Alternative Energy

Posted on May 19, 2015

It's no longer surprising to encounter 100-foot pinwheels spinning in the breeze as you drive down the highway. But don’t get too comfortable with that view. A Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless is proposing a radical new way to generate wind energy that will once again upend what you see outside your car window.

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Posted on February 04, 2015

It has been a very long haul since we took the plunge last June and paid for our solar equipment, manufactured in China, to be transported across the US border to our home in Kaslo, BC. Free trade has really destroyed our own manufacturing economy, but that is a whole other conversation.

Posted on December 29, 2014

peugeotTechnology increasingly impacts the way we live. We’re not talking about the WiFi devices that allow you to control your home from wherever you are, or a personal camera-toting drone – those are already on the market for under $200. Here are three technological developments which seem fated to have the same level of impact on our lives as the personal computer.

Posted on December 29, 2014

solar panelsKimberly’s city council has a history of embracing innovation. They rebranded Kimberly “the Bavarian city of the Rockies” once it became apparent the Sullivan mine was going to run out. Further ventures into tourism led to the acquisition of the local ski hill and construction of what is now one of Canada’s 10 top golf courses. Both of these projects have since been sold.

Posted on September 24, 2014

House with large, sun facing windows, and solar panel roof.International architecture firm Snøhetta has partnered with Norway's Research Center on Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB) and to design and build a remarkable experimental house that helps move the development of very efficient buildings forward.

Posted on May 03, 2014

The prototype is working for solar roads and parking lots -- self-shovelling ones at that!

 

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Posted on March 31, 2014

On March 13, 2014, Gerrard Olivotto, a consultant working for the BC government, visited  Sointula, BC to conduct a survey to measure people's reactions to photographs of wind turbines located in various locations and terrains. Mr. Olivotto explained that the information collected will be analyzed and published, and will form the cornerstone of government policy regarding the scale and location of wind energy developments in BC.

Posted on August 24, 2012

BC faces three threats from our use of energy: global warming, and the peaking of oil supplies, and natural gas supplies. BC needs policies that will accelerate investment in sustainable energy technologies, and a road map that will ensure a smooth and just transition to a sustainable energy economy, without a net loss of jobs.

by Guy Dauncey

The BC government should use taxes, subsidies and

Posted on August 17, 2012

by Guy Dauncey

Wind turbines are spinning on the hills of southern Alberta, and on a hill outside Whitehorse, in the Yukon. They are spinning in downtown Toronto, and along the shores of the St Lawrence, in Quebec. But there are no wind turbines spinning in British Columbia — yet. 

The production of electricity from the wind is making rapid progress around the world. By the end of 2003, wind turbines had 39,000 megawatts (MW)

Posted on August 16, 2012

by George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian, November 22, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

If human beings were without sin, we would still live in an imperfect world. Adam Smith’s notion that by pursuing his own interest a man “frequently promotes that of … society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it” and Karl Marx’s picture of a society in which “the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all” are both mocked by one obvious constraint. The world is finite.

Posted on August 16, 2012

Compiled by Delores Broten

The growth in biofuel projects around the world has been
explosive since 2001, but not all biofuels are equal.

In Victoria BC, like many cities, the gases burped out in the landfi ll as materials rot are collected and burned in a fl agship project to make electricity. 

In Ottawa, the wastewater treatment plant puts the sludge through an anaerobic compost system and

Posted on August 14, 2012

While governments diddle around with new nuclear power and the climate crisis threatens to go over the top, you can install alternative energy yourself at home or in your business, probably for less cost than buying a hybrid car. And of course, for the householder as well as the power corporation, the “negawatt” of power saved through energy

Posted on August 11, 2012

When the production of oil fails to meet demand, a scenario known as Peak Oil, what then? World Peak Oil is predicted to occur sometime between 2008 and 2010, though some say it has already happened, and “the event” will be followed by a steady decrease of available energy. This could be a collective opportunity for society to transition to true sustainability.
 

by Norberto Rodriguez dela Vega

Posted on July 20, 2012

by Carol Gray

Quadra Island, at the north end of Georgia Strait between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland, is about to make a name for itself in the field of renewable ocean energy. Campbell River-based Canoe Pass Tidal Energy Corp. has part­nered with Focus Environmental and Calgary-based New Energy Corp. to develop a demonstration tidal-current energy project in Canoe Pass, which runs between Quadra and Maud is­lands near Seymour Narrows.

Posted on July 17, 2012

by David Simms 

If there’s anything that could motivate us to conserve electricity, it wouldn’t be the money we’d save. Electricity’s cheap. If we were to measure the benefits of conservation against the bits of inconvenience required to change habits or to restructure the ways we do things, we’d get a bigger bang for our trouble by doing a host of other things. 

Economists and media almost always present us with a dollar-based, cost-benefit analysis for doing nearly anything. But they could be missing the point. How could they explain the fact that most of us get up more quickly and enthusiastically on a Saturday morning when there’s really very little economic incentive to do

Posted on July 16, 2012

by David Simms

Over the decade that my family and I spent living with a wind­mill to supply all of our electricity, we became acutely aware of exactly how much energy we used. Our appliances gobbled too much power, and many were the times we wished for the magical solutions in household technology that are now available off-the-shelf. In a sense, I now view our experience as a laboratory experiment, the findings of which could be applied to electricity use in the conventional, urban home.

Posted on July 14, 2012
by Arthur Caldicott 

British Columbia is awash in ocean energy. A handful of companies stand on its shores eager to try out a quirky assortment of untested machines which they hope will exploit that energy for electricity gen­eration. 

At present, the BC government’s only ocean energy policy is no policy. Staking of ocean rights has already be­gun. First Nations and communities have little

Posted on July 07, 2012

by Stephanie Orford

Thanks to renewed interest in ocean energy in Canada, entrepreneurs are starting to harness the waves and tides off the coast of BC to generate electricity, and kick-start a new energy sector in the process. 

“There is a renewed interest in Canada ... in extracting energy from waves and tidal currents,” said Andrew Cornett, who leads ocean energy research for the Canadian Hydraulics Centre at the National Research Council. 

Posted on July 06, 2012

by Linda Munro

Along with reading, writing and arithmetic, students and educators in Mission, British Columbia are getting lessons in energy conservation.

Two years ago Mission Public Schools and the District of Mission were identified as the largest energy consumers in their region.

Posted on July 04, 2012

by Stephanie Orford

People all over the world have been using geother­mal energy for thousands of years, so why isn’t BC?

“All the countries on the Pacific Rim have developed geothermal, ex­cept Canada,” said Dr. Mory Ghom­shei, adjunct professor of Energy Re­sources and Systems at

Posted on June 25, 2012

by Bruce Robert Muir

Underlying the corpo­rate philosophy of the wind industry is the suggestion that its projects are socially valuable. We often hear rheto­ric claiming that the industry is an alternative to destructive energy sectors such as oil and gas and mining.  

While there is likely some truth to this, the assump­tion that windfarms are green projects and thus sustainable development is problematic. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Peace Region of BC. Here the provincial govern­ment’s promotion of unfettered renewable energy develop­ment is in conflict with the public interest to protect caribou from extinction.   

The proposed Hackney Hills Windfarm Project is

Posted on June 21, 2012

By Judith Sayers, President, Upnit Power and Chief of Hupacasath First Nation 

When the Hupacasath First Nation decided to get involved in alternative/ green energy, we researched the kinds of alternatives and what resources we had.

Posted on November 17, 2010

by Bruce Muir

Unknown to most, the northeast region of British Columbia (BC) is the location of the province's first wind energy projects: the Dokie Wind Energy Project, located roughly 50 kilometres northwest of Chetwynd, BC, and the Bear Mountain Wind Park Project, located about 15 kilometres west of Dawson Creek, BC.

Posted on October 28, 2009

by Stephen Leahy

North Carolina's Scot Quaranda is terrified that the southern United States plans on becoming the Saudi Arabia of biomass. But isn't biomass a renewable source of clean and green energy?

"Not when you're burning trees," says Quaranda, the Communications Director of the Dogwood Alliance, a coalition of 70 citizens' organizations trying to