and is today the prime mover of economic growth. With huge requirements of various...

ENERGY STUDIES
Energy is growing exponentially in India and is today the prime mover of economic growth. With huge requirements of various energy resources, the government is actively driving investments in this sector. According to recent reports, India ranks sixth in the world in total energy consumption and needs to accelerate the development of the sector to meet its growth aspirations.

THE ENERGY REVOLUTION
Says Dr Ram Babu, MD of CantorCO2e India Pvt Ltd, “In a few years time, there will be tremendous pressure on energy management as the demandsupply gap is set to widen with imports of crude being maintained at 75 per cent, which has a direct impact on the GDP progress.” Adds Dr Atmanand, Dean of the School of Energy Management, Management Development Institute (MDI), “The changes in the future will be remarkable, as the implementation of the Energy Conservation Act 2001 would call for about 16000 certified energy managers (CEM) and certified energy auditors (CEA) from 2007- 2012, besides a large number of energy professionals in the vast areas of energy management. Also, the Electricity Act 2003 would further accelerate the energy business in India.”
Dr B K Choudhury, Assistant Professor of Energy Management at Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM) states, “The government has set the target to make electricity available to every part of India by 2012. This would call for at least doubling the available power by judicious energy management comprising capacity addition by installing more power plants, alternative energy use, energy conservation, efficiency improvement and demand side management.”

POTENTIAL

With the objective of creating world-class professionals in the energy sector, the government has enforced the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 with effect from March 1, 2002. The country’s formal education system has just started to wake up to the needs of aspiring energy analysts and managers. Here’s a quick guide to a variety of careers in this demanding, yet rewarding world.
People looking to work in the energy sector would find openings with corporates, banks, nongovernment organisations, academic and research institutions, and the media. Some of the functions available are:

Energy Manager:

Occupies an important position and is a focal point of all the activities pertaining to energy management in a particular organisation. He plays a key role in the formulation of corporate energy policy. Energy managers also perform activities related to plant energy management, project management, personnel management, and financial management at the plant level. They prepare the information to be submitted to the designated agency with regard to the energy consumed and action taken on the recommendation of the accredited energy auditor.

Energy Auditor:

Carries out a detailed energy audit, quality energy consumption and establishes base line energy information, constructs energy and material balance, performs efficiency evaluation of energy and utility systems, compares energy norms with existing energy consumption levels, identifies and prioritises energy saving measures, analyses technical and financial technologies and alternate energy sources, writes reports and follows up for implementation.
The essential qualification for a certified energy manager and energy auditor is the passing of a national-level certification examination, which is conducted under the aegis of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. Individuals should have a couple of years work experience to write the certification exam.The national level certification examination, conducted by the National Productivity Council, Chennai, establishes a uniform criterion for the certification of energy managers/ auditors and also ensures that services of qualified persons, having the requisite knowledge on the subject, are available to the industry.The details on the certification examination are available on the website www.energymangertraining.com

Energy Analysts:

Aim to increase the understanding of the current and future characteristics, roles, and interactions of government, markets, and technologies. The acquired understanding is used to analyse technology, benefits, markets, and policies.Thus, programme decisions are made for optimal energy consumption.This is also a way to conceptualise energy efficient and renewable energy technologies and then advance them from concepts to commercial application.

Specialised Jobs:

This is the highestearning category of professionals involved in the energy industry. Professionals include consultants in a specific area, statisticians, energy analysts and economists, who are engaged by all corporates. Understanding the overall market is a prerequisite here.
According to Dr Choudhury,“A career in the energy industry has a good number of alternative opportunities for a mixture of energy policy, planning, energy audit, conservation, technological upgradation, renewable and other alternative energy use, awareness, marketing, financing and costing.”
States Dr Atmanand,“The employment rate in the energy management field is bound to increase at a faster rate than the growth rate of energy intensive industries which are at present 13.6 per cent, because more and more companies from developed countries are recruiting energy professionals and consultants from India. Also, the legal obligations (Energy Conservation Act 2001) will force some of the companies to employ CEM/ CEA.
It is very important that you start exploring the various facets of energy as early as you could.Volunteer or internship experiences at corporates or NGOs will help you get an insight into this industry and enable you to prepare towards your career goals.While the job may not be directly related to your career goals, the aptitudes required for the jobs are similar and the experience will prove useful.

IN DEMAND
Renewable Energy (RE):
The RE segment is actually a vast group of subindustries (wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal and bio-energy) that offer employment opportunities for people with different educational backgrounds. Engineers, scientists, architects, lawyers, businesspeople, human resource and public affairs specialists, as well as a host of administrative support workers have opportunities in various aspects of researching, developing, installing and promoting RE. For years now, remote villages have relied on wood stoves and diesel generators to provide heat and electricity. Efforts to increase the use of energy through solar, wind and biomass sources in remote areas have put the nation at the forefront of renewable power use.

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

Normally a scientific background (either three-year graduation with science subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, economics or four-year graduation in core engineering such as electrical, mechanical, chemical, civil, etc) is required. However, a postgraduate degree and work experience is an advantage.“Disciplines such as automobile engineering and architecture are also relevant since the transport and residential sector consumes 20 per cent and 15 per cent of our commercial energy respectively,” says Dr Choudhury.
Adds Dr Atmanand,“Subjects such as basic electrical and electronics engineering, applied thermodynamics, fluid flow, economics, etc are quite relevant in today’s scenario.”There are a couple of postgraduate diploma programmes that one could pursue. Certain institutes offer training to midcareer professionals in the energy industry, while some are setting up energy management courses with emphasis on the power sector. For an energy analyst, institutes like the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) and the Indian Institute of Petroleum could be a good choice.

PERSONAL TRAITS

Explains Dr Choudhury,“Qualities such as hard work, dedication, good communication skills and an open mind for continuous updates helps a lot in this profession. Empathy and a good sense of humour would help to build your team.Team work plays a very important role in this profession.” An expert from the TERI adds,“It is very important to be flexible in your thinking as this sector requires working on different ideas and projects simultaneously.” One should possess the ability to adapt to different situations quickly. Conditions in the energy industry change with every shift in world affairs. Energy technology evolves daily. Also, it is advisable that one remains alert all throughout to collect and assimilate numerous activities going on in the areas of energy and environment.

SPREADING WINGS

“Being an entrepreneur, embarking on emerging fields like green buildings and global warming related projects, updated skills in the latest technology of power systems and switching over to the clean development mechanism profession are some of the opportunities for advancement,” says Dr Babu.
Energy professionals do interact with top-level decision makers or become a part of them with experience in the corporate sector.This is because energy management saves money, enhances productivity, and improves the bottom line of the organisation.“I have seen students with a science background joining companies at positions similar to their engineering counterparts and progressing at a faster rate than their engineering colleagues. Similarly, sincere individuals either with a science or engineering background could secure top-tier positions in five to eight years through multiple promotions in the same or in a different company” recalls Dr Choudhury.
The opportunities are ever expanding in the field of energy management both in India and abroad. Most of the energy intensive industries have an energy management cell or an activity group may be in different names whose sole responsibility is to identify, work out, and implement the energy conservation opportunities in the plant and plan the energy supply for the industry’s energy security.There are 14 energy intensive industries and the commercial buildings listed in ECA 2001, namely aluminium, fertilisers, iron and steel, cement, pulp and paper, chlor-alkali, sugar, textile, chemicals, railways, port trust, transport sector (industries and services), petrochemicals, gas crackers, naphtha crackers and petroleum refineries, thermal power stations, hydel power stations, electricity transmission companies and distribution companies, commercial buildings or establishments.
Dr Choudhury observes that the job profile may initially appear to be tougher in the energy segment since it involves a lot of fieldwork, often inside a manufacturing unit or in remote villages for assessment of energy sources.This should not deter individuals from choosing to work in this segment.With hard work and dedication, one could secure promotions, awards, foreign trips, or visits to industries/ organisations within four to five years. Besides this, the employment opportunities in consultancy and research projects are increasing rapidly.

REMUNERATION
Most jobs are well paid. It depends on the background, calibre and experience of the candidate and on the type and policy of the organisation. A postgraduate fresher can expect up to Rs five lakh per annum, while a PhD or equivalent qualification holder can expect anything between Rs seven to10 lakhs.

INSTITUTES
The University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun - www.upesindia.org

Jadavpur University, Kolkata - www.jadavpur.edu

School of Energy Studies, University of Pune - www.unipune.ernet.in

Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai and Delhi - www.iitb.ernet.in and www.iitd.ernet.in respectively

Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Kolkata - www.iiswbm.edu

Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh - www.bhu.ac.in

Management Development Institute, Gurgaon - www.mdi.ac.in

Annamalai University , Chennai - www.annamalaiuniversity.ac.in

Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Madhya Pradesh - www.dauniv.ac.in Vellore Engineering College, TamilNadu - www.vit.ac.in

Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Madhya Pradesh - www.rgtu.ac.in

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