Plenty of electricians still make a good living out of the traditional electrician’s jobs – wiring houses, maintenance checks, and setting up electrical systems in public buildings. But the growth in the field of alternative energy has been great.
Alternative energy is a hot word in the industry and among electricians looking for new avenues or opportunities in their work. Traditionally, our power sources have included gas, coal, and nuclear power. These days, electrical companies are exploring alternative and renewable energy sources, sustainable energy sources which are also often referred to as “green” energy. Examples of these include solar energy, wind energy, and biomass, and all these alternative energy sources have the capacity of expanding the outlook for electricians in myriad ways.
For farming needs, in particular, which are notoriously heavy in power consumption, alternative energy sources that tap into resources that are renewable, and to which they have easy access because of the nature of the farming industry itself, are particularly appealing. Farms consume power for a broad range of uses, from diesel for use in tractors and mechanical equipment, to gas for heating and drying crops. The electrical usage on farms, however, generally depends on the type of farm, and how many electrically powered machines are used. The bigger the farm, the more it is expected to utilize automation and mechanization in the farm’s daily and regular work, which means the higher the electrical power consumption will be. If the farm also works with livestock and poultry that require round the clock heating and lighting solutions, then the electrical energy consumption will certainly be higher. This is why tapping into alternative energy sources is quickly gaining ground among farmers, especially those energy sources which are readily available to most farms in the first place, for instance, solar power and wind power.
Land crops, for instance, need sunlight to survive. Any reasonable-sized farm will have acres of land exposed to sunlight. These same areas can be used for the installation of solar panels to farm solar energy.
Depending on how your green electrician has set things up, the power generated from these panels can either be fed back into the farm itself or back into a grid. There are electric companies which offer a purchasing agreement with a private individual where the company pays for the power produced by a homeowner, and which power is fed back into the system. Again, farms have a particular advantage in the use of solar energy because farms already make use of solar power as a matter of course. This will simply be another way of either generating power or of creating an income. Either way, one requires the specialized training of an electrician well-versed in solar energy not only to set up the solar power system but to make sure that the power generated is efficiently and safely routed and utilized.
Wind energy, on the other hand, requires a more technical setup, which also means more required solutions and services from a licensed and experienced electrician.
But the truth is that wind power is no stranger to farms, either. Many farms in the world are equipped with windmills that work by tapping into underground water for irrigation purposes. This is the more traditional function of windmills. More modern technology has developed windmills that still run on the power of wind, but this time is capable of producing power or electricity, again for irrigation purposes. As with solar energy, the entire system has to be set up by a licensed and experienced electrical contractor so that you can efficiently produce and utilize the power generated by wind turbines.
It is imperative for modern farms to be able to generate and utilize power if it were at all possible to do so. And the rising costs of electricity, including the fact that the supply of it is limited at any given time, makes it important for anyone to consider alternative sources of power. Wind and solar energy are a great pair of alternative energy sources that farms can easily tap into, and to utilize in farming, plowing, irrigating, and processing of agricultural products and goods.
For all of these things, the particular expertise of a licensed and experienced “green” electrician is indispensable.
How does an electrician get to this point of familiarity and expertise in what is undoubtedly a novel career option? Well, if one is lucky, they will find a training institute which offers resources and practical experience in green technology and alternative power systems. Otherwise, our aspiring electrician pretty much needs to learn on his own, get his fingers burnt every so often, and to experiment when opportunities for supervised training are not readily available. The truth is, any electrician worth his salt needs to find some way to get his foot inside that door, somehow or another, or risk being left behind as the world decides to move towards cleaner and renewable energy sources.