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• Special Features Booklets
Rainwater collection systems are a simple way to tap into alternative water sources. This article discusses who can benefit from rainwater collection systems, what a rainwater harvesting system is and tips on how to design it as well as determining how much to collect when harvesting rainwater. In part two, learn about filtration and treatment of rainwater. Brimming with helpful hints on what to use when building and how to service rainwater collection systems, this is an informative and factual article for those preparing to build a rainwater harvesting system.
In this article, Stephen Salter explores how Sweden sources renewable energy from waste while simultaneously fighting air pollution and climate change. In Stockholm, Salter investigates the production of biogas from sewage and water recycling as well as food recycling via underground waste collection recycling tubes. Other by-products of waste recycling include reclaimed water, district heating and cooling, a thousand jobs and fossil-free cities such as Kristianstad.
According to BC Hydro, the Site C dam on the Peace River would be a source of “green energy.” In this article, Maggie Paquet discusses the definition of “green energy.” She provides a history of the Site C dam project and a concise summary of its cultural and environmental impacts. With a scientific ranking of major energy-related solutions to global warming, how does hydroelectric power rank and what are British Columbians and Albertans are saying about the Site C dam project? This article gets beyond the words “green energy” to the reality of energy production. It takes a hard look at all necessary considerations to evaluate if the Site C dam proposal, or any energy source, is in fact “green.”
Run-of-River: Small-Hydro Projects (Rivers of Riches)
Since 2000, BC Hydro has seen an explosion in the number of applications made by Independent Power Producers (IPP) for Power-General water licences. This article reviews BC’s recent history with small hydro power generation projects, also called “run-of-river,” a name that downplays their size, environmental impacts and profitability for IPP sharesholders. The article looks at how the hundreds of run-of-river projects and transmission lines clash with recreationalists, inhabitants, wilderness tourism values and sometimes First Nations, with a case study of a Plutonic Power run-of-river project in Klahoose First Nation territory.
Ocean energy represents a huge economic and renewable energy potential in British Columbia. This article looks at BC’s ocean energy policy, or lack of it, and how policy is affecting ocean renewable energy development along BC’s coast. At the time the article was written, BC government’s policy didn’t guide or provide fiscal incentives for companies to generate renewable energy such as with wind, tidal or wave energy. The article also discusses what it would mean economically if British Columbia were to become a leader in this emerging renewable energy industry. The wave energy and tidal energy present on BC’s coast are inconceivably large, yet less apparent is the environmental impact of tidal and wave energy technologies. The article reviews the companies who have applied and summarizes their tidal and wave energy technologies.
(Fill 'Er Up!) The industrialized world has an oil addiction. Starting with a global context, this article details how the US gets its oil fixes and how Canada enables this. As one of the largest of the remaining oil reserves in the world, Arthur Caldicott offers surprising facts about Canada’s oil production, from the Alberta oil sands to oil transportation. With 3 main oil sources within Canada, there are numerous costly and controversial proposals for modification and expansion to the 4 groups of oil pipelines. Between 2001 and 2006, 65% of Canada’s oil exports went to the US. The booming oil sands will create more jobs than the Canadian workforce can fill. Every day, Canada uses 1/17th of its natural gas to produce a million barrels from the Alberta oil sands. How is Canada going to continue to feed the US consumption of oil?
Uranium: Mining, Nuclear Power and Nuclear Waste in Canada
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