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STEM Education and Renewable Energy Jobs

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2019 Fall Mid Atlantic States Conference


New York, New York

Publication Date

November 1, 2019

Start Date

November 1, 2019

End Date

November 30, 2019

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Rajarajan Subramanian Penn State Harrisburg

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Rajarajan Subramanian is currently serving as Associate Chair of Civil Engineering and Construction (SDCET) programs in Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg. Previously, he worked as Transportation Engineer at Maryland State Highway Administration. He earned his Ph.D. and master’s degree in engineering from the Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering, University of Florida. He has 30 years of combined experience with government, academia, and industry. He was a Senior Lecturer at Annamalai University, India, teaching civil engineering for about 10 years. He also worked in the Linton Institute of Technology as a Senior Lecturer in Ipoh, Malaysia, for three years.

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STEM Education and Renewable Energy Jobs Rajarajan Subramanian1 1, Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg


The positive impacts of an increasing share of renewable energy on the softening of climate change and on reduced energy import dependency are indisputable. Renewable energy means the energy produced by wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, biomass, solid waste. Wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower energies need the engineer’s workforce and engineering is one of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) areas. Biomass and solid waste energies need environmental engineers’ workforce and environmental engineers need STEM field expertise. Overall, the STEM areas touch upon every facet of renewable energy needs. If STEM skills increase, the youth of today will get more job opportunities, because more and more jobs are created by “Renewable energy sources (RES)”.

Recently there has been a big push to reduce carbon footprint all over the world. Countries are trying to find ways to reduce the carbon footprint on their land. RES is one of the ways the amount of carbon produced can be curtailed while comparing to the energy produced by fossil fuels. Right now, human mankind realizes that renewable energy should be encouraged for preventing global temperature rise. Renewable energy production in the future will create more job opportunities. To meet the need for the future workforce, the youth of today needs to be educated with STEM skills.

In the United States, an income tax credit is allowed for the production of electricity from qualified energy resources at qualified facilities. The energy resources that are classified as qualified are wind energy, closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, geothermal energy, solar energy, small irrigation power, municipal solid waste, and qualified hydropower production. The tax credit encourages more entrepreneurs to invest capital in renewable energy production and thereby create more STEM related jobs.

This paper is going to highlight the importance of the relationship between renewable energy jobs and the skill set required to handle those jobs by STEM areas. The whole society is responsible to make our future generation STEM savvy so that they can match the need for jobs that are going to be created by renewable energy production. Data from different countries are analyzed to compare renewable energy jobs and the relationship to STEM areas’ skillset use.

Subramanian, R. (2019, November), STEM Education and Renewable Energy Jobs Paper presented at 2019 Fall Mid Atlantic States Conference, New York, New York. 10.18260/1-2--33807

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