Environmental Sciences

Renewable Energy & Conservation (Certificate/Diploma) - Courses

CAMPUS: Online
ACCREDITATION: Diploma and Certificate
Please note: Effective July 1, 2021 this program will be known as Sustainability Energy (certificate) and Sustainable Energy Technology (diploma)

You need to know

  • There are 10 courses in the certificate program.
  • There are 10 more courses in the diploma program.
  • We recommend you start with RC 200 Basic Energy Principles.
  • You may start the certificate program with other courses (see the chart below).
  • You must complete all the certificate courses before you take a diploma course.
  • Optional entry points for both the certificate and diploma program are shown in the chart below.
  • You may take the program part-time or full-time.
  • Expect to spend 10-15 hours per week per course. We recommend only taking 2 courses at one time.
Important registration notes:
  • You register for these courses once you have applied to and have been accepted in the program. You'll use My Lakeland to register for those courses.
  • You must register at least 2 weeks before a class starts  so that you can get your textbook in time.
You can find the full schedule of dates and deadlines for our courses on the Important Dates page.
Certificate Level Courses CREDITS
CO 255 Strategic Communication and Community Engagement 3
Communicating effectively is an essential skill for working in any industry. CO 255 addresses the practice of communication skills within the business environment, including work with scientific literature, proposals and bids, estimates, scientific report writing, business administration details, and customer/employee service.
RC 200 Basic Energy Principles 3
Provides understanding of principles of energy systems including electricity, heat, energy movement and water flow. Examines principles related to energy storage and transfer. Provides basic math review and practice with basic types of calculations used in energy industry.
RC 201 Energy and the Environment 3
Examine global aspects of energy movement in the natural environment, and where and how products like carbon are naturally stored and cycled. Current energy production practices reviewed in this context, and potential environmental concerns are identified, including greenhouse gases and other potential contaminants. The course draws linkages to where we are at today, and where we may be in the future if changes are not implemented.
RC 202 Energy Audits and Conservation Practices 3
This course inspects how a home energy audit measures energy efficiency in a residential home. This course also examines methods to reduce energy consumption in residential homes.
RC 203 Global Impact of Climate Change 3
Examines broader potential impacts of a warming planet. Potential impacts on plants, animals and mankind considered. Opposing theories about global warming and potential implications reviewed.
RC 204 Introduction to Wind Energy 3
Introductory course examines development of wind power as an alternative renewable energy source. Topics include need to assess wind energy potential, types of wind turbines, global development of wind power and environmental aspects. Large commercial and small wind power applications introduced. Prerequisite: RC 200
RC 205 Introduction to Solar Energy 3
Introductory course examines solar energy for supplementing heat and electricity demands in buildings. Topics include solar system components, general system planning, design considerations, and safe installation guidelines. Prerequisite: RC 200
RC 206 Geo Energy Exchange - Installation 3
Geo Energy Exchange – Installation reviews the application of geothermal energy systems. Introduces ongoing developments of energy exchange beyond typical ground source applications. Participants examine energy exchange principles, geothermal heat pump systems, economic and marketing factors of energy exchange industry, and geological factors related to geo-applications. Installation process, maintenance issues, and basic controls detailed. Prerequisite: RC 200.
RC 207 Introduction to Biofuels 3
Examines basic principles and practices of biofuel production. Topics include overview of production processes of biodiesel and ethanol. Quality, cost, and performance issues of these fuels discussed as well as benefits and challenges.
RC 208 Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling 3
Throughout the world the accumulation of solid waste is a complex and escalating problem. This course introduces methods to reduce, reuse and recycle solid waste.
  • RC 200 is a prerequisite for  RC 204, RC 205 or RC 206.
  • RC 204 can be taken as a co-requisite with RC 200.
You can find the full course schedule on the Important Dates page.
Diploma Level Courses CREDITS
BA 215 Small Business Management 3
This course covers basic principles and practices related to establishment and operation of a small business. Basic marketing, financial control systems, accounting requirements and personnel obligations are reviewed.
RC 210 Water Issues & Conservation Practices 3
The availability of good quality water is considered to be one of the biggest issues of the future. This course looks at global water sources, quality of water supplies and what needs to be done to conserve water. Potential water conservation practices for agriculture, industry and homeowners are reviewed. Although not required, students are encouraged to take RC 201 Energy and the Environment before taking this course.
RC 320 Small Wind Energy Systems 3
This is an advanced course that examines the steps involved in establishing a wind energy installation. Topics of discussion include assessment of the installation site, wind assessment, electrical components and considerations of a wind energy system, selecting a turbine and system as well as coverage of regulations, paperwork and safety. Prerequisite: RC204.
RC 321 Solar Thermal Systems 3
RC321 examines the current types of residential (applicable to small commercial) solar thermal applications and components, their installation and maintenance, advanced details on thermal collector performance, sizing of components, integrating heating systems and system controls. Students review the solar heat opportunity of a building’s overall energy patterns, evaluate existing solar installations, recommend improvements, and design and plan the installation of a new solar heating system for a building of their choice. Prerequisite: RC205.
RC 322 Geo Energy Exchange - Design Principles 3
This course examines the design aspects of Geo-Exchange systems related to a residential application. Prerequisite: RC 206
RC 323 Bio-Energy and Biogas 3
The course reviews the potential utilization of bio-energy technologies like biomass, bioheat, biogas, and other emerging bio-industries.
RC 324 Sustainable Building Design and Practices 3
This course examines sustainable building construction techniques, building location in the landscape, and options to use building design and features to optimize energy and resource conservation. Topics include site specific design related to climate, passive solar, natural lighting, and integration of renewable energy systems. The LEED building accreditation is also introduced. The course looks at the broad picture of how individuals and businesses can incorporate good design, and both technical and lifestyle changes to reduce our ecological footprint.
RC 325 Solar Photovoltaic Systems 3
This course reviews solar photovoltaic (solar PV) applications and equipment, focusing on design, installation and maintenance. Using a project-based approach, this course provides advanced details regarding sizing and selecting components, and planning a solar PV project from start to finish. Prerequisite: RC205. The prerequisites may be waived by the department chair if the applicant has prior documented knowledge of the basic skills related to the subject area. However the prerequisites are in place to ensure student success in RC325. A good basic knowledge of the related principles of electricity, heat, energy movement, energy storage, fluid flow, and the types of calculations commonly used in the related industry are required.
RC 326 Electrical Installation and Codes 3
This course covers the electrical requirements associated with renewable energy systems, and the associated electrical code requirements. Prerequisite: RC 205
RC 430 Integration of Distributed Energy Systems 3
This course examines the monitoring and control logistics, and integration challenges of distributed renewable energy technologies like solar, wind, and geo-exchange into new construction, or creating  compatibility with existing systems. This course integrates knowledge learned about the individual renewable technologies, and how essential performance factors can be monitored and controlled. Prerequisites or Co-requisites: RC 320, RC 321, RC 322 and RC 325.
RC 431 Renewable Energy On-Site Lab 3
A hands-on lab component related to the wind, solar, geothermal, and system measurement and control courses are held at the Vermilion, Alberta campus of Lakeland College. This hands-on lab component is a very important part of the diploma program where students work with the equipment and practice many of the essential skills required. Prerequisites: RC320 , RC321, RC322, RC325 and RC430. This course is a cap-stone practical course and as such requires the noted courses as per-requisites covering the theoretical content without exception.
When you have completed all the diploma courses, you are required to attend an on-site lab on our Vermilion campus (RC 431). This lab will be offered annually over a 1-week period and will bring together renewable energy systems theory and practice.

Program starting points and prerequisites 

You may start the program with a number of different courses. We do recommend starting with RC 200 Basic Energy Principles.
The chart below notes those optional entry points as well as prerequisite paths for both the certificate and diploma programs.
You must complete all the certificate courses before starting the diploma courses.
flow chart showing starting points and prerequisites for the renewable energy program
What Students Say
With the Student-Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you’re doing and the choices you make. You get an understanding of what it’s like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count.

– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

– Sandi Unruh

Senior Human Resources Consultant

What Faculty & Staff Say
Vertex has had great experience bringing on students from Lakeland College. We have found the Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) program to provide students with good academic knowledge of the environmental industry and the criteria that governs the land reclamation

– Sean Fuller B.Sc., P.Ag.

Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

What Alumni Say
There is no way I would be where I am today without Lakeland College. It inspired me to be a better person and to get a job in something I love doing. I am so thankful I had such a great experience at Lakeland and I hope future students do as well.

– Danielle Gaboury

Business studies, Class of 2016.

What Students Say
I recommend the UT program to people all the time. The smaller setting Lakeland offers, is very conducive to learning. It's less intimidating than the larger universities and allows for more class interactions and discussions

– Kelly Mykytuk

2nd year UT student, 2017-18

What Alumni Say
Choosing to attend Lakeland College was one of the best decisions that I’ve made in my life so far. The welcoming and friendly Lakeland environment encourages a place of excellence, and fosters the ability to be successful not only in school, but in life.

– Mariah Van’t Hof

University Transfer, Class of 2015

What Alumni Say
I have loved my experience at Lakeland. The teachers are personable, and quick to share about their own experiences. They encouraged me to run with my own ideas and see what would happen; they got excited about my designs, which gave me the confidence to do my best and be more creative.

– Payton Ramstead

Class of 2016, Interior Design student.

What Alumni Say
At Lakeland College you are guaranteed to have time out of the classroom where you can put everything you learned together and actually see that what you’re learning is relevant.

– Alisa Brace

Animal Health Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The friendships I made, the experiences we were provided with, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Vermilion Campus made my time at Lakeland extremely valuable and memorable

– Grayden Kay

Animal Science & Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College was a learning environment unlike any other school. It allows students to learn beyond the classroom, and staff and faculty genuinely want to see students succeed. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable asking questions and where everyone has a place and fits in.

– Carson Reid

Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The instructors were the highlight of my time at Lakeland. It made a huge impact on my college experience to have instructors who challenged, encouraged, and believed in me.

– Jessica Cadrain

Child & Youth Care, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
At the beginning of my first year, I was really stressed out as I felt I had no artistic ability. But with the instruction and time put in by the interior design faculty, I was able to develop my artistic abilities. Now I am fully confident in and exceeding well in the artistic side of this career!

– Naomi Mason

Interior Design Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland, especially from the time that the instructors can actually spend with you. I like the class sizes too – everything’s been great about my Lakeland experience.

– Dean Coulson

Heavy Equipment Technician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I do give Lakeland College credit for reigniting my interest and even preparing me for Miss Rodeo Canada. Lakeland helped me to grow enough to have the confidence to think I could take on that role and become that person. I think that I have and I am really grateful for that

– Ali Mullin

Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

What Alumni Say
I feel the professors at Lakeland actually prepared me for the profession. It’s impossible to be just a number here when there are 12 students in all of your classes. When the school advertised small class sizes, they actually meant it.

– Stephen Mark Visser

Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I was involved in the president’s gala in April where I was an emcee for the evening, it was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it and would recommend it to everyone.”

– Lucas Tetreault

HOPE Power Engineering, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I would recommend Lakeland College for the simple fact that it's for everybody. As a mature student who went back to school much later than his 18th year, I was immediately accepted, and not ostracized in the least

– Donald James Shaw

Accounting Major, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
All the hands-on learning was great and very helpful once placed into the industry. Having clients leave with a smile after each service assured me that I was in the right field of work. I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.

– Courtnee Coolidge

Esthetician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The professors care so much about their students at Lakeland and are able to know each and every one of them by name, so much so that they are able to nominate a ton of students for awards.

– Stephanie Wakefeild

University Transfer, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
They really put you in the lead at Lakeland. Lakeland cares about its students, empowers them, and gives them opportunities to achieve their goals. I don’t see Lakeland as a stepping stone or a first step – I see it as a bridge and an integral part of my education.

– Alyssa Wells

University Transfer, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I wanted to get experience in the field of assessment as it would give me exposure to what it’s like day to day. It was an invaluable experience as I find it hard to imagine what it would be like working in a particular field or area until I’m doing the work.

– Sheldon Farrell

Real estate appraisal and assessment, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
In the campus spa, they give you time to work with each client so nothing is rushed and you’re able to concentrate on providing the best service you can to your client.

– Daphney Couturier

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.

– Darby Watchel

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Employers Say
Lakeland is a great place to find employees. The college provides real world training that equips soon-to-be employees with knowledge and people skills that are highly sought after in the agriculture industry these days.

– Dustin Dinwoodie

Key Account Manager – Western Canada Arysta LifeScience

What Alumni Say
The hands-on field trips, quality of education i received, professors who are invested in your success, and all the friends I made. I exceeded my academic expectations and I also had a lot of fun. If i had to do it all over gain, i would choose Lakeland!

– Nicole (Audet) Pysh

Class of 2006, Environmental Protection & Class of 2008, Applied Environmental Degree