November 20, 2013

School is over …

Congratulation to class 2011-2013 – a review

We met Ralf Gernat und Mortimer Schulz, two alumni of Class 2011-2013 of the MSc program „Renewable Energy in Central & Eastern Europe“, in a Viennese coffee house to obtain some insights about the last two years. The goal was to be serious – but still see the bright side of life!

What has changed in the REN-community since 2011?
When we started our course, the main topic was still the production of renewable energy – new systems, technical improvements, rising power. Then energy efficiency became more and more important. In the meantime we are talking about energy storage, due to the fact, that the volatile energy output of renewables needs to be completed by effective storage systems. Beside that we have to concentrate on the conservation of natural resources in general. All of us have to lower their personal CO2 footprint, that´s the key message.

Coming to the highlights during your time as students, I am sure there is a lot to tell?
First of all we have to mention the country modules in Prague and Zagreb. A group of us travelled to Prague by bus and on our way we got in touch with the Czech brewing culture. Anyway, it is energy too – for the moment. In the Czech Republic we visited an “old” hydro plant, which was built in 1908 still at work with the original control system – amazing. In Croatia we had the possibility to get familiar with wind parks situated in the karst mountains. This was also a very nice trip. Second, the mix of talents and previous knowledge in our group helped us very much to understand some key information, when lectors explained highly motivated hours and hours but lost a part of us after a very short time, e.g.: to understand Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) in 30 seconds or what´s about Volt – Ampere – Watt??  The economists supported the technicians and vice versa. But sometimes it was necessary to form a special task force out of our group to stick on the “poor” lector and ask and ask and ask and ask. It happened often just a few seconds before a lessons ending. It was a great time together, we learned a lot and we are stepping now in the future of renewables.

What happened statistically between Oct. 2011 and Nov. 2013?
• 21 students at the start (4 women and 17 men – like Blackjack)
• 9 nationalities and 14 languages
• Change of employment rate:  50%
• Reproduction rate:  25%
• Marriage rate:   10%
• Beer elimination rate: sometimes less, sometimes painful

…and emotionally?
We are linked together and all tense what the future may bring. The Master course has enriched us and we grew like a tree with a lot of branches and arms.

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