Connect with us

Energy

Alberta follows UK decision to phase out coal & will transition to renewables & gas generation by 2030

Published

on

Alberta Premier Notley’s new announcement of a phase out of coal emissions by 2030 is a significant step forward, and builds momentum following the UK coal phase-out announcement just four days ago. Alberta accounts for 65% of Canada’s total coal capacity.

Alberta is home to 18 out of the remaining 35 coal units in Canada, and accounts for 65% of Canada’s total coal capacity. Alberta is responsible for 36% of Canada’s GHG emissions, despite being only having 11% of the population. Coal is the source of 55% of electricity generation in the province. In contrast, Ontario shut down its coal power plants between 2007 and 2014, more than 6GW of capacity was retired (E3G Canada country profile, October 2015).

Canadian electricity production has been dominated by hydropower over past decades, accounting for 65% of power generation in 2013. In 2013, coal combustion accounted for over 8% of Canada’s total CO2 emissions. Coal power only made up 10.5% of electricity generation in 2013.

The coal mining industry provided over 25,000 direct and over 16,500 indirect jobs in 2011. Yet Canada’s renewable energy sector is already starting to rival coal job figures. In 2013, the green energy industry employed 23,700 people directly.

Al Gore, Former US Vice President, Chairman of The Climate Reality Project said: “Today’s announcement by Premier Notley that Alberta will put an economy-wide price on carbon, phase out coal and increase its commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency represents an inspiring addition to the legacy of leadership and forward thinking action by Canadian provinces to speed our transition to a low carbon economy. This is also another powerful signal — well-timed on the eve of the Paris negotiations — that humanity is beginning to win our struggle to solve the climate crisis.

“We do need to win faster. I encourage Premier Notley, and all of Alberta, to follow this first step with continued bold action to transition away from fossil fuels.”

Key details of the announcement include:

– Alberta will phase out all pollution created by burning coal and transition to more renewable energy and natural gas generation by 2030.

– Three principles will shape the coal phase-out: maintaining reliability; providing reasonable stability in prices to consumers and business; and, ensuring that capital is not unnecessarily stranded.

– Two-thirds of coal-generated electricity will be replaced by renewables – primarily wind power – while natural gas generation will continue to provide firm base load reliability.

– Renewable energy sources will comprise up to 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity production by 2030.

Tim Flannery, PhD., head of the Australia Climate Council and best-selling author of The Weather Makers and Atmosphere of Hope, said: “Moving off of coal and onto renewables is an essential part of this global energy transition. Alberta has made the right choice in its new plans to act on climate.”

Ed Whittingham, Executive Director, Pembina Institute commented: “The complete phase-out of coal by 2030 makes clear the government of Alberta’s intention to improve air quality and to tackle one of our highest-emitting fuel sources. Given the international attention on coal as an unnecessary source of pollution, the government of Alberta’s decision not only protects people’s health and saves the province’s health care system hundreds of millions of dollars a year, it gives Alberta the credibility to bring a better message and approach to Paris.”

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune added: “In the United States, the Sierra Club is proud to have helped slow the expansion of tar sands infrastructure and ensure that over 200 dirty coal plants are slated for retirement, and Alberta’s announcement today is a welcome sign that the climate movement is continuing to grow. Just last week, the United Kingdom announced it was also transitioning fully off of coal and Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau issued guidance to ban oil tankers off the North Coast of British Columbia.  This commitment and leadership shows it is not only possible to move beyond dirty fuels in the United States and around the world — it is inevitable.”

Chris Littlecott, Programme Leader at E3G said: “Alberta’s climate plan combines bold goals with credible policies. It deserves real praise for prioritising the phase out of coal power plants and accelerating the deployment of renewables. When an energy producer like Alberta takes action the world must sit up and take notice that the shift away from coal is gathering pace. The new Canadian government now has a great opportunity to join the UK in driving this transition across the G7 and internationally.”

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

Published

on

Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

Continue Reading

Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

Published

on

By

Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Trending