Hudak Wants Flat-Rate Energy Pricing Option, Renewed Nuclear Strategy
Trying to build off the momentum gained by the missteps made by the Liberal party this past summer, Progressive… [more]
The Wind Stops Blowing in the U.K as Geothermal Heats up in Canada
It appears the momentum gained by the wind energy industry over the last few years is beginning to slow,… [more]
Poll Suggests that the Conservative Party of Canada is Out of Touch with Canadians...Who Knew?
Just days after the Senate struck down Bill C-311, an Environics research poll conducted between October… [more]
Sardines, Jackfruit being converted into Biofuels in India.
The State Task Force on Biofuels in Mangalore, India, is designing alternative energy initatives intended… [more]
China has expanded its efforts to position itself as a world leader in sustainable energy innovation.
According to the state-run “China Daily”, China has passed a new plan to train 2000 more experts to conduct research into magnetic confinement fusion power. Magnetic confinement fusion power is an approach to nuclear fusion that uses large magnetic fields to confine the hot fusion reaction in a form of a plasma. MCF has now become one of the most promising methods of controlling a nuclear fusion reaction, beating out the less developed but still potentially viable, “inertial confinement” method. MCF technology, though still highly experimental, has existed since the 1950s when it was discovered by Soviet physicists Igor Tamm and Andrei Sakharov.
Britain’s wind power industry has exploded in recent years as the government has committed to strict carbon emission reductions. However, last week was a bad one for the industry. It was battered from all sides as stories about wind farm revolts in Wales and green energy bill increases made the national news.
1500 protesters gathered on the steps of the Welsh Assembly last Tuesday to demand the end of a large wind farm in central Wales. Residents are angry with the aesthetic and social impact that 800 turbines covering hundreds of square miles will have on the countryside. In addition, The Telegraph printed a story that stated that the math for the new turbines doesn’t add up. The £2 billion project will produce about 300 megawatts of power, whereas the new nearby gas-fed power plant cost £400 million and produces three times as much electricity. The turbines also require an additional £120 million per year in government subsidies.
While the rest of us have been arguing about this or that form of energy, scientists have been steadily improving the world’s next amazing technology: pond scum power. Actually, hydrogen produced from algae.
Researchers at MIT recently found a way to boost the organism’s hydrogen production by 400%, bringing the process one step closer to a commercial application. Scientist Shuguang Zhang discovered that algae stops producing sugar for it own needs when introduced to an enzyme inhibitor. Instead, it starts dividing water into its parts and producing large amounts of hydrogen.
For the past half-century, the western world has been searching for an energy elixir, some cure-all power source that can carry us past fossil fuels, and along the way we’ve eagerly consumed our share of snake oil — cold fusion, hydrogen cells, wind, solar, ethanol — some were mirages; “energy sources of the future” that have been and always will be energy sources of the future, while others overpromised and underdelivered, and some didn’t even make it through the pipe-dream stage of development. Countless sums of money have been poured into developing these potential sources of energy, and while the intent behind these projects is laudable, the results certainly haven’t been.
A new survey from Direct Energy says that 64% of Canadians keep the summer temperature of their homes at 22 degrees or lower. Direct Energy considers that to be absolutely frigid and is encouraging people to reassess their energy habits.
Interestingly, the survey also concluded that half of Canadians do not know how much energy they consume. With a warmer than average summer predicted by Environment Canada, people should be aware of how much they use. Ontarians should especially take note because air conditioning systems are found in 80% of the province’s homes. Ontario has the highest penetration in Canada, compared to only 17% on the East coast and 20% in Alberta.
In the wake of Fukushima’s nuclear accident, Ontario Power Generation reevaluated its safety and emergency preparedness.
OPG filed a report with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission at the end of April which included a review of its systems and equipment. It concluded that Ontario’s nuclear plants are safe and will continue to be. However, there is always room for improvement and OPG is now exploring ways to better deal with spent fuel rods and excess hydrogen build up.
OPG is also stepping up safety guidelines by considering ‘beyond design basis events,’ which are highly unlikely scenarios such as the Fukushima accident. It concluded that an event like Fukushima is unlikely because Ontario has very low seismic activity and Lake Ontario is not large enough to produce a tsunami. The region also does not rest on a fault line, the shifting of which causes large waves.
Canada, one of the largest oil producers in the western hemisphere is facing something of a mini gas crisis. For the third week in a row, gas prices have risen, to the point that gas is now closing in on the dreaded dollar-fifty-per-litre level, a price heretofor unseen in this country. As the price of gas trends steadily upwards, consumers and economists are starting to scratch their heads. Not only is the Canadian Dollar currently worth more than the American Dollar, the price of oil is actually much, much lower than it was last year when the price of gas spiked up to $1.35 per litre — 30% lower in fact — the price for a barrel of oil is currently 100 dollars, compared to 140 a year ago.