Posts filed under ‘Renewables’

Ontario Making it Easier to Charge Electric Vehicles

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Ontario is making it easier to use electric vehicles to get to and from work by assisting employers, commercial building owners and managers to install charging stations at their workplaces. This investment is part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan and is funded by proceeds from the province’s cap on pollution and carbon market.

The province will support employers and commercial building owners that wish to offer electric vehicle charging for their employees or tenants by helping with the cost of installing charging stations. This program supports Ontario’s ongoing work in communities across the province to increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations and make it easier for people to use electric vehicles.

The Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging Incentive Program will provide 80 per cent of the capital costs to install level 2 chargers, up to $7,500 per charging space.

Read the full news release: Ontario Making it Easier to Charge Electric Vehicles

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January 17, 2018 at 12:08 pm Leave a comment

Climate change is the story you missed in 2017. And the media is to blame

Which story did you hear more about this year – how climate change makes disasters like hurricanes worse, or how Donald Trump threw paper towels at Puerto Ricans?

If you answered the latter, you have plenty of company. Academic Jennifer Good analyzed two weeks of hurricane coverage during the height of hurricane season on eight major TV networks, and found that about 60% of the stories included the word Trump, and only about 5% mentioned climate change.

Read Climate change is the story you missed in 2017. And the media is to blame by Lisa Hymas at The Guardian.

January 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm Leave a comment

Supersizing electric vehicles: Loblaws trucks going green

Loblaw Companies Ltd., which owns widely-known brands including President’s Choice, Joe Fresh and Asian grocery chain T&T, announced a commitment to completely electrify its fleet of trucks as part of its goal to cut carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

Transportation is the second-largest carbon pollution source in Canada, just behind oil and gas. Heavy-duty trucking is the fastest growing slice of Canada’s transportation emissions, accounting for 10.5 percent of the national total. Analysts at the Pembina Institute point out that, by contrast, Canada’s vast electricity sector is only slightly larger at 11 per cent.

Read Supersizing electric vehicles: Loblaws trucks going green by Jenny Euchi and Chris Hatch at the National Observer.

November 6, 2017 at 11:25 am Leave a comment

Solar Power and Honey Bees Make a Sweet Combo in Minnesota

https://www.greenbiz.com/sites/default/files/styles/panopoly_image_full/public/images/articles/featured/solar-panels-wildflowers_copy.jpg?itok=TbR_g3Om

Last year, when Minnesota passed a groundbreaking law on best practices for providing pollinator habitat at solar power sites, they also (unexpectedly) helped launch something called Solar Honey, in which solar companies and commercial beekeepers work together in a mutually beneficial arrangement.

On May 31, 2016, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed the Pollinator Friendly Solar Act into law, a first of its kind legislation that lays out voluntary standards for managing native habitat—think prairie grass and wild flowers—for pollinators, songbirds, and other beneficial critters. Solar developers and local governments can use these guidelines, which give recommendations on things like what seed mixes to use, the best options for laying out the plants, and how to maintain the site, in order to help provide these beneficial creatures with the a comfortable home. In return, they get bragging rights, so long as they can prove they’re following state regulations. They also have to make their site’s vegetation plan available to the public, among other requirements. The idea is catching fire among solar providers through Minnesota.

Read Solar Power and Honey Bees Make a Sweet Combo in Minnesota by Lorraine Chow at Modern Farmer.

September 20, 2017 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

One of the biggest criticisms against wind and solar energy has been quashed

A worker inspects solar panels at a solar Dunhuang, 950km (590 miles) northwest of Lanzhou, Gansu Province September 16, 2013. China is pumping investment into wind power, which is more cost-competitive than solar energy and partly able to compete with coal and gas. China is the world's biggest producer of CO2 emissions, but is also the world's leading generator of renewable electricity. Environmental issues will be under the spotlight during a working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which will meet in Stockholm from September 23-26. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (CHINA - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT) - RTX13UEF

One of the biggest criticisms of the renewable-energy industry is that it has been propped up by government subsidies. There is no doubt that without government help, it would have been much harder for the nascent technology to mature. But what’s more important is whether there has been a decent return on taxpayers’ investment.

A new analysis in Nature Energy gives renewable-energy subsidies the thumbs-up. Dev Millstein of Lawerence Berkeley National Laboratory and his colleagues find that the fossil fuels not burnt because of wind and solar energy helped avoid between 3,000 and 12,700 premature deaths in the US between 2007 and 2015. Fossil fuels produce large amounts of pollutants like carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, which are responsible for ill-health and negative climate effects.

The researchers found that the US saved between $35 billion and $220 billion in that period because of avoided deaths, fewer sick days, and climate-change mitigation.

Read One of the biggest criticisms against wind and solar energy has been quashed by Akshat Rathi at Quartz.

August 21, 2017 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

This Canadian Site Lets Anyone be a Clean Tech Investor

On CoPower, an investment platform for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, you don’t have to make concessions between decent financial returns and decent environmental impact (as is often the case elsewhere). If you’re willing to put up at least $5,000, you’re promised 5% a year over five years, and your money goes to solar farms, geothermal installations, and building retrofits.

The only catch: Currently, you need to be a Canadian citizen to access the site.

“There are lots of market driven and profitable solutions to social and environmental problems and lots of investors seeking social and environmental returns,” says Trish Nixon, CoPower’s director of investments, in an interview. “The challenge is in connecting the two and having financial products that meet the needs of investors from a risk-return-impact and access standpoint. That’s the problem that CoPower is solving.”

Read the full article:  This Canadian Site Lets Anyone be a Clean Tech Investor by Ben Schiller at Fast Company.

July 5, 2017 at 11:01 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

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