In his late 20s, Brandon Sandmaier had a stable job with good pay in the oil market, working as a heavy automobile professional.
Now hes a poster kid for Albertas shift toward alternative energy.
In 2014, the oil industry hadyet to start its excessive complimentary fall, butSandmaier wasre-evaluating his life.
He neededa new obstacle and, with two young sons at home, desired a career with a more positive effectinfluence on the world.
Lots of colleagues questioned why he would give up to study in a new industry. Even he had appointments about whether the sector was huge enough for a job in Canada, let alone Alberta.
Now Sandmaier, alongwith afellow graduate from the NAIT option energy course, runsGenerate Energy, a growing solar power business, and the 33-year-old can only see the sector broadening.
Eight prospective students scramble for every readily available seat in the NAIT course Sandmaiertook and, over at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), asolar installationcourse covered by union charges cant stay up to date with demand.
As provincial training director with the IBEW in Edmonton, Todd Chrunik sees the interest for solar firsthand.
Historically, Albertan IBEW members helped gain the oilsands, he says, however more youthful members in particular seerenewable energy as a natural progression for the electrical trade.
That resulting interest in solar has actually grown course waiting lists as long as your arm.
They know this is the future and they’re delighted, they really are, Chrunik says.
Training in solar energy installation had been subjugating in the back of Scott Crichtons mindfor years before he signed up for the IBEW training course.
It’s starting to develop an entire brand-new industry that individuals just werent rather ready for 10 years ago, he says.Its an incredible time.
While the IBEW and NAIT courses are considerably different, Crichton and Sandmaier have a comparable take on life after training: both have been blown away by theinterest in renewables.
One of the coolest traits I’ve seen is that you get one house with solar panels on it, then everyone else on the street takes an interest in it and they wantwish to do that too, Crichton states.
It’s beginningbeginning to create an entire brand-new market that individuals just werent rather prepared for 10 years ago.Its a remarkable time.
Sandmaiers company has turned its focus to rural neighborhoods, where more individuals are thinking solar.
Child boomers have actually revealed particular interest, which amazed Sandmaier offeredconsidered that the expense of installing photovoltaic panels suggests ittakesyearsto see a return on investmenta roi.
They’re really interested in having this technology and being a part of this motion, he says.They see it as valuable and a tradition.
Alberta came late to the renewables celebration, however Jim Sandercock, chair of NAITs alternative energy program, thinks the province caneasily discover from the lessons of other jurisdictions and avoid a few of the speed bumps.
Take Ontario, for instance.
They dropped into the video game in 2009, but the expense of solar and expense of wind has actually dropped anywhere from 60 to 80 percent because then, Sandercock says.As a repercussion, on a provincial scale, it’s going to cost us a lot less to get into renewables.
The Alberta government is mulling over changes to renewables as part of its climate leadership plan, and Sandmaier hopes tax refunds for customers are on the table.
He sees a future where solar will grow in Alberta, with more tasks, suppliers and manufacturers inthe province.
A lot of individuals will position the difficulty between solar and oil business, but the solar industry can grow totally together with the oil market without any impact on either, he states.
Albertans are a pretty cool lot and they take value in growing and entering different markets.