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Climate & Energy Solutions Webinars

Our Climate & Energy Solutions Webinars are open to all. We welcome your support for this and our other programs and activities through donations and memberships.

An email notification is sent out when registration opens. Once you've registered, put the date in your Calendar and plan for a brown bag lunch while you enjoy this chance for learning and discussion. Log in through your computer web browser to see and hear the presentations.

We welcome your suggestions for topics and speakers you would like to see as part of this program.

Upcoming Webinars

Currently no webinars planned. Please visit our BCSEA Events Page for trainings and education opportunities that happen in your region.

 

Past Webinars

December 2014

The Site C Dam - Is There a Better Way?

The BC Sustainable Energy Association is calling on the BC government to postpone a final decision on the proposed Site C project, and instead to order BC Hydro to update its Integrated Resource Plan and submit it to the BC Utilities Commission for a thorough public review.

BC Hydro's resource analysis is out of date, given the speed with which technologies like wind and solar power are developing and falling in cost. They could prove to be cost effective alternatives to produce the power that BC needs without needing to flood valuable agricultural land.

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides by Tom Hackney (PDF, 2.5 MB) and Guy Dauncey (PDF, 3 MB).

Tom Hackney is Director of Policy with the BC Sustainable Energy Association. He specializes in policy development and advocacy, and is especially interested in what will best stimulate society and our political leaders to make the big changes that will put us all on the road to sustainability. Tom co-founded BCSEA in 2003.

Guy Dauncey is a speaker, author, activist and eco-futurist who works to develop a positive vision of a sustainable future, and to translate that vision into action. He is founder and Communications Director of the BC Sustainable Energy Association. 

November 2014

Renewable Fuels for Transport - Opportunities & Challenges to Growth 

Renewables in Canada’s transport fuel mix have grown significantly in the last decade, on the shoulders of EU and US leadership. Their position as a small but growing component of the fuel supply has brought with it the benefits of emission reductions and increased competition at the pump for consumers. The growth has not been without challenge, however, both from the traditional fossil fuel sector and from critiques on the sustainability biofuels, either some or all.  The technologies and feedstocks currently in commercial development are poised to drive the next phase in growth of second-generation biofuel use. This webinar will review the current status of renewable fuels for transport and address opportunities and challenges to their growth to 2020.

Fred Ghatala is a partner of Waterfall Group, a Vancouver-based consultancy on advanced biofuels and bioenergy,  and  director for Carbon and Sustainability for the Western Canada Biodiesel Association. 

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (PDF, 2.7 MB).

October 2014

Solar Sauce and Zero-Carbon Coffee - How BC's Food and Beverage Industry Can Save Money and Reduce Its Climate Impact

Climate Smart has identified $100 million in potential savings by 2020 for B.C. food & beverage businesses that reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (PDF, 4.8 MB).

See Climate Smart's report Carbon Emissions in BC's Food and Beverage Industry (6.3MB PDF) for another look at this Webinar's topic.

Christine VanDerwill, Client Relations Manager, leads the business engagement team at Climate Smart Business

September 2014

Geothermal Power - What is BC's Potential?

Our Earth stores an enormous source of renewable energy right beneath our feet: geothermal power.

Geothermal energy is delivering clean, base-load and low cost electricity in 25 countries as well as commercial heating in 70 countries.

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (PDF, 2.2 MB).

Presenter Alison Thompson has dedicated a substantial part of her career to investigating and demonstrating the technical and commercial viability of high enthalpy geothermal energy. Since 2007, she has been the Managing Director of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association.

June 2014

Germany's Path Towards 100% Renewable Energy Regions

In recent years, Germany has experienced a boom in local energy initiatives aiming at 100% renewable energy. This webinar offers an overview of progress, and highlight the strategies that have worked, including successful political decision-making, networking, courageous entrepreneurship, and citizen-led organizing.

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (PDF, 2 MB).

Beate Fischer M.A. received her degree in business administration at the Professional Academy in Mannheim, and her degree in political sciences and economics at the universities of Heidelberg and Manchester. After her studies, she did research at the University of Heidelberg on the institutional challenges of sustainable land use in Germany.

100 RE Regions in Germany, Europe and the World (in English and German) http://100ee.deenet.org/fileadmin/redaktion/100ee/Downloads/broschuere/Good-Practice_Broschuere_Inhalt_Web.pdf

This webinar was presented in partnership with CanREA - the Canadian Renewable Energy Alliance.

May 2014

Green Angels - Investing in a Sustainable Future

Say you are a green entrepreneur, and you have a great project that you believe can make a difference on the planet. How can a sustainable start-up like yours find the financing it needs to get going? What are angel funds, and how do they contribute? Can crowdfunding help? What are the main barriers to innovation and the financing of innovation? And what kind of businesses are they funding?

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (PDF, 0.6 MB).

Michael Volker is a Vancouver-based entrepreneur who is active in the development of new high technology ventures. A professional engineer, he started his own company (Volker-Craig Ltd) in 1973. He sold it in 1981 and decided to work with entrepreneurs in building new companies.

April 2014

The Future of Solar PV in BC

With solar prices falling and hydro prices rising, what is the current status of solar PV, and what is its future in British Columbia?

What does it cost to do an installation, and how much energy will it produce?

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (PDF, 6 MB).

Dave Egles is the founder of HES-PV. His career has been exclusively in the field of photovoltaics. He has a Masters Degree from UBC and in 1988 he founded a company to commercialize PV across Canada. In 2012, he was awarded the Canadian Solar Industry Association’s Solar Pioneer Award, and in 2013 he won the Solar Distributor of the Year Award.

March 2014

Win-Win Transport Solutions

This presentation describes win-win transportation solutions that are cost-effective and technically feasible, and planning changes that improve transportation modes, apply more efficient pricing, and create accessible, multi-modal communities.

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (PDF, 5.0MB).

Todd Litman is founder and Executive Director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transport problems.

February 2014

The Carbon Bubble - Unburnable Fossil Fuels

What is the limit to the cumulative emissions of carbon in the atmosphere, which we must limit if we are to remain below the dangerous 2 Celsius increase in global temperature?

See Guy Dauncey's edited summary of Carbon Tracker's work in 2013.

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (PDF, 3.6MB).

Presenter: Mark Campanale is Founding Director of The Carbon Tracker Initiative in London UK. He conceived and originated the ‘unburnable carbon’ thesis which was picked up by Bill McKibben in Rolling Stone Magazine and has since taken on huge global significance. He was editor of Unburnable Carbon, are markets carrying a carbon bubble?, and the 2013 Report Wasted Capital.

January 2014

Climate Action at the Local Level: Community Change-Makers in British Columbia

What are British Columbia's cities, towns and communities doing to tackle the climate crisis? There are some great initiatives and innovations happening on the ground.

  • 144 local governments are measuring their corporate GHG emissions
  • 31 local governments are carbon neutral
  • 40 carbon reserve funds have been established to fund local GHG emission reduction projects

Rob Abbott is Executive Director of Carbon Neutral Government, Green Communities and Climate Action Outreach for the Province of British Columbia

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (PDF, 1.8MB).

Rob Abbott is the Executive Director of Carbon Neutral Government and Outreach with the Province of B.C.’s Climate Action Secretariat.

December 2013

The Rossland Energy Diet - What are the Secrets of Their Success?

Two years ago, the residents of Rossland, a small town in BC’s West Kootenays, used to use 40% more electricity than average household: they were the ‘fattest’ energy town in the province.

Then something extraordinary happened. FortisBC PowerSense launched a seven-month, high-impact program to change that status, and persuade people to invest in energy efficiency, using the best tools in the book to remove barriers and persuade people to change. 

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (PDF, 1.5MB).

More about the Fortis BC Community Energy Diet program.

Patricia Dehnel, MCIP, RPP, has worked in the field of Community Planning since 1994.  In 2013 she has enjoyed a 1 year secondment to FortisBC as Program Manager of the Kootenay Energy Diet, a residential PowerSense program to encourage and support homeowners to do energy efficient upgrades to their homes. Kootenay Energy Diet is the regional version of Rossland Energy Diet.  

November 2013

Building a Passive House - The Practical Low-Down

Passive House at night

A Passive House building uses 90% less energy than conventional construction, and larger Passive House projects are now being designed and built in North America, following Europe’s lead.

Rob Bernhardt provides answers to these questions and discusses multi-family passive house projects being designed.

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (1.5MB PDF).

More information on the Bernhardt Passive website. See also last year's BCSEA Webinar on Passive Houses.

October 2013

British Columbia: A Climate for Change

LNG, Northern Gateway, CleanTech - What's their future for BC ?

In this BCSEA webinar presentation Andrew Weaver explores the potential opportunities and risks associated with BC's venture down the path towards becoming a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exporter.

He also provides an assessment of the current Northern Gateway proposal in the context of British Columbia's submission to the Joint Review Panel.

Watch the video on YouTube or see the presentation slides (1.4 MB PDF).

Dr. Andrew Weaver was elected as the Green Party of British Columbia MLA for Oak Bay Gordon Head in the May 2013 provincial election, He presently serves as the deputy leader of the Green Party or BC.

September 2013

100% Renewables - Roadmaps for powering states, countries, and the world with wind, water and sunlight

Global warming, air pollution, and energy insecurity are three of the most significant problems facing the world today. Our guest Mark Jacobson from Stanford University discussed these problems, and technical and economic plans to solve them by powering 100% of the world, individual countries, and states for all purposes, including electricity, transportation, industry, and heating/cooling, with wind, water, and sunlight together with efficiency measures, within 20-40 years. He discussed specific plans for California and New York State.

Watch the video on YouTube or view the presentation slides (PDF, 1.4MB). [2013-09-19 note: We have edited out the Webinar glitches in an updated on YouTube.]

Relevant papers are at http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/susenergy2030.html

Mark Z. Jacobson is Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University

June 2013

Algae Biofuels: Could They Fuel the World ?

Could products made from algae be a solution to the world’s energy, food, economic and climate challenges? Algae have the power to put fuels in our vehicles, recycle CO2, provide nutrition for animals and people and create jobs for millions.

Watch the video on vimeo or see the presentation slides (PDF, 7 MB).

Presenter: Dr. John Benemann is co-founder & CEO of MicroBio Engineering, Inc, a wastewater and algal biofuels research-engineering company, and founding Director of the Algae Biomass Organization, a non-profit society that promotes the development of viable technologies and commercial markets for renewable and sustainable products derived from algae.

For a BC perspective, see this 2009 paper by other authors: Microalgae Technologies and Processes for Biofuels / Bioenergy Production in British Columbia

April 2013

Climate Smart: Low Carbon from Small Business

Small Businesses As Catalysts for a Low-Carbon Economy

Join Climate Smart’s co-founder and president Elizabeth Sheehan, as she shares highlights from their work with small and mid-sized businesses.

Recently, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) commissioned Climate Smart to conduct a study into the costs/benefits of small-to-mid sized businesses 'going green' and reducing the greenhouse gases they emit. Climate Smart looked at over 500 BC businesses and produced 11 in-depth case studies on organizations in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. The results have surprised even PICS. See the Report 

View the video on YouTube or the presentation slides here (PDF, 6 MB).

Elizabeth Sheehan initiated and led the development of Climate Smart for Ecotrust Canada

March 2013

Electric Cars: How will we pass the tipping point?

John Stonier provided his insightful and first-hand knowledge of electric cars:

  • What are the key metrics to evaluate electric cars – for the environment; for the consumer’s pocket book; and for our economy?  
  • Will the electric car really take hold this time, and how is the automotive industry responding to electric cars?
  • What are the future trends to look for and how will the electric car affect the future?
  • Finally, a look at local EV developments and a review of the current Province of BC EV initiatives of rebates, building code requirements and building charging infrastructure?
  • Which organizations are leading the way, and how can you get involved?

View the video on YouTube

John Stonier, CA is an entrepreneur and business consultant who has provided financial leadership to a wide spectrum of high tech Canadian companies over the last 25 years including notable companies in telecom networks, internet and renewable energy.  Following his passion for a sustainable economy he has acted in a range of advisory and leadership roles with the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association, BC Sustainable Energy Association, Vancouver Renewable Energy Cooperative, and Solar BC.  John is also a member of the Vancouver Clean-tech CFO Group.

March 2013

Cargo-Bikes: Ting-a-Ling!

Cargo-bikes are the future! The European Cycle Logistics project has found that in urban areas, half of all light goods could be moved by bike, producing zero air pollution and many more smiles in our noisy, congested urban areas. Join us to learn what today’s cargo-bikes look like, what they can achieve, and why they are beginning to carve a slice in the urban goods transportation market.

View the video on YouTube or vimeo or the presentation slides here (PDF, 1.2 MB).

Our guest presenter Julian Ferguson is Communications Officer with the European Cyclists’ Federation, in Brussels.

January 2013

Biomass Heating - This Ain't your Grandpa's Old Wood Stove

This webinar looks at how woody biomass can be used effectively and sustainably to reduce fossil fuel consumption for commercial, institutional, municipal and micro grid district heating deployments.

Watch the webinar on YouTube or Vimeo or view the presentation slides here (PDF, 5 MB).

Presenter: David Dubois, Project Coordinator, Wood Waste to Rural Heat

November 2012

Transforming BCs Homes - 10 Innovative Energy Efficiency Programs

Residential energy efficiency is one area where BC is getting it right. Investing in the energy efficiency of our buildings creates green collar jobs, generates tax revenues, and reduces energy costs for families and businesses, as well as reducing our energy use and tackling climate change.

Watch the webinar on Vimeo or view the presentation slides here (PDF, 1.8MB).

Presenter: Peter Sundberg, Executive Director of City Green Solutions 

October 2012

UBC – A living laboratory for sustainability

The University of British Columbia has a long history of addressing sustainability, both in its campus operations and in its teaching and research. 

Watch the webinar on Vimeo or view the presentation slides here (1.9 MB PDF).

Presenter: Orion Henderson, Director of Operational Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. 

September 2012

Passive Houses in Canada and Around the World

Guido Wimmers discusses the experience of Passive House in Canada and shows the fundamental components of Passive House design.

View the presentation slides here (2.4 MB PDF).

View a video of the presentation on YouTube or vimeo.

Presenter: Guido is one of the initiators of Canada’s first Passive House in Whistler and has worked on Passive House projects all across Canada. He is also co-author of the Passive Design Tool Kit of the City of Vancouver and a founding director of the Canadian Passive House Institute www.passivehouse.ca.

August 2012

Charging Up - Infrastructure for electric vehicles in BC

Electric vehicles have arrived, and BC is plugging in. Will they play a role in your sustainable future? Find out what’s happening in BC to support electric vehicles, and learn about the Community Charging Infrastructure Fund that’s catalyzing a network of charging stations across the province.

Watch the Webinar on Vimeo or review her presentation slides (8 MB).

More info at: Plug in BC and http://www.fraserbasin.bc.ca/programs/community_charging_infrastructure.html

Charlotte Argue, B.Sc., CSP. is the Transportation Analyst, Climate Change and Air Quality for the Fraser Basin Council, a not-for-profit organization with a mandate for sustainability. In this role, she works with fleet managers to support improvements in environmental and economic performance.

July 2012

Our Changing Ecological Footprint

For most of the 20th century, resources were cheap and easily available, so many countries became dependent on large amounts of fossil fuels, biological resources, minerals and fresh water they don't have. As our global demand increases it is meeting a supply crunch, and it now takes more effort to harvest resources and water. Farming is becoming more fuel dependent, and basics such as food and fibers are becoming costlier.

The Global Footprint Network (www.footprintnetwork.org) documents these changing trends and has assessed their economic impact for 200 countries around the world, and their trading partners.

Mathis Wackernagel, Ph. D. is co-creator of the Ecological Footprint and President of Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability think-tank which focuses on bringing about a sustainable human economy in which all can live well within the means of one planet.

Watch the webinar on Vimeo. See Mathis' annotated presentation slides here.

June 2012

Expanding Energy Efficiency for BC Hydro: Lessons from Industry Leaders

What would it cost for BC Hydro to join North American industry leaders and save 2% of forecast electricity sales annually with an expanded investment in energy efficiency (Demand Side Management) ? See how much leading utilities elsewhere have spent and how much energy they have saved.

John Plunkett of Green Energy Economics Group in Bristol, Vermont describes several program recommendations that would increase BC Hydro’s cost-effective efficiency savings. This presentation summarizes highlights of the evidence that would have been presented to the recently cancelled BC Utilities Commission hearings into BC Hydro’s new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

Watch the webinar on YouTube or Vimeo or review his presentation slides.

May 2012

Alberta to China: What's the energy return ?

How much energy does it take to extract and ship a barrel of oil from the Athabasca to China ? Is it worth it ?

When the oil from the tar sands is scooped out of the ground, processed, piped across BC, and loaded onto a ship to China, how much energy is used up in doing so, and how does it compare to the energy in the oil?

Join Chris Peter (P. Eng, LEED AP, O&M) is founder of C.J. Peter Associates Engineering in Prince George

  1. A set of presentation slides from our Webinar (PDF, 1.0 MB)
  2. A written analysis submitted to the National Energy Board Northern Gateway pipeline hearing (PDF, 150 KB)
  3. Oral testimony at the January 18 hearing in Prince George, starting at paragraph 7228 (PDF, 390 KB)

We have posted a recording of the Webinar here: http://vimeo.com/bcsea/gatewayeroi

April 2012

Sustainable Aviation: Is it Possible?

Aviation has been considered by many in the climate movement to be incompatible with a livable climate for future generations.

Click here (2.6 MB PDF) to download the slides of the presentation, including a lengthy bibliography. Due to a technical error, the talk itself was not recorded, but we do have an audio recording of the questions at the end here (2.8 MB MP3 format) or here (4.8 MB Windows WMA format) .

Thomas Cheney is currently working towards a Master's degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, BC. 

March 2012

WindVision 2025: Prospects for Wind Energy in British Columbia

BC lags the rest of Canada and other countries in developing its wind energy resource despite BC's extensive and cost-competitive wind energy resources. But there will be a lot more wind energy in BC’s future.

See CanWEA's wind plan at: http://www.canwea.ca/windvision_bc_e.php

We have posted a recording of the Webinar here: http://vimeo.com/bcsea/windvision-2025

Nicholas Heap is BC Regional Director of the Canadian Wind Energy Association in Vancouver

February 2012

Transportation without Oil: 23 Steps to a Sustainable Energy Future

Can we travel and trade without oil? Oil is a non-renewable resource that causes climate change, war and fiscal debt, as well as pollution, habitat destruction and political corruption.

Guy Dauncey is the author of nine books, including the award-winning The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming (2009). He is Executive Director of the BC Sustainable Energy Association.

We have posted a recording of the Webinar here: http://vimeo.com/transport-without-oil

The presentation goes awfully fast, with 148 slides in 35 minutes, so you can review them here: Transport Without Oil.

January 2012

Global Warming Impacts of Natural Gas Fracking

Extracting natural gas from shale could do more to aggravate global warming than mining coal, according to a Cornell study published in the May issue of Climatic Change Letters (105:5).

While natural gas has been touted as a clean-burning fuel that produces less carbon dioxide than coal, but ecologist Robert Howarth from Cornell University warns that we should be more concerned about methane leaking into the atmosphere during hydraulic fracturing.

More on the topic here: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/April11/GasDrillingDirtier.html

We have posted a recording of the Webinar here: http://vimeo.com/bcsea/howarth-fracking  We recommend watching at 1:40 to skip a small problem we had with the Webinar software.

In the Webinar, Dr. Howarth mentions a paper in publication. A pre-publication draft is available as 'Venting and Leaking of Methane from Shale Gas Development:Response to Cathles et al.'

Presenter: Dr. Robert Howarth chairs the International SCOPE Biofuels Project, is Past President of the Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation, directs the Agricultural Ecosystems Program at Cornell University.

See Dr. Howarth's Home Page at Cornell: http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/howarth/

December 2010

Eco-Sense: A Modern Story of Sustainability

This webinar was not just a story of the house, presently referred to as the "The World's Greenest Modern House"; it is about the story of how Ann and Gord Baird got there, how they harnessed the power of sustainable technologies with justice and reverence, the work they are doing on policy and code, the research, and their lifestyle. You'll find this a fascinating and Inspiring glimpse of a future we now know can exist.

See the PDF of this splendid presentation below. CAUTION: it is 8Mbs in size!

November 2010

Vancouver Greenest City 2020

The City of Vancouver plans to become the world’s Greenest City by 2020. The City is about to launch a second phase of their community engagement process to prioritize the Greenest City draft actions and build capacity for their success going forward to implementation. As part of this process, webinar participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and offer comments on the draft Greenest City actions.

See the PowerPoint presentations below. And visit www.vimeo.com/bcsea to see the recording of this webinar.

October 2010

Energy Efficiency in Residential and Commercial Buildings

Energy conservation is the first essential step in reducing energy demand and limiting our environmental impact. Commercial and residential buildings are responsible for about 40% of our energy use and more than a third of our greenhouse gas emissions. Improving the energy performance of buildings is a cost-effective way of fighting climate change, improving energy security, and stimulating local job creation.

The presentations from this Energy Solutions Webinar are posted here:

The recording of this webinar will be available soon.

September 2010

BC’s Proposed Feed-In Tariff: Could It Be Better?

Around the world, the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) has proven itself to be the best way of stimulating the production of new green energy. Here in BC, the situation is slightly different since the existing big dams and BC Hydro’s Clean Power Calls will soon mean that BC’s electricity is close to being 100% renewable.

The provincial government has released a consultation paper on the proposed Feed-In Tariff, and public input is invited by September 30th. Many questions arise. Will it work for ocean energy? Will it stimulate BC’s geothermal sector? Why have solar and wind energy been left out?

The presentations from this Energy Solutions Webinar are posted here:

August 2010

Seven Ideas to Tackle Climate Change

The collapse of the Copenhagen climate conference, climate deniers convincing people that global warming is a hoax; and because of their success, no U.S. legislation to tackle climate change, and probable failure of upcoming UN climate talks in Cancun, it can all be very dispiriting.

New ideas are needed, not for the solutions, but for the way we tackle the problem. In this one-hour webinar, Guy Dauncey presents Seven Ideas to address this critical matter.

The recording of this webinar is now available for viewing on Vimeo.

Guy's presentation is also available here in PDF format:

July 2010

PACE Bonds - An Innovative Approach to Energy Efficiency Financing

San Francisco's country-leading PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy financing) Program. Johann Partin, Director of Climate Protection Initiatives in the Office of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, brought us up to date with the barriers thrown up very recently by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Dave Ramslie, Manager of the City of Vancouver's Sustainable Development Program, shared that jurisdiction's plans to advance its efforts to be the "Greenest City in the World" with PACE financing (among other tactics). He previewed how this form of financing could work in Vancouver, perhaps as soon as spring 2011.

A recording of this webinar is available for viewing on Vimeo.

May 2010

The Proposed Site C Dam

In this webinar, Ken Forest of the Peace Valley Environment Association presented the PVEA's case for the preservation of the Peace Valley. Tom Hackney and Guy Dauncey of the BC Sustainable Energy Association presented their analysis of BC Hydro’s power generation plans, and explored whether, for the same investment, wind energy might not supply more power with less environmental cost.

April 2010

Going Green: The Birth of a New Civilization with Guy Dauncey

Since the 15th century humanity has achieved some incredible successes, including the birth of science, the establishment of democracy, and huge reductions in poverty. The 21st century now demands that we turn our attention to the environmental crisis, and harmonize our lives with Nature. What does this mean for our buildings, transport, and local economies? And given the urgency of the climate crisis, how can we accelerate our transition to this new green economy? In this webinar, Guy Dauncey shared his thoughts about the big picture, and specific ways in which local communities can work to reduce their emissions by 10%.

This session was prepared for Sustainable Hudson Valley, a New York state non-profit that connects people with knowledge and each other to scale up sustainable energy, infrastructure, and economic solutions.

You may view PDF versions of an overview of Sustainable Hudson Valley and Guy's "Going Green" presentation (N.B. Guy's file is 12MBs in size).

January 2010

Electric Vehicles with Felix Kramer

There's a very fast-moving world out there, with many automakers planning to bring electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to market by 2012. What are provinces, states and cities doing to get ready - and is it enough?

Our special guest this month was Felix Kramer, the Californian entrepreneur and lifelong environmentalist who founded CalCars.org, which pioneered, popularized and led the charge for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Their work resulted in a $10 billion commitment to PHEVs by President Obama.

Felix reviewed emerging trends, opportunities and challenges for PHEVs in California, British Columbia and around the world. See a PDF version of his presentation here.

December 2009

Climate Leadership & Economic Prosperity

The David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute recently published the first Canadian study to examine the regional impacts of a strong climate policy on employment and the economy.

They found that with strong federal and provincial policies, Canada can meet the 2020 emissions reduction target designed to keep the global temperature from rising by more than 2°C and still have a strong growing economy, a quality of life higher than Canadians enjoy today, and continued steady job creation. Despite this positive message, the report received some very polarized and negative media attention.

This BCSEA Climate & Energy Solutions Webinar featured Matt Horne and Josha MacNab from the Pembina Institute presenting the report's findings, with a specific focus on BC. See their presentation here.

November 2009

District Energy & Strategies for Carbon Neutral Cities

In Sweden, 80,000 people in the Stockholm suburb of Hammarsby are being heated by District Energy - so what is happening in North America - and here in British Columbia?

November's BCSEA Climate and Energy Solutions Webinar was on District Energy - the pioneering method of providing heat to the buildings in a city neighbourhood by channelling waste heat from a nearby industry, sewage plant, or ice rink.

Our presenter was Tom Osdoba, Managing Director of the Center for Sustainable Business Practices at the University of Oregon College of Business. He gave an illustrated presentation on the emerging thinking about scale and new opportunities for capturing waste heat, and other novel sources of heat.

See the PDF of Tom's presentation here.

September 2009

Solar Hot Water: A Revolution for the Planet

Solar hot water is a very easy way for people to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. You may have seen a solar thermal panel on someone's home - but have you seen what's happening in Europe, where solar thermal space heating is beginning to take off? There are plans afoot that by 2030, 50% of Europe's space heating needs will be met by stored solar thermal energy.

In this webinar, SolarBC’s Nitya Harris and BCSEA’s Guy Dauncey will review what's happening, explain how solar thermal systems work, and tell you how you can benefit from the SolarBC program of grants and incentives to install a solar thermal system on your own roof.

July 2009

Leading Cycling Cities: Lessons from Victoria

Cycling is Victoria’s fastest growing mode of transportation, and not by chance. Expanding bicycle infrastructures coupled with effective promotion of commuter cycling have grown participation dramatically. During this month's webinar, our expert guests explained what Victoria has done to innovate and get new ideas about retrofitting for bicycle-friendliness.

See the event listing for more details.

June 2009

The Future of Transmission for Renewable Energy in BC

Where should BC’s future transmission lines be built? Two important planning processes - the Western Renewable Energy Zones initiative (WREZ) and the BC Utilities Commission's Inquiry into British Columbia's Long-Term Transmission Infrastructure - are underway to address this, both of which will have a significant influence on key government policy, including electricity exports and environmental protection. 

March 2009

Green Landlords: Tackling the Rental Housing Energy Inefficiency Conundrum

People living in rental accommodation in BC have to put up with some of the province's most inefficient buildings and high energy bills. The problem is well known, but solving it has defeated governments all across North America because of the notorious "split incentive" and a long list of other barriers. In this workshop Jamie Abbot, Director of the BCSEA's Green Landlords project, described the nine interconnected components that could create a permanent solution to the problem.

December 2008

Neighbourhood Electric Vehicles

Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV) are also referred to as Low Speed Vehicles (LSV) and as Neighborhood Zero Emissions Vehicles (Neighborhood ZEV). Designed to achieve a maximum speed of 40 km/h and travel a range of up to 60 kilometers, the NEV allows you to commute and transport goods emitting zero emissions.

November 2008

Using Wastewater for Heating, Cooling, and Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Enlightened cities are recognizing the obvious and subtle relationships between water, energy, food and climate change. They are reducing their operational costs and environmental impacts by recovering value from wastewater. This workshop showed how cities are doing this, and discussed the greenhouse gas implications of these recovery practices.

October 2008

Local Government: Front Lines of the Climate War

"Local Governments: Front Lines of the Climate War" focused on the upcoming municipal elections in BC and the many tools available to mayors and councils to effect climate and energy solutions within their cities and regions.

September 2008

BC Climate Action Team Report

On August 6, 2008, the Climate Action Team (CAT) issued its final report with 31 recommendations to assist BC in achieving its legislated emissions reduction targets of 33% by 2020. There is a link to the CAT report, and to the full BC Climate Action Plan, at www.livesmartbc.ca.

  • Naomi Devine, CAT member, University of Victoria Common Energy founder and BCSEA board member. Download a PDF of her presentation here.
  • Nicholas Heap, Climate and Energy Policy Analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation
  • Guy Dauncey, BC Sustainable Energy Association President

July 2008

Worlds on Fire: BC's Red Wood Fueling our Energy Desires

This month, BCSEA's Energy Solutions Teleworkshop brought a discussion of bioenergy & carbon budgeting: specifically, the issues raised by burning dead trees and wood waste for electricity and industrial heat. We were fortunate to have two expert guests sharing their information on the opportunities, risks and uncertainties this situation has given rise to:

  • Caren Dymond, a government scientist specializing in Forest Carbon Budget Modeling. Second author on Werner Kurz's recent article in Nature, reporting that many of BC's forests are currently a net source, rather than a sink, of carbon dioxide, severely affecting BC’s carbon balance for the next 20 years. Download a PDF of Caren Dymond's presentation here.
  • Dave Neads is a conservation and land use planning consultant and activist in the Cariboo-Chilcotin. He is vice-chair of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition, co-coordinating a conservation campaign in response to the MPB Epidemic and also a member of the Premier's Mountain Pine Beetle Provincial Task Force. Download a PDF of Dave Neads' presentation here.

June 2008

Biofuels: The Good, the Bad and the Sustainable

Initially heralded as a way to cut fossil fuel use and carbon emissions, biofuels are now condemned for threatening the destruction of native forests and vilified for provoking a world-wide food crisis. What is the skinny on these fats and oils from vegetable and animal sources?

  • Patrick Mazza, Research Director and founding member of Seattle-based Climate Solutions. Download a PDF of his presentation here.
  • Kees Schaddelee, Biofuels Coordinator for Columbia Fuels Inc. Download a PDF of his presentation here.
  • Don Goodeve of the Island Biodiesel Coop.

May 2008

Pricing Carbon: BC's New Carbon Tax

Introduced in the legislature on April 28, Bill 37 put BC in the forefront of jurisdictions putting a price on carbon fuels. We heard how this tax shift is intended to change behaviour to reduce emissions that cause global warming. With guests:

  • Nic Rivers, a principal of M.K. Jaccard and Associates, is an engineer and resource manager and co-author (with Jeffrey Simpson and Mark Jaccard) of Hot Air: Meeting Canada's Climate Change Challenge. Download a PDF of his presentation here.
  • Glen Armstrong, director of BC's Ministry of Finance Tax Policy Branch, Glen led the drafting of the Bill 37. Downloads a PDF of his presentation here.
  • Paul Flanagan, manager of income and other business taxes with the BC Tax Policy Branch.

April 2008

Deep Heat: Enhanced Geothermal

  • Dr. Jeff Tester, Professor of Chemical Engineering at M.I.T.'s Laboratory for Energy and the Environment.
  • Craig Aspinall of Western GeoPower Corporation.

March 2008

Municipal Climate Solutions

Our guest was Guy Dauncey, President of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, and author of the forthcoming book The Great Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions for a Post-Carbon World. As part of his recent research, Guy had been studying the world’s best municipal practices, and had organized them into 12 distinct sectors. He gave a web-based presentation, and then invited questions and discussion.

February 2008

The Future of Urban Transportation

After decades of taking energy for granted, we can no longer do so. Any discussion of energy must now acknowledge that supplies of fossil fuels are finite, and burning those fuels has unacceptable consequences for the world's climate. These are issues that will require changes, on an unprecedented scale, to how we produce and consume energy.

Transportation engineer and planner Stuart Ramsey explored these issues in an urban context, with a particular focus on transportation. He concluded with some strategies for dramatically reducing our oil consumption. These can be implemented quickly, at low cost, and with profound effects.

December 2007

Greening the BC Building Code

The Building and Safety Policy Branch (BSPB) was seeking public input on the following three proposals for changes to the BC Building Code. Public input was welcome until December 21, 2007. We had a government representative and a building expert to discuss the changes and the process by which we could influence future revisions.

November 2007

Wind Energy in BC

  • Juergen Puetter, Founder and CEO of Aeolis Wind Power Corp
  • Michael Margolick, Vice President, Power and Transmission Planning, of NaiKun Wind Development Inc.

October 2007

Microhydro Power in BC

The technology, the development and permitting process, and the environmental issues involved. :

  • Steve Davis, president of the Independent Power Producers Association of BC (IPPBC)
  • Bill Irwin, director of Land and Resource Management of the Plutonic Power Corporation
  • Tanis Douglas, ecologist and restoration specialist with the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, and author of Run-of-River Hydropower in BC: A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding Approvals, Impacts, and Sustainability of Independent Power Projects

September 2007

Solar Hot Water: How Can We Accelerate the Growth of Solar Hot Water in BC?

  • Nitya Harris, Project Leader of SolarBC, BCSEA’s solar project, and Project Lead for the BC 100,000 Solar Roofs Project
  • Jeff Knapp, Solar Program Officer, NRCan, spoke about other solar hot water programs in Canada

June 2007

Tidal and Wave Power in BC

This was a chance to learn more about what’s happening globally, and what the prospects are for ocean power here in British Columbia. 

  • Chris Campbell of the Ocean Renewable Energy Group here in BC.
  • Des McGinnes of Ocean Power Delivery in Scotland.

May 2007

Plug-in Hybrid EVs and Vehicle-to-Grid Power from Electric Vehicles

April 2007

The New BC Energy Plan

With Bruce Sampson, VP Sustainability, BC Hydro. Bruce Sampson was closely involved with the drafting sections of the Energy Plan relating to electricity and sustainable energy. He guided us through the new Plan, followed by time for questions and discussion. The Energy Plan can be found online at www.energyplan.gov.bc.ca