Some would say that renewable energy is an exciting new development which holds much promise for the future, critical to the future sustainability of life on the planet. Others might point out that renewable energy is not new – for instance, wood is, and always has been, the biggest source of useful energy to mankind.
At the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, we are interested in engineering developments associated with technologies, new and old, for the benefit of human civilisation. Renewable sources of energy can contribute to a number of goals; most notably, to the need to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, and as a contribution to a diverse range of primary energy sources.
Renewables can deliver energy in a range of forms – as a source of heat, in the provision of useful work, or in the production of electricity. As an Institution, we are interested in all of these, but in the Renewable Power Committee, part of the Power Industries Division, we are interested mainly in electricity.
Many might argue that the challenges to be met over the next few decades are exactly what engineers operating at the forefront of technology relish most; indeed, it might be said that this is the reason for them entering the profession in the first place. It will be these inspired young engineers who will meet the challenges and solve the problems of today and tomorrow.
The Renewable Power Committee aims to bring forward and stimulate discussion around the issues inherent in the challenge of these problems.
IMechE’s Renewable Power Committee have contributed to renewable power policy debate for over a decade and organise a programme of conferences, seminars and lectures. We also explore new ways to promote renewable energy inside and outside of IMechE with the vision of improving the world through engineering.
Chairman, Renewable Power Committee
To find out more about Renewable Power and Policy, go to the Institution's Energy Portal.