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Solar thermal advocates are fond of reminding us that homes, especially those in Canada use about 70 per cent of their energy for heating. As solar photovoltaic prices continue to plummet, some net-zero home builders have started pairing solar PV with air-source heat pumps for space heating and electric resistance water heaters to produce hot water.
If people change their lights and use more energy-efficient appliances, who cares if they believe in climate change? The focus should be on demonstrating how they are freeing up money for other spending, protecting their jobs by making their workplace more competitive and slowing the expensive expansion of the power system.
Chelmick's getaway required the hard work of clearing brush and laying a foundation. The original cabin was 600 square feet and solar-powered, complete with battery storage. Why solar? Chelmick recalls seeing brown streaks across the sky near Lake Wabamun.
I think I'm reasonably well versed in issues surrounding the Energy East Pipeline, both economic and environmental. But I am struck by how, in any official TransCanada communications about environmental implications of the project, climate change is never mentioned.
C/O Mike Hudema
In Australia, I met young people working on "my" forest who enthusiastically told me about the number and variety of birds they'd seen that day, described plant species and talked about how many trees they had planted. Many were street kids, inspired by the chance to learn about nature and conservation and proud to be re-greening the area. I was impressed by their passion and eagerness. They believed in what they were doing and it provided a small income to get them off the streets.
David Dodge, GreenEnergyFutures.ca
Raising the minimum wage, diversifying Alberta's economy and supporting working people have my full support, but I'm sorry Premier Notley, I just can't get behind you on pipelines. New pipelines aren't good for the environment, they aren't good for the climate, and I'm sorry, but they aren't good for working people or good governance, either.
David Dodge, GreenEnergyFutures.ca
A carbon neutral home and net-zero home are similar in that both produce as much energy as they consume over the course of a year. The difference is a net-zero home produces its own energy right on the home, whereas a carbon neutral home can produce its energy elsewhere in the community.
An earthship is an off-grid home that produces its own energy, captures its own water, treats its own wastewater, grows its own food and passively collects the sun's energy for heat. That's the idea, anyways. But ever since the Kinney Earthship was built in the summer of 2014, Duncan Kinney has received many emails about one particular subject: how does it hold up so far north?
The myths we are concerned about, the ones of dubious value, are crazy stories that are passed off as facts when talking about solar energy. To get to the bottom of these solar myths we talked to Gordon Howell, a solar expert with Howell-Mayhew Engineering.
All around the world people took to the streets to help give the earth a voice. From Mumbai to Australia, London to Berlin, Ottawa to Vancouver millions danced, sang, and marched to push our world's elected leaders, currently in Paris for COP21, to increase their ambition, listen to the science and the voices of those most impacted, and lead the world out of climate chaos.
Previous UN climate conferences have started with great optimism and hope but ended with underwhelming success at best, disappointment at worst. However, there are many reasons to hope that, finally, this one will be different.
Climate change ought to be a major issue this election, but I'm saddened to note that it has received little attention. Perhaps a quick update on both the problem and the solutions would add some helpful perspective in these final days of the campaign.
This is what real reconciliation looks like...
The G7 committed to eliminating the use of the fossil fuels by the end of the century. Canada and Alberta should be leading the transition, taking advantage of our tremendous solar and wind resources and supporting workers and communities in the process.
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What I do know is that we all need to do our part to act on the growing climate crisis and since Alberta creates more carbon pollution than Ontario and Quebec combined, the province has a long way to go to do its fair share.
Despite a long history of the impossible becoming possible, often very quickly, we hear the "can't be done" refrain repeated over and over -- especially in the only debate over global warming that matters: What can we do about it? Climate change deniers and fossil fuel industry apologists often argue that replacing oil, coal and gas with clean energy is beyond our reach. The claim is both facile and false.
Alberta has the best solar and wind potential in all of Canada more than enough to power the entire province yet utilizes less than 1per cent of it. Alberta also has a highly skilled, trained workforce. Alberta has the welders, it has the electricians, it has the engineers, the machinists, it has all the people power it needs to make the solar powered leap.
On a bright fall day in early October in a packed ballroom in a downtown Calgary hotel Alberta's new energy minister, Frank Oberle, made his first speech as minister to Alberta's small solar industry....
Fossil fuels, the writing is on the wall. Some countries are already powered by 100 per cent renewables, others are on their way. Our cars and transport are starting to be electrified and solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal are going up in communities around the world (Bangladesh is installing nearly two new rooftop PV systems every minute).
"First Nation communities, especially ones that are isolated and reliant on diesel for power, stand to benefit the most from a transition. These panels are an example of the type of solutions our communities should be implementing -- ones that create jobs, lower energy costs and don't hurt the environment to do it."
In the world of environmental advocacy, hope can be a scarce commodity. The daily cascade of negative reports about our planet's health can challenge even the most optimistic personality. That's why 24 Hours of Reality, a global event happening today and tomorrow (September 16-17), promises to be so refreshing: it's all about solutions and hope.
On September 22nd, New Brunswickers will elect a new government. Regardless of who wins, here are four policies that could help our province use less energy, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and benefit from the coming green economy.
It's a beautiful, livable, functional net-zero experiment -- welcome to the home of architect Shafraaz Kaba. Sitting on a corner lot, at the top of the bank of the North Saskatchewan River, the home is a tall and narrow three-story home with solar modules and a flat roof.
Despite the province having the most solar potential out of any province in Canada, investment in solar is still piecemeal. There are little to no government supports for solar and yet huge government subsidies are given to the provinces most polluting industries like the tar sands.
Building a net-zero home is an intricate dance between design, technology and location. But if you build a net-zero home in the wilds, far from your work, school and entertainment, with no infrastructure and an hour-long commute how sustainable is it?
A passive solar greenhouse in Invermere B.C. is making people across the continent sit up and takes notice. What is a passive solar greenhouse? Don't they already use the sun's energy? Well, yes, but with the traditional Dutch glass box greenhouse design all that heat leaves once the sun goes down.
"God hates cowards." That's how Bob Sargent, a farmer who also runs an oilfield services company and serves as a local councillor explains why he made his first investment in solar energy. As part of...
Youtube/ Solon Energy
By building a pipeline that further accelerates climate change, tramples Treaty and First Nation rights, and compounds already severe problems, we are not only building our nation on those injustices, we are also saying that we've lost our imagination, I'm not ready to do that. I think we have more in us as a nation.
It might actually be easier to fit a camel through the eye of a needle than to find investments that not only produce a healthy return but also contribute to a better society. Enter Solar Bonds from SolarShare in Ontario. The investment side is solid. A $1,000 bond has a return of five per cent for five years. The kicker? That money is invested in getting solar energy projects up and running in Ontario.
A confidential memo proposing a massive fossil-fuel corporation funded campaign to build opposition against wind power was uncovered this week. As our transition to using windmills, solar panels and electric vehicles gains momentum, it's easy to see how peddlers of oil and coal might be freaked out. What if we don't want to buy what they are selling anymore?
You might think the cost of generating electricity in Ontario is reflected in "market rates." In reality, due to the complexity of its energy system, the market rate doesn't come close to covering the cost of generating electricity anymore.
Opponents of renewable energy can't make up their mind. One moment they claim the cost of green energy subsidies programs is too high, the next they claim that lowering these subsidies is somehow a si...