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Old Nov 12th, 2008, 07:59 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by iJohnHenry View Post
Let's all stick an A-coil in the sewer system in front of our houses.

Never freezes down there.
A lot of work being done in that area in terms of heat recovery. The False Creek Olympic development is heavy into recycled heat from sewage.
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Old Nov 12th, 2008, 11:23 PM   #22
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As I plan on building a home in the next few years, I've been doing some research into what new technology has to offer. The plan is to be "off-the-grid" as much as possible and to use as many alternative sources of both energy and construction methodology to reduce consumption and improve efficiency.

One site I found that has a very good overview of what is currently available is the tech inventory at toolbase. Plenty of ways to go.
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Old Nov 13th, 2008, 11:17 AM   #23
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Good news!

Solar at Sea: Chinese Cargo Ships Will Have Solar Sails.

The Australian company, Solar Sailor, has signed a deal with the largest Chinese shipping line COSCO to outfit their tankers with large solar-powered sails controlled by a computer that angles them for maximum wind and solar efficiency and the company claims that the sails will pay for themselves within four years.
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Old Nov 13th, 2008, 11:49 AM   #24
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Perhaps we've judged China too quickly? They seem to be trying.
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 08:45 AM   #25
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Red face Fission is always a problem

Fission always has the problem of long term storage, like 5000 years long term storage.

There will be people who want to bury the waste deep underground, away from populated areas. The problem is that typically, populated areas are at the bottom of water sheds and the "remote" storge areas are at the top. So any leakage poisons the whole watershed for thousands of years.

To get what the Ontario mind set would be, one just has to look at Toronto garbage.

First they wanted to put it in Innisfil, just south of Barrie, not quite out of sight out of mind and adjacent to Lake Simcoe.

When this did not fly, it was send it to the Adam's mine in Kirkland Lake and put it in a 400 foot hole. This is right at the top of the the watersheds feeding both the Ottawa River system going to the St. Lawrence and the Moose River System feeding down to James Bay. Any toxic leakage would have been a catastrophe.

When that didn't fly, well they just shipped it to the states.

What's wrong with Etobicoke, or Scarborough, or even better, North York? ... NIMBY - and Because We Can.

It would be the same with these reactors.

Fusion when possible is the way to go. The holy grail of power production.

What I do like on this proposal is the scale change. It will make OPG shake in their boots. You could actually have independant grids, lack of control, resulting drops in salary..... and on and on.

Renewable is coming. Much of the technology is there and more coming every day. What is lacking in North America is political will. There is a lot of money at stake in not having a well distributed, multiple small scale power source. MY fear is that as Europe embraces renewable and puts money into it, we will be left irrovacably behind as a mere last chance purchaser rather than as a designer, manufacturer and distributor of these products.

Last edited by Lichen Software; Nov 15th, 2008 at 08:53 AM. Reason: NIMBE to NIMBY
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Macfury View Post
I would like to see utiities offering geothermal systems on a predictable interest loan over the long term, and paying them back on the utiity bill.
From the sounds of things, you are more likely to see something from other groups, like the CMHC or the OPA or something... there are some financial incentives out there, but trying to find them can be confusing, and then in some cases the application process is difficult.

The mandate for encouraging geothermal is still in its infancy.
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Old Jan 11th, 2009, 09:08 AM   #27
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Interesting take on Obama's plan for an Energy "Quick Fix":

Obama's energy quick fix bound for the slag heap

"And now Al Gore is telling us," Prof. Smil says, "that the United States can completely repower its electricity generation in a single decade ... can produce 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable, carbon-free sources within 10 years." He does the math to show that such a transition would cost more than $4-trillion (U.S.) - and would still fail. It is physically impossible, he says, to do six decades of rebuilding in 10 years. Such romanticism, he says, is delusional: "None of the promises for greatly accelerated energy transitions will be kept."
Also revealing were the stats on coal vs oil usage.
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Old Jan 11th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #28
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While the article makes decent points it ignores the fact that it is only a handful of nations that are the issue - not the entire world.

Bringing undeveloped nations and even most developing nations into the analysis is dishonest.

Sweden is committed to complete carbon neutral by 2025 and their record of achieving goals is clear - leading the world year after year.

Could the US do it??....maybe on a war footing ( which just might be forced on them )...

Can it be done without nuclear?? - a ridiculous idea as Sweden acknowledged by cancelling it's plan to retire nuclear stations. France is along way toward carbon neutral with their nuclear/electric train system and much lower carbon footprint.

Smil is bang on with this...

merely eliminating the most obvious forms of waste from U.S. energy use -- making us as efficient as Europe -- would accomplish the same thing far more cheaply and far more rapidly (with considerable health benefits from reduced pollution, I might add).
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Efficiency is the low hanging fruit.

Ontario is in a position very similar to Sweden with base load mostly covered by nuclear and hydro.

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Portland near the top in reducing carbon footprint - Portland Business Journal:

type of program to change building codes and eliminate inefficiency ( retrofits etc ) could be undertaken here if the dumbass politicos could actually agree on something.

There is a ton of economic activity to be generated in doing so.

Monday, September 8, 2008
Report: ‘Green’ investment could add jobs in Oregon
Portland Business Journal

A $100 billion investment in the green economy could mean $1.2 billion and more than 27,000 new jobs for Oregon, according to a report to be released Tuesday.

The report, entitled “Green Recovery — A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy,” was prepared by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the Center for American Progress.

The effort — backed by a variety of interests, including labor unions, think tanks and environmental groups — examines how private and public investments in a transition to clean energy could spark economic growth.

A $100 billion program combining tax credits and loan guarantees for private businesses, along with direct public investment, could create 2 million U.S. jobs over two years, according to the report.

In Oregon alone, it says 27,307 new jobs could result.

The effort has a list of big-name backers. They include John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Clinton and current CEO of the Center for American Progress; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Leo Gerard, president of United Steelworkers International.
The obvious place for Canada to start is Toronto with the both the light rail plan and retrofitting all the multiple occupancy buildings.

In Australia and the web site is out of date.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #29
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Salt solution: Cheap power from the river's mouth

"Salinity power" exploits the chemical differences between salt and fresh water, and this project only hints at the technology's potential: from the mouth of the Ganges to the Mississippi delta, almost every large estuary could produce a constant flow of green electricity, day and night, rain or shine, without damaging sensitive ecosystems or threatening fisheries (see map). One estimate has it that salinity power could eventually become a serious power player, supplying as much as 7 per cent of today's global energy needs.
Very interesting.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 05:55 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by MacDoc View Post
The obvious place for Canada to start is Toronto with the both the light rail plan and retrofitting all the multiple occupancy buildings.
Good luck with the retrofitting. Seriously, it's a ugly issue... and you can't sell it as "right thing to do."

Upfront costs are big, no one can guarantee payback periods, incentive programs are scattered and very cumbersome, the options for retrofitting are confusing, organizing large renovations are difficult, tenants get really pissy about living in a building under construction, plus it's often the tenants who have a huge influence on the efficiency of a building.... there's a longstanding joke in this business about tenants keeping the heat turned up on high and then opening the windows.

Believe me, we do a lot a retrofitting, probably more than the average Toronto landlord, and it's a headache.

Institutional investors aren't necessarily in it for the long-term game... a longer than expected payback is not okay. Cheaper to sell than fix it, plus they are frequently too far from the day-to-day to know what can be done.

Single investors may not have the means or knowledge or time to do it.... or even care. Lots of family landlords in Toronto--many are dying off and leaving the buildings to the kids, who neither know what to do with it nor care... we acquired one such building, it had the original 50 year old single pane windows on it. Owner did not care about improving the cashflow, only about having to fork over the money to fix it. Not many people wanted to buy this building because so much work was involved in cleaning it up.

On a more positive note, however.... have you see the Mayor's Tower Renewal plan? A very interesting read. It sets some overall goals for retrofitting multi-unit buildings.
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