02. NAIT's new alternative energy program zeros in on solar, wind, geothermal and more
Blog: 02. NAIT digs deep to fill the green tech knowledge gap
Kolton Kasur sees plenty of green in his future. The 22-year-old from rural Bashaw Alberta is enrolled in a new Alternative Energy Program at NAIT, a polytechnic school in Edmonton.
“I think there’s going to be a huge future in alternative energy as technology develops,” says Kasur. He believes there will be “a constant growing demand for energy as population increases; and there’s always going to be demand for more sustainable energy.”
The green and renewable energy industries are growing rapidly. Wind is growing about 20 per cent per year in Canada, According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association, Canada’s production of wind power is going to double in the next five years. Many people are surprised to learn that there are over 30,000 geothermal heating systems installed in homes and businesses across the country.
NAIT’s Alternative Energy Program aims to help meet this increasing demand. It’s a two-year program that teaches students how to design and install a broad range of green technologies ranging from solar to wind and even exotic technologies like fuel cells.
There is a “definite knowledge gap out there regarding many of the green technologies,” explains instructor Don MacIntyre. He specializes in geothermal energy, a technology that uses the ground as a giant battery, drawing heat in the winter and cold in the summer.
“What NAIT is trying to do in this Alternative Energy Program is bring together a number of leading technologies in the area of green tech – bring them into a single curriculum and give the students enough of a knowledge of all of them to put them into the working world with a genuinely good understanding of how these technologies actually work and work together,” says MacIntyre.
It was NAIT’s past-president, Sam Shaw, who helped establish the renewable energy program. He noticed an increasing number of Albertans were interested in purchasing renewable energy products, but there were few technologists trained to service the industry.
Podcast: Learn why one rural Albertan is learning the renewable energy ropes
Kolton Kasur left the family farm in Bashaw, Alberta to work in the oil patch until he came across NAIT's Alternative Energy program.
"I think there’s going to be a huge future in [renewable energy] for farming communities and all rural areas," says Kasur.
Podcast: NAIT prepares students for the renewable revolution
Canada is about to undergo an incredible metamorphosis when it comes to energy. As our grids gets smarter and our electricity gets cleaner we need the technologists and technicians who can keep up these systems humming.
These resources relate to this episode. They may be helpful in many ways, but we list them only for your information. This is not an endorsement of any of these programs, services or organizations and we make no guarantees about the products or services these companies or organizations may offer.
International Wind Energy Academy - Lethbridge College
The vision for the International Wind Energy Academy is to build capactiy of individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to take advantage of the emerging opportunites associated with the development and operation of large and small wind and solar energy projects. GO >
Clean energy classrooms across Canada
The website Clean Energy Classrooms has an authoritative Canada-wide list of of renewable energy courses and programs. GO >
Tags: Renewable Energy
NAIT Alternative Energy Program Alumni LinkedIn Group
NAIT's Alternative Energy Program
This program provides solid technical knowledge of solar PV, solar thermal, geothermal, wind, bio fuel, fuel cell, hydro and hybrid energy system applications, as well as carbon capture technologies. Learn about the details of the course and how to apply. GO >
Our Green Energy Futures column from the front page of the business section of the Edmonton Journal
NAIT's Alternative Energy Program - Flickr Slide Show
Amazing video of wind turbine technicians at work - PBS
Cool time lapse video of a ground mount solar energy system being installed - Youtube