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.
David is the host and producer of GreenEnergyFutures.ca, a multi media project that tells the stories of Canadians engaged with green energy solutions in their homes, businesses and communities. <br> David is the former communications director of the Pembina Institute, he produced the award-winning EcoFile radio series for CKUA, was editor of Borealis magazine and was the production manager for a Canadian nature publisher.
North of Provost, Alberta, you can see the sleek figures of 17 wind turbines, each 80 metre tall, poking their heads above the aspen tree line. But these turbines are doing more than just keeping the lights on. They are powering the future of Alberta's children.
02/08/2017 04:54 EST
The students did their own research, they invited resource experts to give presentations and then a delegation of 10 students locked themselves in a room for a weekend with some graduate students from the University of Alberta to boil inputs from 3,000 students down into a sophisticated set of recommendations for change.
09/16/2016 03:45 EDT
On the roof of the Two Twenty building in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan are 90 solar modules comprising a 27.5 kilowatt solar system, the very first project built by the newly-formed SES Solar Co-operative. The co-op is an offshoot of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES) that works on conservation, sustainability and yes, energy issues.
08/19/2016 03:37 EDT
In 2015, the city of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, achieved the highest level of wind power integration in North America. While the province of P.E.I. is already a leader with 26 per cent of its electricity coming from wind power, the City of Summerside Electric Utility has ratcheted that up to an astonishing 46 per cent by adding a smart grid with energy storage.
07/22/2016 09:55 EDT
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.
07/15/2016 05:29 EDT
Lliam Hildebrand is first and foremost a boilermaker. On his last oilsands project in northern Alberta, a colleague said to him over lunch, "Man, oil prices are still dropping. They're going to go below $30 soon, and if we don't start diversifying our jobs into renewables, our union is screwed."
06/24/2016 03:04 EDT
When PEI's government crafted a plan to wean their grid off costly and carbon-intensive diesel, they turned to wind power, one renewable resource that the island has plenty of. A map of the wind potential of PEI glows red showing high potential for much of the island. As we write this 34 per cent of PEI's electricity is coming from the wind.
06/10/2016 03:40 EDT
There are some who say PEI is tapped out on it's renewable energy, but after speaking to the energy minister, the CEO of the PEI Energy Corporation, Summerside's utility manager and Scott Harper of the institute it seems pretty clear PEI is determined to do more.
05/09/2016 12:09 EDT
Alberta's carbon tax is expected to have a relatively minor impact on middle to lower income folks, but what about a major city that buys $60 million worth of power every year? That's going to cut into some budgets! It turns out there's one municipality that's positioned very well for a carbon tax but its name might surprise you.
04/28/2016 08:58 EDT
If Alberta invested $34 per capita, the average of other provinces, Alberta would generate $510 million in energy savings and 3,000 jobs while reducing emissions and making Alberta more competitive.
03/18/2016 11:29 EDT
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.
03/04/2016 02:21 EST
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?
02/26/2016 01:22 EST
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.
02/11/2016 05:48 EST
Lethbridge Biogas takes the manure and food waste, mixes it together, heats it to 39 degrees Celsius and captures the methane (natural gas) to power twin 1.4 megawatt generators to produce enough power for 3,000 homes. The 3.9 million litre digesters resemble giant, squat grain silos with dome tops.
02/04/2016 01:52 EST
With the advent of new technology comes a cavalcade of fears and concerns surrounding that same technology. Wind turbines have been blamed for all sorts of health problems, ranging from sleep deprivation to cancer and yes, even death. One person, Dr. Nina Pierpont, even went so far as to coin a term for these diverse effects, "Wind Turbine Syndrome." But is there any truth to the hysteria? Let's find out.
01/26/2016 12:40 EST
The era of net-zero homes is upon us. These super-efficient homes use rooftop solar energy production and smaller, electric powered heating systems such as air source heat pumps to produce as much energy as they consume. That's some sexy technology, but it only gets us halfway to net-zero. The real secret is insulation.
01/20/2016 11:39 EST
Carl Lauren's company Tyee Custom Homes builds about 12 homes a year and about six of those are in Kimberley. Lauren says making homes energy efficient today is important because homes are going to last 50 years or more. The better the home, the more energy saved, and those lower emissions are going to be way into the future.
01/12/2016 12:07 EST
Renewable energy is transitioning from a few keen farmers and municipalities to provincial and perhaps even national scale initiatives. This is good news for climate change and emissions reductions, but it also represents investment in new jobs and industries with plenty of future potential.
01/06/2016 02:20 EST
As we increasingly become a nation of urban citizens, it is cities that are leading the way on climate change and renewable energy. So when a city says it's going to go 100 per cent renewable, that definitely got our attention. Vancouver's commitment came in March 2015, and they're not wasting time to put it in place.
01/05/2016 11:45 EST
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