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Greening the gap

Energy conservation is about finding ways and means to reduce energy consumption. Energy conservationists work at two levels. On one hand they find out how to use energy efficiently, and on the other their job is to identify and choose the correct source for energy production.

education Updated: May 14, 2012 11:29 IST

The lowdown
Energy conservation is about finding ways and means to reduce energy consumption. Energy conservationists work at two levels. On one hand they find out how to use energy efficiently, and on the other their job is to identify and choose the correct source for energy production. As an energy conservationist, one part of your work is to figure out alternative energy resourses, which can take the pressure off the non-renewable energy resources like petrol, coal and others. For example, in India, renewable biomasses, such as rice straw and sugarcane bagasse, are abundantly available as agricultural and industrial residues. As an energy conservationist, you will be required to be on a lookout of such sources. An energy conservation specialist typically drives activities such as consolidation of energy and production-related data, examination of energy conservation opportunities, comparison with the best energy efficiency industry practices and formulating recommendations and action plans for energy saving. Energy conservation can contribute indirectly to financial capital, environmental quality, national security, personal security, and human comfort

Clockwork
Due to frequent travelling no two days seem to be the same. Working days include meeting customers, authorities, partners and handling an immense amount of e-mails
and phone calls. A normal day also includes planning of future actions and presentations, as well as internal reporting. A conservationist’s day is like this:
8.30am: Respond to mails
9.30am: Make a presentation on energy efficiency to senior management at a paper industry giant
1pm: Head for chemical factory to supervise energy audit
7pm: Pack up and head home

The payoff
In Europe, depending on the seniority level Euro 4000 per month. In India, freshers can get a starting package of Rs. 3 lakh per annum and more depending upon the qualifications and experience

Skills/TRAITS
* Ability to quickly understand processes in various industries and different clients
* Engineering or natural science background
* Inquisitive and out-of-the box thinking, marketing skills and ability to speak and present ideas to various audiences

Getting there
One should have a proven track record and exemplary work experience in the related field. In addition, one needs to be acquainted with the global benchmarks and developments. After Class 12, one should take admission in various environmental courses offered by various institutions of repute. The Energy Resources Institute, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Banaras Hindu University, etc run a lot of relevant courses. Besides academics, one should have a good background in engineering or natural sciences, along with inquisitive and out-of-the-box thinking. Good marketing skills and ability to speak and present ideas on various platforms are a must as well. An understanding of various social and cultural skills will also help you progress in your career

Institutes and URLs
* University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun
http://www.upes.ac.in/
* Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore
http://www.dauniv.ac.in/
* Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi
http://www.iitd.ac.in/
* TERI University, New Delhi
http://www.teriuniversity.ac.in/
* Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
http://www.jnu.ac.in/main.asp?sendval=ASC
* Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
http://www.bhu.ac.in/

Pros and cons
* It is a very rewarding career as you are contributing greatly to the environment
* Results are measurable
* When you work for energy and material efficiency and develop and sell new technologies the content and ideology are definite pros
* Involves lots of travel to factory sites, which can at times be in remote locations

New energy solutions, based on renewable sources, that don’t compete with food production, are seriously needed worldwide. This is especially true in countries with high and rising population Pasi Rousu, president, Chempolis Asia and Pacific