It seems so natural that BC should be a leader when it comes to wind power. We have such huge resources, especially in BC’s northeast, but we seem to be stuck at 390 MW, compared to over 2,000 MW in Ontario and 1,648 MW in Quebec, which has similar constraints of huge hydro resources and cheap power.
There’s another 548 MW lining up to enter the grid by 2016, for a total of 938 MW, but compared to BC’s total power capacity of 43,000 MW, it’s still small game. In the same timeframe, Quebec will bring on 2500 MW.
Energy Connections broke new ground this year, tackling the difficult but inspiring topic of community empowerment. People from across BC, heralding from various different backgrounds and industries, united under one roof for a day of information, inspiration and engaging dialogue.
Looking back on the event as a whole, it is difficult to envision a more appropriate keynote speaker to kick off this incredible day; a day marked by passionate and like-minded individuals learning from one another and engaging in the broad vision of sustainable energy.
The BCSEA Kamloops Chapter held a film night on May 25. This was the latest in a monthly series called Films For Change, sponsored by the Thompson Rivers University Sustainability Office and in its second year. The Sustainability Office provides the venue and marketing assistance for a sustainability-related community group to show a film every month. Admission is by donation with proceeds going to the community group.
Inside a sprawling single-story office building in Bedford, Mass., in a secret room known as the Growth Hall, the future of solar power is cooking at more than 2,500 °F. Behind closed doors and downturned blinds, custom-built ovens with ambitious names like “Fearless” and “Intrepid” are helping to perfect a new technique of making silicon wafers, the workhorse of today’s solar panels. If all goes well, the new method could cut the cost of solar power by more than 20 percent in the next few years.
Siemens has conducted a review of its wind turbine technology to determine the actual environmental impact of wind energy, from manufacturing through construction and operation. The company’s study found that both onshore and offshore “showed outstanding results."
The study investigated two offshore wind farms comprising 80 turbines, and two onshore wind projects comprising 40 turbines.
The initial findings are that land-based wind farms pay off faster than their more powerful-yet-construction-intensive offshore cousins.
The Global Wind Energy Outlook 2014, co-published by the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace, has found that global wind capacity could reach 2000 GW by 2030, meeting 20% of the global demand. Growth is versy strong in China, and India is also looking to wind.