On Earthgauge Radio this week, I have a special program on the coming solar power revolution.
Have you ever thought about installing solar panels on your roof or, if you don’t have a roof, what about investing in solar energy? Well if the answer is yes to either of those questions or if you are just interested in learning more about solar power and its potential as a viable energy source of the future, you’re going to want to listen to the podcast today.
I have four interviews on the show today:
- Janice Ashworth of Ecology Ottawa who explains the details of the FIT program
- Dick Bakker of the Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative who will tell us how you can invest in solar energy projects in Ottawa at a healthy rate of return
- Graham Thomas of iSolara Solar Power on what is involved in installing solar panels on your roof and
- Councilor David Chernushenko, an early pioneer in the home solar movement who will give us the experience of a homeowner who has gone through the process.
Earthgauge Radio is broadcast every other Thursday morning at 7:00-8:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa. Click the audio player above to hear the full show. Right click here to download today’s full show. Scroll down to listen to individual interviews only.
I attended the Ottawa Solar Fair this past weekend, and had the opportunity to talk to a number of well-informed people about the new Ontario Solar Rules, microFIT applications, investment options, joining the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative, and expected rates of return. Did you know that through Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-In Tariff or FIT program you can sell the energy you generate through your solar panels at 54 cents per kilowatt hour? What does this mean exactly? We get into all the details in the show but suffice it to say that for a medium-sized set of panels, this means you can pay off your investment in about 7 or 8 years and then start generating a healthy annual profit.
Janice Ashworth interview, right click here to download:
Graham Thomas interview, right click here to download:
Dick Bakker interview, right click here to download:
David Chernushenko interview, right click here to download:
On Earthgauge Radio this week (7:00-8:00 AM on CKCU radio 93.1 FM in Ottawa or online at www.ckcufm.com), I’m presenting a special program on the coming solar power revolution.
Ever thought about installing solar panels on your roof or, if you don’t have a roof, what about investing in solar energy?
If the answer is yes to either of those questions or if you are just interested in learning more about solar power and its potential as a viable energy source of the future, you’re going to want to listen to the program tomorrow.
At the Ottawa Solar Fair this past weekend, I had the opportunity to speak with a number of well-informed people about the new Ontario Solar Rules, microFIT applications, investment options, joining the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative and expected rates of return.
Did you know that through Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-In Tariff or FIT program you can sell the energy you generate through your solar panels at 54 cents per kilowatt hour? What does this mean exactly? Tune in tomorrow to find out!
Interviews with Janice Ashworth of Ecology Ottawa who will explain the details of the FIT program; Dick Bakker of the Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative who will tell us how you can invest in solar energy projects in Ottawa at a healthy rate of return; Graham Thomas of iSolara Solar Power on what is involved in installing solar panels on your roof and Councilor David Chernushenko, an early pioneer in the home solar movement who will give us the experience of a homeowner who has gone through the process.
Listen tomorrow at 7:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM, anytime online at ckcufm.com or download the podcast right here on earthgauge.ca.
Solar power to the people!
For anyone interested in the tar sands “debate” – and this should include all of us as it is really a debate about our collective energy future – you will want to keep an eye on a new investigative reporting series being produced by The Tyee.
Under the general heading of “Canada’s Transition to a Sustainable Energy Economy,” the Tyee has launched today the first of three major projects growing out of a “desire to be of service to the how-to-transition conversation,” beginning with Geoff Dembicki’s “Greening the Oil Sands.” This will be followed by a report on how Norway has managed its fossil fuel windfall (Mitchell Anderson) and an inquiry into the challenges and opportunities Canada faces in evolving from a fossil-fuel based society (Andrew Nikiforuk). Click the link below for more info.
“What to reuse, what to improve and what to tear down entirely are key questions for environmental thinkers in cities and towns across Canada and around the world.” And with these opening words from the editorial of the latest issue of Alternatives Journal, Tenille Bonoguoure sets the stage for the increasingly important issue of green buildings. Click the audio player above to hear the podcast, which is based on articles you’ll find in the magazine. You can also right click here to download. I have three interviews featured on this podcast:
- Steve Carpenter, President of Enermodal Engineering – Canada’s largest consulting firm exclusively dedicated to creating green buildings
- Andre Roy, Dean of Environment at the University of Waterloo on their new ENV3 building which is on track to become the most environmentally friendly building on all Canadian college and university campuses
- Stephen Svenson, author of the article ‘Those Brad Pitt Houses’ on green reconstruction efforts in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005
Also included in the print issue of the magazine: Monte Paulson takes a look at the increasingly popularity of energy-efficient Passivhaus houses around the world and wonders why they’re not catching on in Canada; Deborah Curren makes the case for better government regulations to help foster the burgeoning green building movement in Canada; Peter Love looks at some of the barriers to improved energy efficiency and gives examples of major projects that have made substantial efficiency improvements through performance-based contracts; plus all the regular features you expect from Alternatives including reviews of the latest eco-books.
Think about it: how much time do we spend in buildings day in and day out? How much energy and material input is required to build and maintain these structures? As it turns out, it’s a lot actually. As Tenille writes, “Given how important and influential buildings are in both our practical daily existence and our broader societal understandings, it was no easy task to design, build and furnish this issue.” Check it out on newsstands now or subscribe here.
The Environmental News Network is reporting today that Envia Systems, a US-based company, has developed a new battery that has roughly twice the energy density of existing rechargeable batteries. Such an innovation could greatly increase the range of electric cars as well as cut the price of the battery packs in half.
“For example, a Nissan LEAF combined with the new Envia battery could potentially travel 300 miles on a single $10 charge, as opposed to its 80 mile range today. This is roughly the same range as many conventional internal combustion engines. It is the equivalent of driving from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh on a single charge.”
Sounds promising but will this breakthrough revolutionize the auto industry, as Envia is suggesting? Will the price point be competitive with the equivalent conventional vehicles? How long will it take to recharge these batteries? I suppose we’ll be hearing a lot more about this in the near future.
Your next new car hopefully won’t be a lemon. But it could be a pineapple or a banana. That’s because scientists in Brazil have developed a more effective way to use fibers from these and other plants in a new generation of automotive plastics that are stronger, lighter, and more eco-friendly than plastics now in use.
“The most recently published version of the global energy [r]evolution shows that saving the climate is still within our reach. But politicians need to stop talking and start leading, so engineers and workers can finally get building.
“If we also get smart about the way we use energy and stop wasting it, we will be half way to ensuring our green supplies cover our needs. Exploitation of all technical potential for electrical efficiency (home insulation, consumer good efficiency standards), structural changes in the way energy is produced (moving away from large centralized power stations towards a decentralized energy system), and energy efficient transport modes (mass update of public transport systems, higher efficiency cars and trucks) are all needed.
“The kind of radical change we need in our energy system to tackle climate change might be a gargantuan challenge, but it’s nothing the renewable energy industry can’t deliver. We can do it. The question is whether our politicians and policymakers will.”
Great article from the Times. Did you know commercial buildings use 18% of total energy consumed in the U.S. each year? This article describes innovation at its best. An affordable solution that will save both money and energy. Here’s an excerpt:
Most office buildings are divorced, in a way, from their surroundings. The energy lab’s Research Support Facility building is more like a mirror, or perhaps a sponge, to its surroundings. From the light-bending window louvers that cast rays up into the interior office spaces, to the giant concrete maze in the sub-basement for holding and storing radiant heat, every day is completely different.
The backdrop to everything here is that office buildings are, to people like Mr. Blocher, the unpicked fruit of energy conservation. Commercial buildings use about 18 percent of the nation’s total energy each year, and many of those buildings, especially in years past, were designed with barely a thought to energy savings, let alone zero net use.
This is pretty darn cool. To think of what we could accomplish through technological innovation and ingenuity if only the policies, incentives and investments were in place to help make it happen.
“Scott Brusaw, a 53-year-old electrical engineer in tiny Sagle, Idaho, thinks he has a solution. So far, he’s generated interest from the federal government and General Electric in his idea for a solar-powered roadway made from super-strong glass, instead of conventional asphalt or concrete.”