‘Fossil fuels will not last much longer’

Luuk Steemers 19 December, 2017

‘Wind in Athens, yes, that really sounds good.’ Canadian Anthony Vitulli (24) has great plans. In Groningen he is one of the 32 students in the European Master in Renewable Energy (EMRE).

‘We gain lots of knowledge about the current state of affairs in non-fossil energy. Biomass, solar, wind of course, and storage, which is a challenging topic too. We really do have to find better ways to store energy in a sustainable fashion.
‘You never know for sure what the future will bring, but at the moment I feel attracted to the research field of wind energy. I know many people think windmills are hideous, but I do not feel that way. I am very impressed by their enormity and technical ingenuity. Offshore mills are even more impressive. Huge, incredible structures that generate so much power. So, as wind parks at sea are acceptable for almost everyone, they could be a major source of energy.’

Europe is ahead in the field of green energy

Anthony received the so-called Holland Scholarship for his three semester long stay in Europe, for next February Anthony will further his EMRE-programme in the Greek capital of Athens, where he indeed will focus on wind energy. At what location he will spend the last six months of his European tour is not quite sure. It depends on the research assignment he will choose. That could be in the Netherlands (he has become quite fond of what he calls ‘the charming city’ of Groningen), but also in another country.

joseph anthony vitulli_F8A9167 (600x400)

‘That’s one of the things that appealed to me. I wanted to get to know the European perspective on energy transition. This programme offers the possibility to see the lie of the land with my very own eyes. Europe is ahead in the field of green energy. This might be a surprise to you, but Canada is still a little bit fossil-oriented. We could be a frontrunner on alternative energy, though, and I think we should, but we are not. Not yet. Perhaps I’ll stay in Europe after I have finished my studies, to get a job in which I can learn what it takes to gear up the clean power business.’

We are on the brink of a new era and we are able to help shaping it

In 2016 Anthony got his degree in Mechanical Engineering in his hometown Montreal, a large city with 1.7 million inhabitants on the island, and a total of 4.5 million people including the surrounding suburbs. After he took his cap and gown he got a job in the gas and oil industry, he says a little timidly. ‘Nice work, nice people, but you sense that it is an industry of the past. Fossil fuels will not last much longer. Of course, the business leaders in the oil and gas industry know, all the industry leaders know, they have to change over.
‘To us students, it’s thrilling to be part of such a comprehensive positive development, right in the beginning. We are on the brink of a new era and we are able to help shaping it.’

Just like eight other present Hanze master students, Anthony applied successfully for a Holland Scholarship that is provided by the Dutch Ministry of Education. The scholarship is meant for students from outside of the European Economic Area who follow their studies in one of the affiliated universities (of which Hanze University is one).

For this and other scholarships international students can apply for, please turn to www.studyinholland.nl.