Greenhouse Gas

Developing innovative and clean energy technologies and introducing climate change policies can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Alberta. This is essential in view of the fact that emissions are expected to reach between 293 and 317 megatonnes.

Policies

The federal government has adopted a climate leadership plan to reduce its emissions by one-third by 2030. This means that Alberta has to reduce emissions to 163 megatonnes. The measures under the plan include a considerable reduction of methane emissions, cap on oilsands emissions, broad-based carbon tax.

Clean Energy Technologies

Innovative technologies have the potential of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the effects of global warming. The development of innovative solutions is underway in different parts of the world, and some are already on the market while others are years away. Here are some projects underway that savvy investors can look into to contribute to the development of new technologies and profit in the long run.

Clean Liquid Fuels

Artificial photosynthesis is a new development that will take years but is nevertheless a promising advance to replace non-renewable fuels. Artificial photosynthesis can be used to produce clean liquid fuel as a green alternative to traditional sources. The process is used to transform water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight into clean fuel.

Innovative Photovoltaics and Solar Cells

Perovskite solar cells are also a good alternative to conventional electricity to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The main benefits are that they absorb light efficiently and are inexpensive. A mix of inorganic and organic compounds is used to absorb light. The main problem here is that the compounds in the mix have a relatively short lifespan, especially in hot and wet weather. The good news is that research teams at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Los Alamos National Laboratory are working on a new solution to enhance durability. They have developed unencapsulated two-dimensional devices that help prevent degradation and have a good tolerance to heat and humidity. New thermophotovoltaic solutions are also in the process of development to replace photovoltaics already in use. A team of MIT researchers is working on the project to capture sun energy and focus it into a narrow light band. Standard photovoltaics only capture a small portion of the color spectrum. Unlike them, thermophotovoltaics consist of nanophotonic crystals and carbon nanotubes that can absorb light from the whole color spectrum.

 

Another option is to look into projects that are funded by the government and think of ways to put them to good use in other settings. Different projects are underway in Canada to develop new solutions and minimize the carbon footprint. The near net zero energy supermarket, for example, is a project by Longo Brothers Fruit Markets that aims to create a sustainable supermarket. The project is valued at $11,061,922 and is partly financed under the Clean Energy Innovation Program - https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energyinnovation. The supermarket will use carbon dioxide refrigeration and other green solutions to minimize emissions. The new supermarket will incorporate a number of energy-efficient solutions such as solar photovoltaics, innovative heat recovery systems, LED lighting, high-efficiency building envelope, and combined power, heating, and cooling. The Clayton Heights Passive House Community Centre is another project to look into, also funded under the program. This will be the biggest community centre of this kind, with added benefits such as minimum greenhouse gas emissions and improved air quality. The community centre is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by 2019. To meet the criteria for a passive house, the centre has to incorporate transparent components, a building envelope, and other features. It is designed as a recreational space that houses a rehearsal hall, recording and music studios, and a lot more.

 

About the author: Samantha is commited to using green solutions in her every day life. Visit her blog https://www.lifeoncredit.ca where she writes about credit - https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/top-12-best-credit-cards-in-canada-for-2018/ and borrowing solutions - https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/bad-credit-personal-loans-in-canada/.

Energy Efficiency Technologies and Trends in Canada

There are energy efficiency trends toward reduced consumption, better operational performance, reduced carbon emissions, and lower costs. New technologies help improve efficiency in buildings, premises, and residential homes and help reduce environmental impact.

Technologies

A host of different products and technologies are available in Canada, including doors and windows, ventilating, cooling, and heating equipment, electronics, and appliances. Examples of ENERGY STAR products include smart thermostats and room and central air conditioners. The latter use a packaged central air conditioning or split system and can use 20 percent less energy compared to old air conditioners. Other energy-efficient products include ventilating fans, energy recovery ventilators, and dehumidifiers. All high-efficiency products and technologies are indicated by the symbol ENERGY STAR.

 

In 2017, a number of Canadian-based companies were awarded the Manufacturer of the Year award. Among them were Rheem Canada Ltd./Ltee., Samsung Electronics Canada, QBD Cooling Systems Inc., and Conglom Inc. Awards fall in different categories, including lighting, fenestration, electronics, commercial, and appliances. Saint John Energy, which works on electrical infrastructure upgrade projects, was awarded the Most Efficient Promoter of the Year award. The Canadian Coalition for Green Care was awarded the Advocate of the Year award. The Coalition works with businesses, individuals, governmental bodies, and non-governmental organizations to help them identify and adopt best practices. Focus areas include sustainable transportation, buildings and waste management, green purchasing and leadership.

Government Initiatives and Projects

The ecoEnergy Innovation Initiative was designed by Natural Resources Canada to help people make energy-efficient choices. The main priority areas are unconventional gas and oil, transportation electrification, bioenergy, renewables and clean electricity, and energy efficiency. Under the initiative, funding is offered for projects that focus on renewable energy. Applicants that meet the requirements include community and Aboriginal groups, standards organizations, research and industry associations, and gas and electricity companies. Recipients also include municipal, regional, and provincial authorities and academic establishments. Funding in the amount of $268 million was distributed in support of different research and development projects, including projects with a focus on deep geothermal energy, hybrid and electric vehicles.

Energy Efficiency Trends

During the period from 1990 to 2013, Canada saw an improvement in energy efficiency by more than 24 percent which translates into savings of close to $38 billion. This can be explained by a general shift to sectors that consume less energy. The period was marked by a 1-percent increase in per capita use and a 25-percent improvement of energy intensity per GDP unit. By 2013, the industrial sector became the largest consumer, followed by transportation, residential consumption, institutional and commercial, and agriculture.

 

When it comes to residential use, Canadian households account for 17 percent, and the major sources are propane, heating oil, wood, electricity, and natural gas. They are used for heating, water heating, cooling, and appliances. Residential use has increased during the last 3 decades, and this is mainly due to an increased use of home appliances, increased household living space, population growth, and other factors. At the same time, the efficiency of home appliances has improved significantly. And while Canadians use a larger number of appliances today, major appliances such as clothes washers, driers, and others require 26 percent less energy than in 1990.