Blog Posts by Tim Weis
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Ontario’s electricity system is often maligned, and more often misunderstood. Providing a multi-billion dollar essential service that employs thousands of people in competing industries is a tall order — doubly so when you’re trying to keep pollution levels and prices down. As we head into a new year, it’s important to take a step back and acknowledge some important gains the province has made so far.
This month, Ontario prudently decided that new nuclear reactors will not be part of the province’s forthcoming long-term energy plan. As Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli explained, “It is not wise to spend billions and billions of dollars on new nuclear when that power is not needed.”
That said, the government still appears to be committed to refurbishing the 10 existing reactors at the Bruce and Darlington nuclear stations. Is that a wise investment?
Amid debates on energy development, Nova Scotia has quietly emerged as a Canadian leader when it comes to reducing energy waste. As discussions about a national energy strategy continue across Canada, more eyes will turn to Nova Scotia for ways to reduce pollution, cut energy costs and drive economic development.
Alberta could implement a clean electricity standard that would create market-based incentives to encourage energy technologies with lower emissions than the current coal-powered system. A recent forum brought thought leaders together to discuss this opportunity.
We all know that climate change is impacting the arctic, but what about the people who live there? For the remote communities in Northern Canada and Alaska that rely on a steady supply of fuel and supplies, sustainability is a matter of survival. One area where the impacts of climate change are being felt the most is energy.
Public health and energy experts from across Canada are gathering in Waterloo, Ontario on Wednesday, September 12 for the Energy Futures and Health Conference to discuss Ontario’s role in building a healthy energy future for Canada.
Heidi Eijgel raises horses on a ranch 700 m from Summerview Wind Farm, a 70.2 MW wind power project in southern Alberta. Heidi and her husband do not have an ownership stake in the wind farm, but for 10 years they have been some of the wind farm’s closest neighbours, as well as some of its biggest advocates.
While spring in Ontario has yet to bring much rain, there’s been no shortage of mudslinging over rising electricity prices. While there’s more to these changes than critics of renewable energy would you have you believe, new data helps to clarify how recent prices have more to do with nuclear than with clean energy programs.
Canada is quietly emerging as a renewable energy leader, but it will take the same political focus currently being put toward oilsands to ensure we retain and grow the jobs that are being created in the country's emerging clean energy sector.
The Green Energy Act brought Ontario new investment, jobs and manufacturing — not to mention clean sources of energy. But Ontario is now paying premium prices for that clean electricity, and many Ontarians are wondering if they got a good deal.
Just over a year ago, the federal government announced a plan to regulate greenhouse gas pollution from some of the dirtiest sources of energy in Canada — coal power plants. While the rules aren't scheduled to take effect for four years, the government promised to guard against any efforts to rush new plants into service ahead of their start date.
Now, a decision by an Alberta regulator to approve a new coal plant has put the ball squarely in the federal government's court to live up to that commitment. And so far, the signs aren't promising.
This year's federal budget will be tabled in a week of high-stakes political drama in Ottawa. To make sure that clean energy doesn't get lost between the photo-ops and the fighter jets, here's our checklist for a strong clean energy budget.
Ontario's electricity system is undergoing a major transformation. Much
of the electricity transmission infrastructure is old and in need of
refurbishing, most of the nuclear capacity is nearing the end its
lifetime and Ontario has made a laudable commitment to shut down its
coal-fired power plants.
It is easy (and overly simplistic) to blame the Green Energy Act for higher electricity prices, as is happening all too often in Ontario. The truth is electricity prices are increasing all across North America, largely due to the simple fact that we are building new power plants and relying less on those built decades ago.
This Pembina Institute has produced the Landowners' Guide to Wind Energy in Alberta to help landowners learn about and get involved with wind energy.
In just over ten years' time, it could be cheaper to put a solar panel on your roof than to buy electricity from the grid. Not only that, but solar power could produce enough electricity to meet one-quarter of global demand by 2050, according to a new road map published by the International Energy Agency (IEA). But it won't happen by accident.
When President Obama came to Ottawa last year, one of the few items that was agreed upon was to engage in a so-called "Clean Energy Dialogue". Looking at the budgets that the governments on both sides of the border have released since then, it appears as though our American friends have a lot more to talk about.
We must be close to a turning point in investing in the environment, because the budget tabled today couldn't do much less.
A new wind farm approved recently for east-central Alberta will not only be the province's largest, but will also be one of the last to benefit from federal support through the depleted ecoENERGY for Renewable Power program.
I just got back from Halifax, Nova Scotia where I participated in the 4th and final public consultation on renewable energy. The new government has set an ambitious goal of achieving 25% of their electricity from renewable sources by the year 2015.
A full and informed public debate about Alberta's electricity future is long overdue. Given the rapid and sustained global investment in renewable energy, this debate is only half-complete if renewable energy is not fully considered.
In a world desperate to respond to the potentially dangerous effects of global warming, Alberta has come to a major fork in the road: should it continue to rely on the dirty, brown, coal-fired electricity technologies of the past, or should Alberta diversify and develop the clean green electricity technologies of the future?
Alberta's wind-energy industryAlberta's wind-energy industry — until recently Canada's undisputed leader — is being systematically blocked by short-term transmission bottlenecks, a long-term cap on production and an obvious lack of leadership to solve either problem.
The cap of 900 megawatts of wind power imposed by the Alberta Electric System Operator makes Alberta the only province to cap one of the fastest growing energy industries in the world and forfeits the province's lead in developing this renewable resource.
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