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Feed-in tariffs have transformed renewable energy markets around the world. Now the mountain town of Banff is the first municipality in Canada to institute this important piece of renewable energy supporting policy.
Craik, Saskatchewan: The little Eco-Village that could Learn how a small prairie town reversed its population decline by having people build green homes on $1 unserviced lots
What happens when you sell unserviced lots for a dollar and get people to build green homes on the edge of a small Saskatchewan town? Green Energy Futures finds out.
Green Energy Futures checks out one of the rarest electric vehicles in Canada and that spurs them to check on the state of EVs.
Tuesday’s Throne Speech included a simple and powerful statement from British Columbia’s government: “We will continue to provide a positive example to the world that there is no need to choose between economic growth and fighting climate change.”
The Ontario government released a new discussion paper to engage people across the province on climate change. To meet its 2020 and 2050 climate targets, the province will have to address its largest and fastest-growing source of carbon pollution: transportation.
Whitecourt, Alberta has a pulp mill and a saw mill. With all that wood comes wood waste. We look at how one company is turning this wood waste into something useful — green electricity.
It is often said that resource extraction is the “cornerstone“ of northern Canadian economies. Yet no one has yet produced a comprehensive analysis on whether jobs, taxes, and royalties provided by resource-extraction industries really justify significant government subsidies and associated environmental liabilities
What happens when the costs of a home’s location are visible along with the “sticker price” at the beginning of a homebuyer’s decision-making process, rather than being discovered later?
David Dodge gets out of his comfort zone and jumps on a bike in the middle of an Edmonton winter. He learns about what kind of gear you need and how to stay warm for this fun, energy efficient mode of transportation.
Energy storage is getting ready to expand across the world. We head to Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan to see a finished project and understand more about this important next wave of energy technology.
Germany, Europe's largest, most successful economy, is successfully and aggressively transitioning away from fossil fuels and nuclear. We debunk some of the myths that have sprung up around this incredible transition.
Last year was a big year for advancing the conversation on renewables and electricity in Alberta. Decision-makers are recognizing the province’s current policies perpetuate risky and costly fossil-fuel reliance, and neglect Alberta's exceptional renewable energy resources. As we turn the page on the calendar, let’s look back at what changed in 2014, and ahead to how we can secure policy to clean up Alberta’s electricity system.
Canada’s boreal forest is one of the largest remaining intact forest ecosystems in the world. The area where oilsands development takes place is home to nearly 90 species at risk, which are expected to decline as critical habitat is increasingly disturbed. The oilsands sector has an opportunity to reverse this trend.
When world leaders gathered in Lima, Peru, for global climate change talks this month, British Columbia’s environment minister, Mary Polak, was among them. Minister Polak included the province’s liquefied natural gas export aspirations as part of B.C.’s climate success story, arguing that LNG will displace coal in Asia. Unfortunately, the evidence doesn’t support this claim.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper cited Alberta's version of carbon pricing as a model that could be applied at a national scale. Our analysis has found that an Alberta-style model could work at the national level — but it wouldn’t be ideal.
The best gifts for the green energy or energy efficiency nerd in your life.
The wrap-up of UN climate talks in Lima, Peru, comes at a significant time for Alberta. Canada is not on track to hit its 2020 climate target, and the growth in Alberta’s carbon pollution is a significant barrier. But Alberta’s new climate strategy is expected by the end of the year, and the province has several big opportunities to turn things around.
British Columbia’s environment minister is in Lima, Peru, this week for the global climate change talks. Among her objectives are sharing lessons from the province’s experience with climate policy and building support for a positive outcome next year in Paris. This is exactly what jurisdictions with effective climate policy should be doing.
As the world’s governments meet in Lima this week to discuss what to do about climate change, many are already looking ahead to the next round of climate talks in Paris. Those same governments have agreed to strike a new deal to shape the global response to climate change in a year’s time. And there’s good reason to be optimistic that an agreement could be reached in 2015.
We spend a lot of money and burn a lot of carbon keeping our homes and buildings warm. Solar air heating is a simple, effective and accessible technology that could help Canada reduce its heating bills.
Economic development discussions in B.C. too often centre on large-scale proposals like LNG terminals, oilsands pipelines or hydroelectric dams like Site C. While they don’t generate the same headlines, it’s small- to medium-sized companies that are actually driving the provincial economy, employing 94 per cent of B.C.’s private sector employees.
One year ago British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California signed the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy that included a commitment to “transform the market for energy efficiency and lead the way to ‘net-zero’ buildings.” With the release of a 2014 Annual Progress Summary, it’s a good time to ask how B.C. has fared in keeping this promise.
How wind and solar reduces the price of electricity in Alberta How renewable energy is lowering electricity bills in Canada's most fossil fuel dependent province
Learn how in Canada's most fossil fuel friendly province it's wind and solar energy that are driving down prices for consumers.
Finance Minister de Jong will have the final say on which of these recommendations are included in the 2015 budget. My general recommendation would be the same one that I made in a presentation to the Committee in September: Use the provincial budget as one of the tools to advance Climate Action Plan 2.0. That advice still holds and the Committee has offered a number of ideas that would help to move the budget in that direction.
Welcome to Canada's first concentrated solar thermal energy plant. It's located in Medicine Hat, at the highest latitude that this type of project has ever been built. Learn about this innovative, groundbreaking project as well as how Medicine Hat, a city endowed with plentiful fossil fuel resources, has diversified to clean energy.
There’s a common misconception that increasing the supply of renewable energy to the electricity grid drives up power costs in Alberta. In fact, clean energy is lowering Albertans’ electricity costs.
Greg Schnell is a technical stock analyst and he's also my brother-in-law. He makes a good living researching, writing and investing in stocks based on historical stock chart data. So when, unprompted, he started telling me about the good things he was seeing in the solar industry I was intrigued. This week learn why one stock analyst thinks the future is bright for the solar industry.
It’s been hailed as an environmental and economic “success,” a “textbook case” in carbon pricing and “on the right track” toward good economic policy. British Columbia’s carbon tax has been in place for six years, and all available evidence shows it’s working.
Echohaven: An environmentally friendly, energy efficient suburb A greenfield development that preserves natural spaces, retains stormwater on site, mandates energy efficient homes and builds community
Echohaven is a different kind of suburban development. It preserves natural landscapes, mandates energy efficient homes and guarantees solar access. Located in northwest Calgary, it's greenfield development done differently. Come with us to Echohaven and explore how we can do suburban development better.
Bill 2 (regulating carbon pollution from LNG terminals in B.C.) has significant flaws that will limit its potential benefit and could even weaken B.C.’s climate policies in a worst-case scenario. Here are three of the most important weaknesses and some ideas on how to address them.
Chances are the electricity meter in your home is dumb as a sack of hammers. We head to Medicine Hat, Alberta, to find out what smart meters are, and we talk to the CEO of a company that makes smart meters even smarter.
As natural gas flaring increases in Alberta, it is encouraging that the Alberta Energy Regulator seems to be taking action. Using natural gas in vehicles is a partial solution in the offing that could yield dividends all around.
Integrated bio-refinery produces ethanol, heat, power and fertilizer from 500 tonnes of cow poop per day
Learn how a grain farm in rural Alberta diversified its operations and ended up with a feedlot, a biogas plant and an ethanol plant — with one business upcycling the waste from another.
The B.C. government has consistently overstated the potential benefits of LNG. Such polarizing rhetoric is unproductive at best.
Is Alberta Canada's next big solar market? Green Energy Futures talks to industry reps and Alberta's energy minister at the CanSIA Solar West conference
On a bright fall day in early October in a packed ballroom in a downtown Calgary hotel, Frank Oberle made his first speech as energy minister to Alberta’s small solar industry.
Building and running a comprehensive monitoring program for the oilsands that keeps pace with the rapid growth of the industry is very challenging — especially considering how huge the industry is already. Oilsands development currently produces 61 million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution, consumes 185 billion litres of freshwater annually and has directly transformed more land area than the entire city of Calgary.
Earthship sets sail in southern Alberta with help of Green Energy Futures editor A radically sustainable home
When you tell people you’re building an Earthship there are two stock responses. First there are the believers. These are the people who’ve watched Garbage Warrior, twice. They want to talk design and permits and timeline. They’re into it. The other stock response is an incredulous repeating of the word back to you with a question mark attached. Earthship?
American poet, philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?”
A net-zero home reimagines the house not as a burden on the planet but as a regenerative node. Thoreau and his time at Walden Pond happened well before the modern spectre of climate change, but he was a naturalist and keenly attuned to what was going on around him.
B.C. communities call for provincial cooperation on energy efficient buildings Five resolutions at UBCM's 2014 convention aim to increase the tools available to local governments
Six years after signing the Climate Action Charter, communities in B.C. continue to develop and pilot policies to improve energy efficiency in buildings, despite significant jurisdictional roadblocks.
Five resolutions at UBCM’s 2014 convention aim to resolve these challenges and help communities continue to lead on energy efficiency.
Net-Zero simple: How passive solar energy gets you close to zero Episode three of Green Energy Futures' Chasing Net-Zero series
It’s a beautiful, livable, functional net-zero experiment — welcome to the home of architect Shafraaz Kaba.
“As an architect, we are always testing new ideas. We are creating little experiments for ourselves to prove that something is possible, or to prove different materials work well together. We even just want to know for ourselves that things can actually work out well before we try it on clients,” says Kaba.
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