In 1931, Thomas Edison famously predicted that we would eventually come to rely on solar energy. It seems like that future is finally here, with renewable energy projects being rolled out more frequently and more rapidly than ever before.

IE University recognizes this monumental shift, and constantly keeps the future of the world in mind when it comes to educating and shaping future generations with specifically tailored programs. The Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability does exactly this; equipping students with the knowledge they need to face a future of clean energy head-on. 

Types of renewable energy

To understand the future that is fast becoming reality, there are five main types of clean energy that should be looked at: solar, hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass. Solar power is perhaps the most recognizable of the five; having become less expensive and more efficient over recent years. Solar panels work by sunlight being absorbed by PV cells located on the panel, which then generate electricity to power houses, for example. 

Solar power

By 2024, it’s predicted that solar energy will have become up to 35% cheaper, with the US doubling its solar installations by 2023. PV-based solar power costs continue to decline, in part owing to the uptake of solar panels on houses, particularly across the US, but also across other areas of the globe.

Another key problem the world is facing is the unsustainability of coal-based power, which is on track to becoming unprofitable on a global level within the next few decades. Coupled with current trends indicating the continued decline in solar panel costs and the convenience of solar power not being dependent upon specific weather conditions and location, the next decade is becoming easier to predict. 

Clearly, there is upwards growth and a need for renewable energy. IE University places its focus on the future, constantly adapting to create programs that best fit the changing global climate. The Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability perfectly reflects this idea.

Wind energy

Another key player in the future of renewable energy is onshore wind energy. It is created by wind-turning propeller-like blades of a turbine around a motor, which generate electricity as a result.

Onshore wind energy continues to grow, with onshore wind additions expected by China and the US. Expansion across the EU will likely shortly follow. While onshore wind energy is making strides, offshore wind capacity is also forecast to increase to 65 GW by 2024, three times what it currently stands at, acting as another source of sustainable and reliable renewable energy. 

How is this future created?

The clean energy industry is making great strides in the energy world, but where there are great ideas and numbers to prove it, there has to be financial backing. This financing will come about in a number of ways, including the following:

Startups: Successful ideas are born in startups. This phase can sometimes be risky in that investors are not always willing to provide vital capital, but this is crucial in the early stages for all new ventures, not just in renewable energy.

Capital markets: Once access to capital markets has been opened up, companies and ideas can really take off. When this has happened, companies can scale up and expand on ideas.

What’s next?

Renewable energy seems to be more accessible than ever. With constantly evolving innovations looking at new ways to sustainably power the world and the financing available to back it, the future holds a different outlook to the one observed today. 

In response to this ever-evolving world, IE University has curated programs designed to match promising students and professionals with career trajectories that will make a lasting impact. These future leaders are at the forefront of the renewable energy takeover.

Emerging graduates entering the workforce in the second half of this decade will need to be equipped with the innovative learning necessary to navigate a rapidly-changing world. The Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability is a transdisciplinary program that provides students with the skills they need to implement sustainable projects. 

The program combines natural sciences with economic and legal sciences, as well as technology to create a program with a wide outlook, focused on solving challenges that affect not only individuals but society as a whole. The Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability trains students to make an impact; an impact the world very much needs.