Technology for producing renewable energy is constantly being developed, whereas often the more challenging aspect of the energy transition is changing people's attitudes
Søren Hermansen, Samsø Energy Academy, Samsø, Denmark
Climate change is real, energy transition is needed and new professionals are wanted that can help communities to make the transition from fossil fuels to renewables. Will you become the expert that gets people on board to make this transition happen? That is the essence of the master Energy for Society.
This programme develops Energy Transition Strategists that help communities, municipalities, governments and companies to establish the necessary energy transition. As an energy professional, you will be able to bridge technical, societal and ecological solutions on a local and regional level. You are the negotiator that knows how to operate successfully between the various interests, exploring opportunities and developing scientifically funded solutions.
The first semester provides you with insights and an overview of the complexity of energy transition at various levels. You will look at the need for energy transition from a societal, economical and geographical perspective. During the semester, you will follow courses like Society In Transition, New Business Models and Energy Technologies and Systems. You will also learn how the behavior of stakeholders in relation to energy transition can be influenced. The acquired knowledge and expertise of the first semester is applied to real-life projects, such as how to involve groups of low-income citizens in local energy transition projects.
During the second semester, you will learn what it takes to actually make energy transition happen, by looking at energy transition from a political, geographical and societal perspective. During one of the courses you will learn which instruments can be used to resolve (legal) transition issues. A course like Spatial Transformations will focus on the effects of energy transition on the environment and landscape and show you how people can be enticed to participate in the transformation process. You will also learn how to establish a public dialogue and address societal and political issues related to the energy transition. Next to the theoretical classes, you will apply your knowledge and skills to a real-life case, such as defining a strategy for implementing a local circular economy for a municipality.
In the third and final semester you will work on your thesis project. In this project you will have to demonstrate that you are able to act as a true transition strategist. You will approach a 'real-life' complex problem within a (local) energy transition context from a transdisciplinary perspective.
After successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded the title of 'Master of Science Energy for Society'. There are plenty of job opportunities for graduates, ranging from careers with profit and non-profit organisations. To name a few: a local consultant guiding initiatives for utility companies, a Sustainability Consultant for network administrators, Local Council Policy Officer, Area Director for Energy Transition, Programme Manager for Energy, Community Advisor for local construction- or renovation projects or a freelance consultant for Energy Transition.