Energy Environment: Science Technology and Management (STEEM)
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A global consensus on the urgency to enact measures to mitigate climate change has emerged in recent years, culminating in December 2015 with the Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, global climate deal to limit to 2°C the rise in global temperatures. The agreement also states its aim of limiting the increase to 1.5°C, which would significantly reduce the risk of climate change for ecosystems and human populations. The future of energy production, and particularly renewable energy generation capacities, lies at the heart of efforts to reach these new goals.
The transformation in energy production is generally known as the “energy transition”. This shift away from fossil fuels and towards more sustainable alternatives has become not only a political and environmental imperative, but also an economic one. The technologies and business models of this changing energy landscape call for increasingly sophisticated expertise.
Even if several renewable energy sources (wind, solar, biomass, hydro and marine power) are highly promising, there are still challenges involved with managing their intermittency and making accurate, reliable power generation forecasts. This, in turn, makes it difficult to determine their financial viability.
Finally, the capacity to manage environmental resources and to study the interactions between the geophysical environment, energy production and consumption will continue to grow more important. Corporations, research teams and public bodies alike will need experts that combine cutting-edge technical know-how, a complete understanding of the interactions between energy and the environment and a strong entrepreneurial streak to carry projects forward in this new landscape.
This is precisely the kind of rich, multidisciplinary training for which École Polytechnique is world-renowned. Treating energy and the environment as two equal parts that will determine our climate future, the Energy Environment: Science Technology and Management (STEEM) Graduate Degree provides a sophisticated understanding of energy in the 21st century. Based on a foundation of engineering and applied sciences training, the STEEM program offers graduates the tools to understand the socioeconomic context of climate change and to master the evolutions of our relationship with energy.