Canada has a bright future in green energy, success stories showGreen Energy Futures now at Pembina.org

Blog - Green Energy Futures - Aug. 9, 2014 - By Ed Whittingham

Working in the energy and environmental business can be daunting. Some days the pathway to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future seems blocked by naysayers and obstacles.

On those days, it helps to have a reminder of the progress we are making toward building a lower-carbon energy system — and not just in an abstract sense. Across this country, Canadian entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators are quietly developing, testing and refining the clean energy solutions that will power that transition to a clean energy future.

I say quietly because those stories often fly beneath the radar of the mainstream media, and they rarely make it into the at times polarized public discourse about the role energy plays in Canada’s economy. Two years ago, we set out to change that with the launch of Green Energy Futures, a multimedia series developed to tell the clean energy success stories unfolding right now across the country. Since then the series has profiled 81 of those success stories and is boldly heading into its third season of production.

Unearthing success stories

* John Paul Morgan of Morgan SolarThe Pembina Institute’s Green Energy Futures team found stories of innovation and success across the country, from Landmark Homes in Edmonton, Alberta — a company that has pledged to build all of its new homes as net-zero ready by 2015 — to Morgan Solar in Toronto, Ontario — a solar start-up that says it has a concentrated solar module that is twice as efficient at a lower price than conventional solar PV. 

They’ve told the stories of entrepreneurs like Kent Rathwell, the Saskatoon businessman who started Sun Country Highway and single-handedly built the longest highway of connected electric vehicle charging stations in the world, here in Canada. Or former oil industry software businessman Dan Balaban who founded Greengate Power in Calgary and developed 450 megawatts of wind projects in Alberta.

Recently Green Energy Futures found farmers in southern Alberta who were installing solar PV systems for less than $3/watt, which is a game changer and more evidence that solar is close to grid parity in Canada, as it is in many places in the world.

After two years of documenting on-the-ground green energy solutions, our team has found that the pace of change is amazing and inspiring.

Bringing Green Energy Futures to Pembina.org

As we head into the next phase of this project, we are pleased to begin publishing a selection of Green Energy Futures stories here at Pembina.org.

* Green Energy Futures at www.greenenergyfutures.caGreen Energy Futures is a project of the Pembina Institute that is supported by Suncor Energy and Shell Canada, among other sponsors. The project team, host David Dodge and producer Duncan Kinney, develop and produce each episode, and their work is featured at GreenEnergyFutures.ca, the Huffington Post, YouTube, Soundcloud, Troy Media and is broadcast on the CKUA Radio Network in Alberta.

The multimedia stories appeal to all audiences, whether you are a civic official developing green energy in your community or a homeowner who wants to save money and reduce emissions. Students use Green Energy Futures videos to learn about solar, wind, biodiesel, biomass and a host of clean energy solutions like the school-based Energy Diet Challenge. In fact my own kids are fans: my eight-year old son Beck says he likes Green Energy Futures “because it talks about lots of interesting green energy things happening around Canada.”

The first Green Energy Futures story appearing at Pembina.org is Net Zero 101, part of a special series entitled Chasing Net Zero. The series reveals the story of how super energy efficient net-zero homes have gone from concept to affordability in seven short years.

Enjoy the series, share the stories and be sure to give us your feedback. Happy watching, listening and reading!


Ed Whittingham

Ed Whittingham was the Executive Director of the Pembina Institute until 2017.


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