A bold new Canadian energy strategy

Posted by Admin on July 26, 2012

Premiers Dalton McGuinty and Alison Redford united with the other first ministers at the Council of the Federation this week in Halifax. Both now agree that a Canadian energy strategy is a good idea for the country.

The last time the Council of the Federation came together on energy, five years ago, they agreed to pursue efficiency and conservation, expanded R&D for clean-energy research, and more renewable, green and cleaner energy sources. They also agreed that any energy plan should seek to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

At the moment, our country’s economy is growing increasingly dependent on natural resources. They are abundant, today’s world needs them, and we rely on them for jobs. But the world is changing, and Canada must change with it.

A Clean Energy Accord among provinces could help transition Canada to a global 21st century energy system. This Council of the Federation may go down in history as the meeting where the first ministers took the first steps, together, toward this better future.

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Building-Integrated Photovoltaics in Toronto

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The Enwave Theatre in Toronto has now completed the new work by glass artist Sarah Hall. She created “Waterglass”, which combines art and solar cells with insulating glass, and it creates bright waves of blue around the building. The west part of her work has 540 cells on 10 panels, and it is a first for Toronto. This concept is called building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

Through the integration of solar cells, this method of applying PVs differs from solar panels you may see on the roof, through conspicuous placements such as roof shingles, skylights, windows, or siding. As big as BIPV is in Europe and Asia, this is very new to Canada. This is partially due to the FIT program not designing and factoring in the potential of BIPV projects.

With the large amount of new high-rise buildings coming to Toronto, this is the perfect time to considering integrating solar into architectural designs. This concept also should potentially have its own FIT rate.

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Province of Ontario Sued for $100 Million

Posted by Admin on July 16, 2012

The SkyPower Group, Canada’s largest solar energy firm, is planning on suing the province for $100 million. They are laying the lawsuit over charges that the McGuinty government made to the energy program.

The firm applied to build over one hundred projects that should have been completed this past April, but the province announced price changes and new criteria for approval of projects. SkyPower believes the changes are unreasonable and would cost them a lot of these projects. They want the government to reconsider the changes, for their projects to work under the old rules. If that fails to happen, the company will sue for $100 million in damages. The hearing has been set for July 24th.

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Ontario Provincial Budget has Passed

Posted by Admin on June 21, 2012

The provincial budget was finally passed, and the threat of election has been lightened this week in Ontario. After a week of heated arguments between Premier Dalton McGuinty and Andrea Horwath, amendments to the initial budgets were made, and the revised budget was passed. The revision included the wealth tax on the people who make over $500, 000 a year which was surprisingly supported by the Conservative party.  This tax was supported by 78% of people in a Forum Research poll taken this April.

Hudak, the leader of the Conservatives, aimed to achieve a budget that could boost job growth and cut down at the $10 billion debt that Ontarians have accumulated.  This new budget is relevant to all fields of business in Ontario. Last May, there was a sudden halt in the microFIT process. Now that there is no threat of election anytime soon, the microFIT program is here to stay and should continue to prove itself as a beneficial and “green” movement.

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The OCAA Opposes the Nuclear Movement Planned by Ontario

Posted by Admin on May 23, 2012

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) came out against the movement for nuclear power this past Tuesday. Nuclear energy is responsible for 45% of the increase in energy costs, while the use of solar panels, and other green energy manufacturing procedures accounted for only 6%.  Dalton McGuinty and Tim Hudak both are fighting towards scrapping green energy programs such as the Feed-In Tariff (an Ontario solar program), and plan to invest billions of dollars on new nuclear projects.

McGuinty is planning on spending $33 billion towards these nuclear-related projects, and Hudak is committed to a massive spending program as well.  The OCAA believe that the money would be better spent on renewable energy projects because they do not cost nearly as much and don’t carry the same environmental risk. There is also the concern of the budget. Completely refurbishing 10 nuclear reactors will not cost as little as 33 billion dollars, but the OCAA predicts of the spending of up to $80 billion due to the past trends in budget spending when it comes to nuclear energy.

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance was founded to encourage Ontario leaders to phase out nonrenewable energy sources and is working towards a sole use of renewable energy in Ontario by 2030.

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