Posts filed under ‘Energy’

Ottawa Salus, city’s new affordable housing complex, boasts top efficiency rating

Lisa Ker, executive director of Ottawa Salus, expects tenants to move into the charity's latest supportive housing complex next weekend.

How would you like to pay $28 to heat your apartment – for the entire year?

That’s exactly what Ottawa Salus hopes to offer when it opens its new 42-unit affordable housing building this week.

The four-storey supportive housing complex on Clementine Boulevard near Billings Bridge will serve adults with severe mental illness, but it’s also designed to support ambitious environmental and cost-saving goals through a passive house design never before used for affordable housing apartments in North America, according to executive director Lisa Ker.

Using things like thick insulation, tightly sealed doors and windows and a special energy recovery ventilator that circulates fresh air into the building, the apartments will likely be up to 90 per cent more efficient than regular buildings.

Read Ottawa Salus, city’s new affordable housing complex, boasts top efficiency rating at MetroNews.ca.

Hat tip to Transition Brockville for this post!

May 3, 2017 at 10:17 am Leave a comment

Is 100% renewable energy realistic? Here’s what we know.

The world has agreed to a set of shared targets on climate change. Those targets require deep (80 to 100 percent) decarbonization, relatively quickly.

What’s the best way to get fully decarbonized? In my previous post, I summarized a raging debate on that subject. Let’s quickly review.

There are plenty of criticisms of current models of how climate change and human politics and economics interact. Let’s touch on a few briefly, and then I’ll get to a few takeaways.

Above all, the haziness of the long-term view argues for humility on all sides. There’s much we do not yet know and cannot possibly anticipate, so it’s probably best for everyone to keep an open mind, support a range of bet-hedging experiments and initiatives, and maintain a healthy allergy to dogma.

Read Is 100% renewable energy realistic? Here’s what we know. by David Roberts at Vox.

April 17, 2017 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

Make Your Life Less Oily in 2017: Part I, Taking Stock

Most of our consumption of oil is so deeply embedded in our way of life that we’re unconscious of it or believe there’s no alternative. The antidote is to first make that consumption conscious and then get creative with alternatives, tailoring them to our specific situations. Here’s the good news: most of the steps you can take to purge oil from your life will make you healthier, happier, and your household more resilient! If you have kids, many of the steps will make them healthier, happier and perform better in school! Many of the steps will also make your community healthier, more prosperous, and more resilient. And if your prosperity is linked to your community’s prosperity, it will make you more prosperous as well.

So let’s bring the unconscious to the light of day. Just how oily is your life?

Read  Make Your Life Less Oily in 2017: Part I, Taking Stock by Karen Lynn Allen at Musings.

March 29, 2017 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

How Much Does it Really Cost to Charge that Electric Vehicle?

fillupJust about every article or news piece about an electric car that we do – and there is a lot of EV news lately – gets a comment thread filled with people debating the price of charging an EV. “Hydro rates are so high”, “maybe when electricity is cheaper”, “who can afford to drive one when I can use cheaper gas”, and best of all “filling a tank with fuel is half the price of plugging in a car.”

What we realized is that buyers don’t seem to know just how much it costs to charge an EV. I realized that I didn’t know how much it would cost to charge an EV either. But I wanted to find out. We all know exactly how much it costs to put gas in the tank – look at the lines if there is a one cent jump expected tomorrow – but electricity is more stable and more predictable. So how much does it cost to “fill up” an electric car?

Read How Much Does it Really Cost to Charge that Electric Vehicle? by Evan Williams at Auto Trader.

March 8, 2017 at 12:42 pm Leave a comment

No one can make electricity cheap again

reactorOntario’s electricity woes stem back to the late 1970s and, over the past 40 odd years, all three parties have had a hand in them. It started with the building of the Darlington nuclear station, which the Bill Davis Tories approved and the David Peterson Liberals saw through to completion — 10 years late and almost $12 billion over budget. No one could afford to pay the real cost of Darlington, so Ontarians carried that debt for the next three decades.

Here’s the short answer: electricity requires infrastructure, infrastructure costs are tied to commodities and labour, and these costs go up over time. What people pay for electricity in any given region is a product of geographic luck (the availability of cheap hydro for example) and having rare — but possible — infrastructure foresight (the ability to plan effectively for the electricity of the future).

Read No one can make electricity cheap again by Bruce Lourie at The Star.

February 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

Jeff Dahn, battery researcher wins $1M Herzberg Medal

A leading researcher of lithium-ion batteries has won the prestigious Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering.

We use lithium-ion batteries every day, in everything from our smartphones to laptops to electric cars to drills. Jeff Dahn has played a large part in making these batteries increasingly efficient.

Working now in collaboration with electric car company Tesla, Dahn aims to make a battery that lasts 30 years.

The focus of the new research is threefold: increasing the lifetime of cells; helping to reduce cost of cells; and increasing the energy density of the battery. If energy density is increased, the battery could maintain its size and weight but store more energy or store the same amount of energy with less weight or in a smaller package.

Read Jeff Dahn, battery researcher wins $1M Herzberg Medal by Nicole Mortillaro at CBC News.

 

February 22, 2017 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

Ontario Making Electric Vehicles More Affordable

electricOntario is making it easier for people across the province to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and switch to an electric vehicle (EV) by further enhancing its Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP).

The Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP) supports the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), rewards early adopters, and helps to create market demand for new technology in Ontario by providing incentives for the purchase and/or lease of eligible EVs.

Part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan, and in effect as of Jan. 1, 2017, the updated EVIP:

  • Removes the cap limiting EV incentives to 30 per cent of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP)
  • Eliminates the $3,000 cap on incentives for EVs fully run on battery power and priced between $75,000 and $150,000, which enable long-range, zero-emission travel and have less environmental impact than lower priced plug-in hybrids
  • Continues to exclude EVs with an MSRP of $150,000 and above from qualifying for incentives
  • Offers incentives only on vehicles produced by automakers who are partners in Ontario’s new Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Advancement Partnership (EHVAP).

Read the News Release HERE>>

February 8, 2017 at 11:36 am Leave a comment

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