The C4EE officially opened a short time ago and is already living up to its billing as the Center for Energy Education.
It started this past week with a photography course coordinated with the center, Roanoke Valley Early College and Halifax Community College.
Photography, you say? Absolutely. As the center pointed out, the name of the course is “Light” and instructor Jörg Brüggemann further defined that “photography is ‘painting with light’ and the solar industry produces electricity from sunlight. Both transform light into something new, something meaningful and usable.”
To start offering classes and courses to educate the public on the connections to and benefits of solar power is what we expected. We didn’t expect maybe so soon. But we are happy that the center has. Mozine Lowe, the center’s executive director, said that such unique opportunities will be offered consistently through the center. Next up will be recurring home efficiency workshops.
Energy education has never been more important than now. A great deal of money, public and private, is being invested in alternative energies. It is essential that we all know why and for what.
The Department of Energy breaks down the benefits and reasons for education in renewable resources.
First, the environmental benefits. Renewable energy technologies are clean sources of energy that have a much lower environmental impact than conventional energy technologies. Also, it will not run out, so generations upon generations ahead of us will have a reliable source of energy. It is imperative we know more about it so we can teach it to our children, who children will learn it from them.
Jobs and the economy benefit as most renewable energy investments are spent on materials and workmanship to build and maintain the facilities. And these investments are usually spent within the United States, frequently in the same state, which can be a boon for us as North Carolina is No. 2 in the ranking of solar states in the country, right behind California. Northeast N.C. is proving to be a great place to harvest sunshine through the installation of more and more solar farms.
Finally, energy security is a critical reason why we all need to know more about solar energy. Those old enough remember the oil disruptions of the 1970s, which increased our dependence on foreign supplies and drove prices up to as much as 1,000 times over the past five decades. This can never happen again. We need to protect our interests, and education is the first step to providing that security.
We are not saying that solar, or other renewable energies, must replace fossil fuels. We need to tap into those true sources even more than ever. That is why the Atlantic Coast pipeline, and other such projects, are indispensable to our nation’s energy security.
We advocate the use of renewable energies to supplement, not replace, fossil fuels. We say this because the fossil fuels will run out. They are finite. It is not going to happen by 2020 or maybe not even 2120. But it will happen. This is why the C4EE and its programs are so important. Take the time to visit the center and learn as much as you can about the sun as an alternative source of industrial, commercial and everyday residential use. You, your children, your children’s children and your posterity down the line will be glad you did.