On Mar. 3, the Solar Energy Society of Alberta, and many other industry experts came to NAIT for the Solar Trade Show. This free event was an opportunity for professionals to show the latest innovations in the realm of solar energy. With demonstrations of several different technologies from fifty exhibitors, many were enthralled with the experience and history of solar power.
Rob Harlan, the executive director of the Solar Energy Society of Alberta, says price has been a contributor in the past for people not switching to solar power. This showcase aimed at addressing some of those concerns.
“People haven’t embraced solar as a generation source because of the cost historically. The original adaptors, the original market, were people who were interested in the technology…or they had environmental concerns.” Harlan says. “We’re beginning to see, as prices are falling for the equipment, it’s starting to become appealing to people as a solid long-term investment.”
While cost could be in the parent’s mind, younger ones took part in one of the most exciting parts of the showcase. The extraordinarily extreme solar car races, where one must take a flashlight and point it towards a solar panel on their car, powers the car’s motor. Several kids and parents participated, all of them building one for the race at a specific workshop.
While it was one of the most exciting parts of the showcase, Harlan says that the opportunity for exhibitors to network with others is the most engaging aspect of it all.
“There’s a lot of people who are very interested in getting into this industry…there’s a lot of people from the industry who can offer their services to the public.” he says.
“When summer comes in Edmonton, all these installers are going to be very busy. So this is the time for the people who are interested in having a solar system to actually do the advanced work of talking to businesses, learning about it, getting site surveys on their house, or their farm or commercial institution.”
March is the best to gather all of this information. Plus, (Cities IPCC) Cities and Climate Change Science Conference, show how much an individual can contribute to a greener city.
“It’s wonderful to have all that information here, but the question is, ‘what can we really do as individuals?’ and that is what the trade show is here to address. There’s a tremendous amount of options regular people have to generate their own clean energy, and that’s the most exciting thing that underlines this whole movement.”