The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thought

If aspirations and reality collide, always bet on reality

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thoughtIf you’ve been following international news lately, you’ll have noticed a new development. Europe and Asia are suddenly worried about energy. With winter coming, costs are soaring and there’s even concern about shortages that might trigger industrial shutdowns and endanger people’s ability to heat their homes. From an object of loathing and scorn, fossil fuels…

What the future of energy looks like

Underpinning it all, like the safety net to a secure supply, will be fossil fuels

What the future of energy looks likeThe kingdom of Queen Elizabeth I was humming along quite nicely when, around the mid-1500s, Her Majesty caught wind of an environmental crisis in the offing. The forests were disappearing. Wood was the first energy source and had been so for millenniums. But kilns of industry and hearths of homes had been eating up the…

Why wind and solar energy aren’t the answer to reducing global emissions

Wind and solar farms replacing the 84% of global energy from fossil fuels is technically impossible

Why wind and solar energy aren’t the answer to reducing global emissionsIn a previous column I pointed out that since switching coal-fuelled power plants to natural gas cuts CO2 emissions in half, exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to displace coal benefits our economy and reduces global emissions. And that since converting gasoline and diesel-fuelled vehicles and ships to natural gas cuts emissions by 25 per cent,…

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sector

Alberta program builds skills to take sustainable energy projects from concept to completion

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sectorA new certificate the University of Alberta started offering this fall will help fast-track workers into the province’s rapidly growing renewable energy sector. The Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) Certificate is the first of its kind in Alberta to offer learners the flexibility of online, part-time classes, without admission barriers. It can be completed in as little as…

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heat

New materials could harness energy from cellphones or body heat, and improve solar power, geothermal

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heatExtra heat is generated from any form of energy conversion – even with something as green as solar panels. But with up to 72 per cent of it left unused, there’s also great potential to harvest electricity from that waste. A University of Alberta researcher has successfully developed a way to figure out the chemistry…

Renewable energy myths busted

‘Wind and solar are cost competitive, or cheaper, than any of the conventional energy carriers'

Renewable energy myths bustedThe interest in renewable energy may be growing, but there are still many misconceptions out there. Pierre Mertiny, ’05 PhD, comes across these myths all the time. He’s a mechanical engineer and principal investigator with the University of Alberta’s Future Energy Systems. He’s here to share some facts. Myth 1: The technology isn’t fully developed.…

Geothermal energy could be generated from captured CO2, study shows

Discovery that technology is viable moves it closer to becoming part of a low-carbon economy

Geothermal energy could be generated from captured CO2, study showsUniversity of Alberta research is making new strides in discoveries about capturing and storing carbon – while yielding a high-value end product from carbon dioxide. A process that injects the greenhouse gas deep below ground, then circulates it to extract heat and geothermal energy, has proven viable in a feasibility study by U of A…

How the free market is driving an energy evolution

Things are changing faster, and for the better, than radical environmentalists recognize or acknowledge

How the free market is driving an energy evolutionA recent Globe and Mail story about a firm developing garbage-to-biodiesel technology shows how continuing progress makes the global warming extremists’ most hysterically apocalyptic predictions, and their extreme absolutist ‘solutions,’ not only grossly wrong but already likely obsolete. In the case of the company profiled, Cielo Waste Solutions Corp. is able to transform not just…

Who needs oil and gas in the next 30 years? Africa and Asia

Population and economic growth will continue. Absent a miracle, oil and gas will remain key

Who needs oil and gas in the next 30 years? Africa and AsiaBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre When the International Energy Agency (IEA) called for an immediate halt to all new oil and gas investment worldwide in May, it appears they neglected to account for two important realities: Africa and Asia. Those two continents have been in population and economic booms for decades.…

The extraordinary cost of the shift to green energy

Climate change purity is expensive

The extraordinary cost of the shift to green energyBig infrastructure plans in Canada, the United States and the European Union place a lot of emphasis on renewable energy displacing coal, gas and petroleum. Yet little attention is given to the one vital element that makes all these ‘green’ energy transition plans for power plants and vehicles viable: practical and affordable energy storage. Solar…
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