Provincial gov’t policy changing future of prairie power

As the old Bob Dylan song goes, the times they are a-changing. In terms of public policy, changes can be as dramatic as weather. Only months ago, Alberta elected a new government in the midst of a downturn in the oil economy. Rachel Notley’s NDP government came up with a new plan regarding energy in […] Read more

Hawaii relies on imported fossil fuels resulting in high energy costs, making solar power an attractive alternative.  |  Will Oddie photo

Renewable energy changeover easier with incentives

Most of us likely agree that using renewable energy is a good idea, at least in principle. However, many people don’t want to sacrifice too much to make that happen. Others don’t like the aesthetics of a renewable energy installation or they don’t have a place to incorporate such a system. So how does an […] Read more

Toyota’s Prius is an example of hybrid technology that is catching on in rural and urban environments.  |  Will Oddie photo

Hybrids more suitable than electric vehicles for cold prairies

Mention cars and we typically think of fossil fuel powered vehicles: gasoline, diesel, propane or natural gas. Electric cars might seem like a recent invention, but more than a century ago, none other than Ferdinand Porsche developed a vehicle that used a gasoline engine to power a generator, which in turn ran an electric motor […] Read more

Spray foam is popular in residential construction for its speed of application.  |  Will Oddie photo

Best ways to keep heat in, cold out

Fibreglass was the standby material for construction insulation for decades. It looks like cotton candy and is actually made in a similar way, although from hot sand rather than sugar. Fibreglass was used in insulation applications of all sorts: wall cavities and ceilings in residential construction and roofs in commercial installations. It found its way […] Read more

A cost comparison of small-scale wind power systems and solar systems showed solar is more economical and reliable.  |  File photo

Small scale wind or solar more economical? It’s no contest

Just as the wind can roar and then subside, so can the fortunes of the machines designed to capture its energy. A few years ago, it seemed that wind had the edge over solar in kilowatt hours produced per dollar invested in residential projects. For Sask-atchewan, that resulted in a brief but intense love affair. […] Read more

Ontario is the only province in Canada to offer incentives to businesses and residents to install solar energy systems.  |  File photo

Politics behind solar panel prices divides makers and installers

Those of you following renewable energy may have noticed that solar photovoltaic panel prices have dropped dramatically in the last two years. In fact, they are now half the price or less. That doesn’t mean that most readers will have seen roof after roof of solar installations. This is because most Canadians live in jurisdictions […] Read more

There are several websites and magazines that provide detailed information on home construction using solar energy. | File photo

Getting green education lifelong learning process

Learning doesn’t stop at the school doorway. A wealth of knowledge is available to us today from both traditional forms of information and the newer internet-based information sources. It is equally true for those interested in green building and renewable energy. It is up to each of us to search and distill what we find. […] Read more

The window has a strong association for humans. It serves as a practical way to look through walls and a metaphorical way to look into the human soul. It speaks to obstruction or transparency when we say, “you make a better door than a window.’’ In architectural terms, windows serve to ensure that we can […] Read more

The Canadian Solar Association proposes a federal 30 percent investment tax credit. | File photo

Canadian solar industry promotes solar energy strategies

There isn’t one collective association that represents all renewable energy interests. Renewable energy operates in sectors such as biofuel, biomass, wind and solar, and each sector association is a self-promoter. Each develops goals and objectives that they believe represent themselves positively and uses a variety of means to ensure that its message is heard. Each […] Read more