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Careers in Renewable Energy: Your World, Your Future Review by Jennifer Smeltser

Gregory McNamee
PixyJack Press, Inc.
1 (303) 810-2850
P.O. Box 149
Masonville, Colorado 80541

It is amazing the number of careers that have formed over the past four decades. One would never have imaged the computer industry, let alone technology, would flourish as it has done. Both industries opened many avenues for new careers that have been able to solve many of the issues that affect our country and the world today. One of those areas is renewable energy and the careers that have formed as a result. Author Gregory McNamee goes into good detail in the updated and second edition book of Careers in Renewable Energy: Your World, Your Future, which describes the career opportunities that are now available to people preparing and entering the workforce or looking to retool their careers.

If you have ever wondered what the “fuss” is all about when it comes to renewable energy, well there is a good reason for the concern. Over hundreds of years, our country, which thrived on renewable energy resources eventually became heavily dependent upon non-renewable energy resources. Much of the energy of the world has been fueled by non-renewable resources like fossil fuels—coal, natural gas and petroleum, and nuclear power. They have been great options, but as resources that are mined from the earth, there is no guarantee of their availability again in our lifetime. If we continue to mine, one day those resources could eventually run out, because they do not replenish. It only seems logical to once again return to our dependence on renewably energy resources like rain, sunlight, and wind—all of which are replenished naturally over a shorter period of time and within our lifetime.

Careers in Renewable Energy opens with a brief note about the history of the use of renewable energy. Many may think the concept is new, but renewable energy has history that dates back as far as the 1890s with solar water heaters, for example. The phrase, “there is nothing new under the sun,” is so appropriate here, because there is not. What worked many years ago is still effective now.

The “renewed” interest in renewable energy has prompted a new wave of career sectors that include Green Building & Energy Management, Hydrogen Energy & Fuel Cells and Bioenergy, just to name a few. Since these careers are new and unfamiliar to many, McNamee defines these sectors. He also discusses the various jobs now available in those areas, which are more familiar, like sales and marketing, research and development, trades and project management, and consulting. McNamee presents the various aspects of the growing renewable energy industry as ones open and full of opportunity for not only those beginning their college education, but also for those already skilled in areas not directly related to the careers.

It is interesting reading about the different careers renewable energy has created, but I think the best part of the book is the resources McNamee includes in the appendix. He shares a list of domestic and international schools to attend for studying about renewable energy and earning an undergraduate or graduate degree. There are also lists of websites to learn more about the industry as well as professional associations and societies to join, and job listings.

Children growing up today are no longer limited to the traditional careers of the past—school teacher, banker, doctor, or other familiar ones. They now have more options to consider. Although Careers in Renewable Energy is not geared toward a particular age of person, I think it is a good book to put in the hands of your high school (or college level) child. This is a great introductory book for those interested in pursuing a STEM field. If your child does not have an interest in a STEM field, the book may open their eyes to think beyond the ordinary or regular regarding the career they pursue.

-Product review by Jennifer Smeltser, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017