Why Choose a Career as a Clean Energy Technician? by Marcia Santore

Clean (or renewable) energy is generally defined as energy (that is, electricity) that comes from renewable, zero-emissions sources. Clean energy sources like solar, wind, water, and geothermal renew themselves naturally and can't be used up. Clean energy does not emit carbon into the environment, so it does not add to the problems of global climate change. Clean energy doesn't release dangerous chemicals or radiation into the environment, either, so it is safer for people and other living things.

We're already experiencing the effects of our long-term dependence on oil and petroleum products on the planet's climate. While some people continue to maintain that global climate change is either (a) not happening or (b) not our fault, the scientific facts are clear. The problem is no longer one that may happen in the future - the problem is already here. Using clean and renewable energy is the only way to keep climate change from getting even worse.

Dependence on oil also creates unstable conditions between countries - especially between the ones that have oil and the ones that want it. Additionally, oil drilling on land and in the oceans has created numerous environmental disasters all around the world. Clean, renewable energy can be generated locally and regionally, keeping our energy production closer to home.

Clean, renewable energy is helping to make things better. Clean energy technicians are an important part of that. As Lors Shinn of the Natural Resources Defense Council notes;

"Renewable power is booming, as innovation brings down costs and starts to deliver on the promise of a clean energy future. American solar and wind generation are breaking records and being integrated into the national electricity grid without compromising reliability....
"While renewable energy is often thought of as a new technology, harnessing nature's power has long been used for heating, transportation, lighting, and more. Wind has powered boats to sail the seas and windmills to grind grain. The sun has provided warmth during the day and helped kindle fires to last into the evening. But over the past 500 years or so, humans increasingly turned to cheaper, dirtier energy sources such as coal and fracked gas.
"Now that we have increasingly innovative and less-expensive ways to capture and retain wind and solar energy, renewables are becoming a more important power source, accounting for more than one-eighth of of U.S. generation. The expansion in renewables is also happening at scales large and small, from rooftop solar panels on homes that can sell power back to the grid to giant offshore wind farms. Even some entire rural communities rely on renewable energy for heating and lighting."

Today, renewable energy technologies provide about 20 percent of the electricity used in the United States. But that percentage is going to be growing, and clean energy technicians will be needed more nad more to keep that clean, renewable energy available to the people who need it.

Clean energy technicians - also known as renewable energy technicians - are people with the skills and aptitude to ensure that the technologies associated with clean energy work at peak efficiency. Clean energy technicians usually specialize in a particular area, such as wind, solar, geothermal, or hydropower. Clean energy can be generated on a large scale for an entire state, county, or region, or it can be generated for individual homes or as part of a "net metering" plan that allows individuals to sell power back to the grid. Clean and renewable energy sources are still sometimes called alternative energy (meaning instead of petroleum-based and nuclear sources of energy) but in the twenty-first century, clean and renewable energy is increasingly mainstream. It won't be "alternative" for long.

As a clean energy technician, you may find yourself working indoors or outdoors, in all kinds of weather, sometimes high in the air. You'll be using both your intellectual skills and your physical skills to keep equipment functioning and power flowing. This is considered a green career - that is, a career that is beneficial to the environment.

There are many different types of clean energy resources, and technicians are needed for all of them. In this book, we're going to take a closer look at technician careers in four types of clean energy:

Wind Turbine Technicians
Solar Photovoltaic Installers
Hydroelectric Plant Technicians
Geothermal Technicians

Clean energy technicians are working hard every day to make our world a better place.

Welcome to the clean energy technicians field! If you are interested in a career as a clean energy technician, you’ve come to the right book. So what exactly do these people do on the job, day in and day out? What kinds of skills and educational background do you need to succeed in these fields? How much can you expect to make, and what are the pros and cons of these various fields? Is this even the right career path for you? How do you avoid burnout and deal with stress? This book can help you answer these questions and more.

Clean Energy Technicians includes interviews with professionals in the following fields that have proven to be stable, lucrative, and growing professions:

Wind Turbine Technician
Solar Photovoltaic Installers
Hydro Power Technicians
Geothermal Technicians

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