Written By: Anna Lucas
In previous articles we have gone over the problem with fossil fuels, and why clean energy is so important to our environment and to the energy crisis. But what does the Clean energy movement have to do with engineering? That's what we are all here for anyway. Although it may not seem like it at first, engineering is one of the main factors from the clean energy movement that has allowed the movement to progress in the first place!
Clean energy was first thought of in the late 16th century, where the first windmills were developed in Holland, now the Netherlands. Although a far cry from how windmills are used today, these Dutch engineers developed windmills in order to pump water and grain in mills. Then, about 200 years later, early French engineer Augustin Mouchat created what was the first solar energy system. Mouchat invented what he called a “sun meter”, which was a few specially shaped mirrors that focused the sun's rays onto a black copper container filled with water, which thus collected steam.
Ever since these first early engineers of clean energy invented their creations hundreds of years ago, engineers have continued the cycle of innovation leading to a long stretch of engineers and inventions throughout history, leading to the clean energy sources we have today. So, now we know the ways that engineering pioneered the clean energy movement and changed the way people look at energy forever.
Many people are inspired by these stories of clean energy development and innovation, and many others are influenced by the declining health of the environment and the increasing price of fossil fuels, and want to get involved with the clean energy movement themselves to be a part of the change that the movement is inspiring. And, there are many ways to do this.
1. Change your Electricity Supplier to a Renewable Source
The main goal of the clean energy movement is to drastically cut down, or even halt altogether, the use of fossil fuels and other types of energy that damage the environment and are not renewable. And so, one of the best ways to get involved with this movement is to help the movement reach their goal, by transitioning the supplier of your energy needs from one powered by fossil fuels, to one powered by renewables.
2. Become A Renewable Energy Engineer
If you are passionate about clean energy, and are fascinated by the engineering aspects that brought the movement to where it is now, consider becoming a renewable energy engineer! These engineers are truly what brought renewable energy to where it is today, and one of the best ways to get involved with the movement is to be one of those engineers who are leading the way for more advancement!
3. Join a Clean Energy Alliance
If you are passionate about renewable energy and interested in its engineering aspect, but aren’t ready to dedicate your entire career to the cause, consider joining a clean energy alliance! They are easy to find, a simple google search of, “clean energy alliances (your state)” will bring up a slew of people similar to you who are passionate about clean energy and want to get involved. Many of these members will be engineers or those involved in STEM careers, and will offer a great opportunity to learn about the engineering aspects of clean energy, and make connections in the field.