Renewable energy can be extracted from different sources, e.g. wind, solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal, and biomass ones. The European Union (EU), seeking to use the largest possible number of renewable energy sources and thus reduce the dependence on fossil fuel, creates more sustainable energy production.
The EU set energy and climate-related targets for 2020, 2030, and 2050. The closest targets for 2020 include the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% (compared to 1990), obtaining 20% of energy from renewable sources, and increasing energy consumption efficiency by 20% .In addition, the renewable energy industry is constantly promoting the development of innovative technologies. Solutions are also sought in the EU-initiated projects, including the project on Innovative European Studies on Renewable Energy Systems (IESRES).
In the framework of the project implementation, in the period of April to October of 2016, a large group of Klaipėda University academic staff and students visited three Universities: Gazi University in Turkey, the University of Pitesti in Romania, and University of Perugia in Italy. They were arranged trainings-seminars, the academic staff gave lectures, while students prepared and gave poster presentations on the subject of effective consumption of renewable energy.
Participants of seminars Brigita Bogužaitė, Žygimantas Valskis, Martynas Macikas, Martynas Sprogys, Povilas Vitkus, and Andrius Treinauskas are the first and second cycle students of the Faculty of Marine Engineeringa nd Natural Sciences. Dr. Eleonora Guseinovienė, lect. Jelena Dikun, dr. Valdas Jankūnas, and dr. Audrius Senulis are representatives of the academic staff who take an active part in the project. The staff development through the studies and teaching of renewable energy-related courses contributes to students’ abilities of working in a team and acting as team leaders. By getting involved in the studies, the participants improve their skills to act not only at the national, but also at an international level and, most importantly, to address global problems.
Research-based studies and joint research with partners from other countries provide an excellent opportunity to together prepare papers and publications. KU representatives who gained different kinds of experience from cooperation with foreign universities in the project, feel positively toward it. Martynas Sprogis, graduate student of Innovative Electrical and Automation Systems, reports having participated in the project-related trips three time and would be happy to go abroad again. To quote Jackson Brown, the road is best learnt by taking it rather than exploring the maps of the world, and those words perfectly define the purpose of the project: to provide students with an opportunity of seeing their study field from a different angle, i.e. of gaining knowledge and ideas from other European universities, or maybe discovering a more attractive way to gain knowledge, says Martynas. As stated by Andrius Trainauskas, a graduate student of Manufacturing Engineering, it was a useful experience: “Participation in this project has left a memorable impression. It was very interesting to interact with students from other countries, and also to see other countries, universities, and scientific laboratories. In my opinion, this project was very useful for both students and teachers, because it is a great opportunity to expand their knowledge and to get to know other cultures.” Andrius advises everybody who has an opportunity to take part in one or another project of a similar character and not to miss that wonderful opportunity. Brigita Bogužaitė, an undergraduate student of Electrical Engineering, says that the project and the opportunity for at least a short period of time to integrate into the academic life of another country provided her with a lot of knowledge and inspired to create and to get seriously interested in the area of renewable energy. “It was very interesting to see what kind of research is conducted and what laboratories exist in other universities. I expect more similar projects in the future, and you, current or prospective students, do not miss your chance!”, says Brigita.
On 7-8 May, 2017, similar trainings will be held at Klaipėda University. Preparation is going on, field trips to different objects are being agreed upon, and lectures are developed seeking to demonstrate the best that Klaipėda University and Klaipėda have in the area of renewable energy. In the future, trainings in the University of the Basque Country in Spain are awaiting, and students and a teacher team from Klaipėda University are going to attend them.