Alternative Energy Technology -
According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind now provides enough electricity to serve 5.3 million American homes or power a fleet of more than 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles. This amount of wind capacity can generate as much electricity every year as 28.7 million tons of coal or 90 million barrels of oil. Wind generation currently displaces 34 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to taking 5.8 million vehicles off the road. A U.S. Department of Energy study released in May found that wind could provide 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030. At that level, wind power would support 500,000 jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as taking 140 million vehicles off the road.
Strong winds are blowing change into the energy industry, creating new careers. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wind power is the fastest growing energy source in the country. As the industry expands, so does the need for technicians to install, operate, and maintain wind turbines.
Wind turbine technicians build or service individual turbines, help with the construction of entire wind farms, or work indoors at factories that manufacture wind turbines. These technicians use a range of mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical skills. Except for those working in factories, wind turbine technicians spend a good deal of their time outdoors and working atop wind towers. Therefore, these technicians should be comfortable with heights. An increasing number of educational institutions offer wind turbine technician degree or certificate programs.
The first associate’s degree credit program in Ohio in the burgeoning field of wind turbine power generation will began in fall of 2009 at Lorain County Community College. The associate of science degree in Alternative Energy Technology – Wind Turbine trains students to become installation and maintenance professionals.
Wind turbine power is expected to be one of the fastest-growing alternative energy sources. The desire to develop alternative energy sources is growing rapidly, here and around the world. It will need qualified people to service the technology that is involved. The new associate’s degree program at Lorain County Community College covers an overview of alternative energy sources, with specialized training in electronics, electronic controls, mechanical systems and more. The major focuses on residential-sized wind turbines and will include training on commercial-sized turbines. For more information about the wind power industry, contact the American Wind Energy Association, 1501 M St. NW., Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20005; (202) 283–2500. Or visit online at www.awea.org.
Educational Opportunities in Alternative Energy Technology
Associate of Applied Science
The Wind Turbine Technology program encompasses a wide range of electrical, mechanical and computer skills required to compete in the emerging Alternate Energy- Wind Turbine Industry. Individuals will be prepared for a range of analysis, installation and maintenance assignments associated with the Wind Turbine industry.
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