Green energy a growing field

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September 13, 2016 12:00 AM

Ben Sey, dean of the school of energy and environmental sciences for Lakeland College's Vermilion campus, hosted the Green Energy Doors Open event at the school's Centre for Sustainable Innovation on Saturday, where he talked about the advantages of green energy across different sectors.

VERMILION—When it comes to renewable energy, Ben Sey, dean of the school of energy and environmental sciences at Lakeland College’s Vermilion campus, said he sees potential for industries right across the board.
At the third Green Energy Doors Open event, that took place on Saturday at the school’s Centre for Sustainable Innovation (CSI), he discussed the advantages of alternative energy for sectors like farming, trades and also everyday residences.
“There are programs from the government that (farmers) can take advantage of, we’re just trying to help them to know the government has these programs in place for them,” said Sey.
“And for trades people to know, when it comes to green building, it’s really a growing field—there’s lots of opportunity, especially in this downturn, when the oil prices are down, it’s really a great opportunity to take a real good look at renewable energy—it could be a real good source of employment for a lot of people around here.”
There was also a guest speaker on hand, Lakeland’s own award winning instructor Rob Baron, who spoke about photovoltaics and whether they are worth installing in residential homes.
According to science.nasa.gov, photovoltaics is the direct conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level, or in short, solar energy.
Delving deeper into the programs for farmers, Sey said the Alberta government has a credit system for farms that adopt renewable or alternative energy into their operations, and Mike Hittinger, a representative from the ministry of agriculture and forestry, gave a speech at the doors open event detailing some of these programs. 
“Green energy is really a viable alternative and that’s really what we’re trying to get across here, so we invited some exhibitors to show the public what they offer and we want people to leave here just knowing there are people here to install these technologies in their homes if they decide to go that route,” said Sey.
“This year, we’re starting on a very humble footing; we’re just hoping that in subsequent years there’ll be more support from the community, because we believe that we can work together and bring up our communities to the levels we’re aspiring to.”
Judging by the success of the campus’s new renewable energy and conservation program, it would seem that support is growing for the idea of green energy.
The school offers a one year online certificate program as well as a two year diploma program that’s half online and half onsite and Sey said this past summer Lakeland graduated its first diploma students and interest is continuing to grow for these new programs.
“There’s lots of interest and we just encourage everyone to look at it,” he said.

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