The Centennial Energy Institute (CEI) was created in 2006 by Centennial College’s School of Engineering Technology & Applied Sciences (SETAS). Its vision is that Ontario will become a North American leader in the transition to a low carbon, distributed energy economy. It supports this vision with a mandate to develop capacity in the areas of energy conservation, energy efficiency and sustainable energy generation.
The CEI engages the energy sector in the following areas:
- Development of educational and training programs within Centennial, such as the Energy Systems Engineering Technician/Technology programs (ESET).
- Development of external training programs, courses and workshops for the professional and general public, such as our series of Introductory RETScreen workshops, and HOMER workshops.
- Development of events for sharing and disseminating knowledge, such as the E3 Forum – Education in the Sustainable Energy Economy, and establishing a state-of-the-art solar research facility
- Applied research: for example, our collaboration with REGEN Energy Inc. to evaluate their wireless energy-saving load-management devices; collaborating with Clear Blue Technologies for Validation and Optimization of Offgrid Street Light Systems; EfstonScience for Technical and Financial evaluation of three different types of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT); and with NIM energy to evaluate the performance of the NIM Fuel Cell and Electrical Buffering System.
These initiatives take advantage of the depth and breadth of knowledge within SETAS, as well as other schools within the college. In many cases the CEI also engages in strategic partnerships with organizations within the energy sector. These may be private companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and/or other academic institutions.
Centennial Energy Institute provides technical, operational and strategic guidance on the adoption of sustainable energy and environmental practice to promote a successful and healthy future.
A market in turmoil attracts entrepreneurs seeking to cash in on confusion. Virtually all come with good intentions, but always with a bias for their particular technology. It quickly becomes difficult to separate the salve from the snake oil when there is no clear path to success. Ontario’s municipalities and local distribution companies are bombarded with “innovative” technologies and struggle to determine which have value and which are wastes of time, effort and energy. The resources required to ameliorate this problem are a skilled, cross-disciplinary labour force and independent laboratories to evaluate performance claims, establish pilot installations, and develop methods for effective integration of the technology with new and existing systems.
Pathways to Commercialization
Small companies throughout the country, including several in the GTA, are continually creating new energy technologies. The difficulty for these enterprises is access to sufficient capital and human resources to complete product development, validate results and bring new products to market. It is essential for Ontario’s success that these products be nursed to maturity and brought forward for the benefit of all.