Bio-fuels one of man’s greatest blunders

The zero-emissions bio-fuel myth ignores the horrible environmental impacts of its production and the dramatic impact on world food stocks

Bio-fuels one of man’s greatest blundersAre bio-fuels really greener than the fossil fuels they displace? My last column pointed out that electric cars are only as green as the fuel used to generate the electricity they consume. For internal-combustion-powered vehicles, much of the focus has been on trying to reduce carbon emissions by adding ethanol to gasoline and vegetable oil to…

Green energy future still a long way off

Important shifts in production and consumption are underway but any global energy revolution will be considerably slower than many believe

Green energy future still a long way offSome Canadian environmental groups claim the world is making a dramatic move toward carbon-free energy sources. The implication is that Canada – one of the world’s largest producers of oil and natural gas – should quickly abandon the fossil fuel economy and embrace renewable energy as the only pathway to a prosperous future. Important shifts…

The dirty little secret behind electric cars

Don't be fooled by the claims of the pro-electric car camp – our best bet for low-emissions vehicles is still natural gas

The dirty little secret behind electric carsDoes the car of the future really need to be electric to be environmentally responsible? On a recent trip to Hawaii, the car service sent a beautiful Tesla to pick us up at the airport. The driver told us how proud he was to be driving a “zero-emissions” vehicle. This prompted me to ask him…

Every energy source – even renewables – has a downside

Renewables present a range of challenges that will one day draw the same criticism the oil and gas sector experiences now

Every energy source – even renewables – has a downsideWe live in interesting, ‘tipping-point’ times when it comes to energy. To the upside, people are talking and thinking about energy like never before. On the downside, people are talking and thinking about energy like never before. But the notion of ‘tipping point’ is a useful lens through which to assess the social, economic and political…

Energy conservation programs in Ontario waste of time, money

Ontario taxpayers and ratepayers left paying even higher bills because of Ontario’s conservation programs

Energy conservation programs in Ontario waste of time, moneyOntario consumers have poured billions into conservation programs that promise to increase the efficient use of electricity and save consumers money. The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) spent nearly $400 million on conservation programs in 2013 alone. And one Ontario government agency – the Independent Electricity System Operator – plans to spend an additional $3.1 billion…

Natural gas is coal’s only real alternative

Natural gas offers an enormous opportunity for a cleaner atmosphere

Natural gas is coal’s only real alternativeOn the final day of the June 2015 G7 summit in Germany, host Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the leaders had agreed on the need to “decarbonize the global economy in the course of this century.” Environmental activists were exultant. A week later, Pope Francis issued an Encyclical calling for the world to come together to…

Renewable energy all pain, little gain

Renewable energy all but guarantees higher electricity bills

Renewable energy all pain, little gainBy Kenneth P. Green and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute BC Hydro’s planned project for a hydroelectric dam on the Peace River – known as the Site C dam – is proving to be controversial, with some industry groups panning the plan while touting renewable energy sources such as wind. One wind energy champion recently…

Homegrown power may finally have its moment

Dramatic improvements in performance will soon silence alternative energy’s critics

Homegrown power may finally have its momentAlternative energy sources like wind and solar have one thing in common with automobiles. In their early days, both were written off as frivolous technologies that wouldn’t amount to much. After two early misfires, Henry Ford had desperate trouble getting enough financing to build the assembly line that would in essence lay the foundation for…
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