The true cost of unreliable renewable energy

Longer days are coming! Cheaper solar power, not so much

The true cost of unreliable renewable energyWe are constantly being told that wind and solar power are really cheaper than fossil-fuel power if you tot up the true costs of using each type. These arguments have always been dubious on their merits, if not outright disingenuous. Yes, the wind is free and the sunshine is free, but nothing about capturing either…

Hydrogen hype defies reality: it’s an impractical energy source

Dreams of a hydrogen future just another energy scheme to extract money from gullible governments

Hydrogen hype defies reality: it’s an impractical energy sourceOnce again, the world staged ClimateFest 26, aka the United Nations Conference of the Parties, where peddlers of alternative energy schemes try to plunge their dippers into the river of climate change funding that flows around the world. This funding is generated by governmental pledges cadged out of economically developed countries at prior COPs. One…

Nuclear fusion could solve our energy and environmental problems

Nuclear fusion could generate millions of jobs globally

Nuclear fusion could solve our energy and environmental problemsNuclear fusion has been a science-fiction fantasy for a long time, the holy grail of energy production. But it’s rapidly moving closer to reality. The process involves combining multiple atomic nuclei to generate energy, just as the sun does. That’s the opposite of nuclear fission, in which atoms are split. Canadian and British innovators are…

Geothermal research could lead to Alberta solutions to reducing CO2

Engineers, geothermal company partnering to produce clean energy using captured carbon

Geothermal research could lead to Alberta solutions to reducing CO2Developing an ultra-clean source of energy by using carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of water to pump geothermal heat up from deep below the Earth’s surface is one of a list of possibilities behind a new partnership between a team of University of Alberta carbon sequestration engineers and a burgeoning geothermal startup. Alberta No. 1, Alberta’s…

Abandoning fossil fuels plunging many Europeans into darkness

Natural gas in Europe rising to five times what it was in early 2021

Abandoning fossil fuels plunging many Europeans into darknessBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre With the recent rise in the price of natural gas in Europe to five times where it was in early 2021, expect to see many more Europeans and those in the United Kingdom plunged into what’s known as energy poverty. From Greece to Great Britain, the…

Climate summit forced to confront inconvenient truths

Movement to reduce global emissions toward net-zero is still too slow

Climate summit forced to confront inconvenient truthsWith the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow scheduled to open on Oct. 31, global powerhouses are coming up with their annual energy outlooks earlier than the customary November. With climate issues coming to the forefront at the COP26 summit, most of these reports and analyses are meant to help world leaders make decisions. But…

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thought

If aspirations and reality collide, always bet on reality

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thoughtIf you’ve been following international news lately, you’ll have noticed a new development. Europe and Asia are suddenly worried about energy. With winter coming, costs are soaring and there’s even concern about shortages that might trigger industrial shutdowns and endanger people’s ability to heat their homes. From an object of loathing and scorn, fossil fuels…

What the future of energy looks like

Underpinning it all, like the safety net to a secure supply, will be fossil fuels

What the future of energy looks likeThe kingdom of Queen Elizabeth I was humming along quite nicely when, around the mid-1500s, Her Majesty caught wind of an environmental crisis in the offing. The forests were disappearing. Wood was the first energy source and had been so for millenniums. But kilns of industry and hearths of homes had been eating up the…

Why wind and solar energy aren’t the answer to reducing global emissions

Wind and solar farms replacing the 84% of global energy from fossil fuels is technically impossible

Why wind and solar energy aren’t the answer to reducing global emissionsIn a previous column I pointed out that since switching coal-fuelled power plants to natural gas cuts CO2 emissions in half, exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to displace coal benefits our economy and reduces global emissions. And that since converting gasoline and diesel-fuelled vehicles and ships to natural gas cuts emissions by 25 per cent,…

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sector

Alberta program builds skills to take sustainable energy projects from concept to completion

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sectorA new certificate the University of Alberta started offering this fall will help fast-track workers into the province’s rapidly growing renewable energy sector. The Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) Certificate is the first of its kind in Alberta to offer learners the flexibility of online, part-time classes, without admission barriers. It can be completed in as little as…

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heat

New materials could harness energy from cellphones or body heat, and improve solar power, geothermal

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heatExtra heat is generated from any form of energy conversion – even with something as green as solar panels. But with up to 72 per cent of it left unused, there’s also great potential to harvest electricity from that waste. A University of Alberta researcher has successfully developed a way to figure out the chemistry…

Renewable energy myths busted

‘Wind and solar are cost competitive, or cheaper, than any of the conventional energy carriers'

Renewable energy myths bustedThe interest in renewable energy may be growing, but there are still many misconceptions out there. Pierre Mertiny, ’05 PhD, comes across these myths all the time. He’s a mechanical engineer and principal investigator with the University of Alberta’s Future Energy Systems. He’s here to share some facts. Myth 1: The technology isn’t fully developed.…

Geothermal energy could be generated from captured CO2, study shows

Discovery that technology is viable moves it closer to becoming part of a low-carbon economy

Geothermal energy could be generated from captured CO2, study showsUniversity of Alberta research is making new strides in discoveries about capturing and storing carbon – while yielding a high-value end product from carbon dioxide. A process that injects the greenhouse gas deep below ground, then circulates it to extract heat and geothermal energy, has proven viable in a feasibility study by U of A…

How the free market is driving an energy evolution

Things are changing faster, and for the better, than radical environmentalists recognize or acknowledge

How the free market is driving an energy evolutionA recent Globe and Mail story about a firm developing garbage-to-biodiesel technology shows how continuing progress makes the global warming extremists’ most hysterically apocalyptic predictions, and their extreme absolutist ‘solutions,’ not only grossly wrong but already likely obsolete. In the case of the company profiled, Cielo Waste Solutions Corp. is able to transform not just…

Who needs oil and gas in the next 30 years? Africa and Asia

Population and economic growth will continue. Absent a miracle, oil and gas will remain key

Who needs oil and gas in the next 30 years? Africa and AsiaBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre When the International Energy Agency (IEA) called for an immediate halt to all new oil and gas investment worldwide in May, it appears they neglected to account for two important realities: Africa and Asia. Those two continents have been in population and economic booms for decades.…

The extraordinary cost of the shift to green energy

Climate change purity is expensive

The extraordinary cost of the shift to green energyBig infrastructure plans in Canada, the United States and the European Union place a lot of emphasis on renewable energy displacing coal, gas and petroleum. Yet little attention is given to the one vital element that makes all these ‘green’ energy transition plans for power plants and vehicles viable: practical and affordable energy storage. Solar…

Natural gas offers the best way to meet emissions targets

G7 countries will further cripple their economies by pursuing their green energy fantasies

Natural gas offers the best way to meet emissions targetsAt their meeting in June, G7 leaders agreed to a greenhouse gas emissions target of “net zero” by 2050. That would require phasing out fossil fuels that currently supply 84 per cent of global energy. But how? The common reply is “putting a price on carbon,” i.e., carbon taxes. But unless there’s a viable alternative,…

Canada’s clean energy future must include nuclear

Ignoring its potential would be a missed opportunity

Canada’s clean energy future must include nuclearIn 1950, Canada faced a difficult choice between the desire to be a leader in the development of nuclear energy technology and the fear that such technology would bring the end of the world a little closer. Despite concerns related to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Canada elected to be in the vanguard. As…

Robbing Peter to pay Paul with energy subsidies?

There is no subsidy pot of gold going to oil and gas companies that can be diverted to renewable energy ventures

Robbing Peter to pay Paul with energy subsidies?By Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre When the issue of taxpayer subsidies for energy comes up – oil and gas and renewables alike – the public, policy-makers and media could be forgiven if they feel like they’re drowning. Endless decimal points and numbers that run into the trillions can make it near…

It’s not easy being green but we can get there

Wind and solar power won't magically eliminate the threats to our environment

It’s not easy being green but we can get thereBaruch Spinoza, a 17th-century philosopher, said the future and anything we can say about it is imaginary. He was right. Despite our best efforts to foresee what the future will bring, we really don’t know what is forthcoming until the future becomes the present. The challenge of climate change has focused our attention on what…

OPEC+, IEA clash over future of fossil fuels

IEA wants all investments in new developments to stop. Others warn that could lead to $200 a barrel oil

OPEC+, IEA clash over future of fossil fuelsThe Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies in OPEC+ are on a collision course with energy watchdog International Energy Agency (IEA) on at least two counts. Last month, the Paris-based IEA delivered the starkest warning yet on fossil fuels, saying the exploitation and development of new oil and gas fields must stop this…

Avanti Energy forges ahead with new helium discoveries

The future possibilities for helium seem infinite

Avanti Energy forges ahead with new helium discoveriesBy Pat Price Reporter Troy Media/TNW Avanti Energy Inc. (TSXV:AVN) (OTC:ARGYF) has assembled an expert team of former oil and gas employees, including eight people from the former Encana Corp. Several of those employees were part of the team during the early stages of the discovery of the Montney Formation, one of the premier natural…

Oil market shows signs of improvement but for how long?

Alternative energy and calls for the world to overcome its reliance on fossil fuels gaining currency

Oil market shows signs of improvement but for how long?The short-term prognosis for crude oil looks exciting. But that may be a mirage. The approaching summer driving season in the Northern Hemisphere and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions have stimulated demand. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies in the expanded OPEC+ appear confident that with the accelerating vaccination programs and…

Is a new world order on the horizon for the energy sector?

The IEA lays out recommendations for what needs to happen, and when, to transform the global economy from one dominated by fossil fuels

Is a new world order on the horizon for the energy sector?The world must act quickly on climate change, says the International Energy Agency. To meet the net-zero emission targets and limit the worst impacts of climate change, a sprint is absolutely essential, says the Paris-based IEA, the energy watchdog for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Reaching net-zero emissions will require a huge…

Innovative solar-powered oxygen system saving lives in Somalia

U of A researchers team with Grand Challenges Canada and World Health Organization to bring a health-care necessity to a Somalia

Innovative solar-powered oxygen system saving lives in SomaliaOn Feb. 5, minutes after she gave birth to her eighth child at the Hanaano General Hospital in Dusamareb, Somalia, 37-year-old Zahra’s (Editor's note: Name changed to protect privacy) heart sank. Her doctor explained her baby had birth asphyxia, which meant she was having difficulties in breathing. She had an oxygen rate of less than…

Researchers brewing up better ways to turn plant waste into ethanol

Researchers brewing up better ways to turn plant waste into ethanolUniversity of Alberta research is brewing up better ways to help ethanol producers make the most of plant waste they use to make their fuel. A process developed by researcher David Bressler’s lab in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences makes it possible to break down stubborn plant tissues to make clean-burning ethanol, and also creates a…

Plenty of blame to share in Manitoba Hydro debacle

After two decades of political and managerial incompetence, Manitoba is on track to lose the province’s best economic advantage

Plenty of blame to share in Manitoba Hydro debacleFormer Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall’s report on the Keeyask dam and Bipole III transmission line expansion is a damning verdict on Manitoba Hydro’s past boards and executives, and various Manitoba governments. While Wall’s public criticism concentrates on the NDP, there’s much room for the current Progressive Conservative government to share the blame. Premiers former and…

Project to create jet fuel from biowaste gets federal funding boost

Innovative research could provide a supply of renewable fuel

Project to create jet fuel from biowaste gets federal funding boostA potentially huge industrial project to create jet fuel from biowaste has received a $2.89-million funding boost from Natural Resources Canada. The investment, which includes $1.99 million in direct funding and $900,000 in in-kind contributions, will go toward setting up an advanced fuel-testing suite in lead researcher David Bressler’s lab and will also support the work of several…

Meeting Canada’s aggressive green targets a tall order

Speed and efficiency are not things that Canada’s lumbering and increasingly dysfunctional regulatory systems are known for

Meeting Canada’s aggressive green targets a tall orderBy Jock Finlayson and Denise Mullen Business Council of B.C. Building back ‘clean’ and ‘green’ means trillions of dollars of investment, and the electrification of many machines and activities that presently rely on fossil fuels – from personal vehicles and freight transportation to industrial processes. It’s not hard to understand the growing interest in electricity.…

U of A scientists ready to create compounds that will power the future

Research will further applications in everything from solar energy and next-generation batteries to cleaner mining and pharmaceuticals

U of A scientists ready to create compounds that will power the futureWhen Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev published the periodic table of the elements in 1869, he invented not only a roadmap for access to all known and future compounds, but also the “chemist’s playground.” “It’s our playbook,” said the University of Alberta’s Dennis Hall, a professor in the Faculty of Science and Canada Research Chair in Boron Chemistry…
1 2 3