Energy manifests itself in a variety of different forms and plays a central role in our lives. Prevailing globally adopted strategies of economic development are essentially based on excessive consumption of energy derived from fossil fuels. Moreover, for the required improvement in the quality of lives of the large population living in developing countries it is necessary to substantially enhance per capita energy availability. The rapid escalation of global crude oil prices is bound to increase the pressure on oil importing developing countries with respect to foreign exchange requirement and balance of payments. Moreover the adverse environmental impacts of fossil fuel extraction, conversion and utilization have also posed serious sustainability related threats before the mankind. As a consequence, energy is no longer a simple issue. With a phenomenal expansion of energy industries the technical occupation associated with energy extraction, conversion, transmission, distribution and utilization have changed considerably.
Environmental protection has become one of the main themes while discussing the future energy supply. Global aspects such as ‘greenhouse effect’ or ‘protection of the earth’s atmosphere’ are being considered seriously. One has to consider ways and means of reducing or completely avoiding the environment polluting emissions at each stage of energy conversion processes. Energy supply and environmental protection are an inseparable unit and an energy engineer will have to take cognizance of the same. Technology evaluation and community acceptance determine his work and his consciousness in the same measure as the dominance of his technical ability.
In view of the above, a new generation of ‘Energy Engineers’ is required to develop, install, operate and maintain sustainable energy solutions for meeting the energy demand of the society. Interdisciplinary manpower possessing different combinations of technical knowledge and skills is required to face the challenging task of providing sufficient energy to the increasing global population in a sustainable manner. The scientists and engineers, in the field of energy are required for a variety of occupations in
- Research and development institutions,
- Organization involved in energy extraction, conversion, transmission and distribution,
- Service organizations (e.g. for energy auditing),
- Industrial and commercial organizations,
- Manufacture, sale, installation of energy equipment.
Since its inception Centre for Energy Studies of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi has been contributing to fulfill the need of trained manpower as well as research and development activities in the area of energy engineering.