Good News From Regina Landfill

I did not expect this to ever be finished. I remember it being talked about at a green expo put on at Lakeview United Church last decade. There was some sort of issue with the supplier chosen at that time, and the project was delayed.

Congrats to the City employees who made this worthwhile project happen. It’s the first somewhat-renewable power generation project in the history of Regina.

Now, onto bigger and better things, I hope. The City still has some catching up to do.

Global Regina is claiming that it inches toward 50% renewables while burning what is essentially a fossil fuel (methane). This isn’t a good way to think. Rotting things in the landfill will not remain constant once we compost properly and methane production goes way down. Only 50 years of gas left for this engine, is the estimate. That’s assuming Wastegina ever gets that program going.

If you want the true picture of what direction SaskPower is inching, or rather galloping, toward read this:

Ode For a Sidewalk

Give us a sidewalk?

No.

Give us a sidewalk.

It’s a medium priority.

Give us a sidewalk!

Sometime in the future.

Give us a sidewalk, a cycle track, bus route, and safe streets!

Now!

#YQRcc Thinks You Need No Additional Rights

Our City Council is being awfully stingy with your rights. They don’t think you should have a right to a clean environment, so are delaying a non-binding commitment to support the Blue Dot movement calling for a Canadian constitutional change. They are literally more concerned with the supposed costs to the City, than about your health and safety.

Regina members of the Blue Dot movement, which is seeking to get the right to a healthy environment added to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, are frustrated by delays at City Hall and councillors wanting more information on what they consider a no-brainer.

Six months after the local chapter of the Blue Dot movement called for such action, and for the city to pressure the provincial and federal governments to recognize this right, too, administration has reported back that it wants to do more research on the matter.

“At this point, what further information is needed?” asked Blue Dot organizer Kelly Husack at Wednesday’s executive committee meeting, stressing that the declaration is non-binding.

She added that “one should not pretend this motion matters to Regina City Council if it does not.”

It doesn’t matter to most Councillors, obviously. And that is shameful for Regina.

Back To Blue Dot

Adding to earlier discussion about the Blue Dot movement’s appearance at City Council last month, there’s an article by Fingas in the Leader Post.

Paul Dechene also unloads on Council’s hypocritical messages sent by their focus in the meeting.

…our city council postponed signing onto a declaration saying that a healthy environment is a human right because they needed to get a report from administration about the possible implications from being party to such a declaration. You know how it is, signing on to a non-binding feel-good doc like that isn’t something you leap into recklessly.

…fleet additions he argued against.

Too late.

Wind and Solar To Grow in Saskatchewan

More details are set to be released by SaskPower on Monday, but it will take quite the investment. Currently, only a quarter of the province’s energy is drawn from renewables, mostly wind and hydro. Geothermal isn’t used at all, nor are there any large-scale solar operations.

Only about 400 homes and businesses in Saskatchewan use solar as a back-up energy source. One of those users is John Klein in Regina, who had panels installed in April. In the summer they produced “as much power as the home was using,” though that’s dwindled as the sun sinks lower and days shorten.

The panels were quite the investment — around $8,000 after a rebate — but Klein is confident they will have paid for themselves in a decade or so.

Renewable energy advocates have long pointed to Saskatchewan as the ideal place for wind and solar power — we’re sunny, we’re windy, and we have a whole lot of space. With a similar climate, North Dakota has managed to up its wind generation to 17.5 per cent of all in-state generated electricity.

We could build an industry in Saskatchewan that has a future after oil.

Alberta’s bound to be more ambitious than our Sask Party government when it comes to reducing air pollution.

Here are the stats for my solar array in Regina. As you can see, the lower angle of the Sun in November clips neighbours’ trees a fair bit, and a power pole shadow even gets in the way a little bit.

It would be useful if SaskPower and the Prov’ Gov’t put as much public consultation into this plan as they did for the UDP. There were people during the UDP calling for a Renewable Energy consultation that “could be just as biased” toward renwables, as the UDP was toward nuclear power. We’re going to need the province’s best minds working on this solution to the government’s objective of 50% in 15 years, and also the input of people who don’t understand the problem very well so they can learn more about it and come to understand the solutions.

Province Commits to 50% Renewable Energy

Sent to my Councillor today:

Dear Councillor Young:

Toronto now has a target to eliminate emissions causing climate change. Saskatchewan has just pledged to make half of our power from renewable sources by 2030. How does the City intend to help meet this aim? What policies and new budget items help the City generate electricity and reduce greenhouse gases?

Sincerely,
John Klein

Brad Wall On “Sustainably Developing Our Energy Resources”

Brad Wall says “…we need to do better in terms of more sustainably developing our energy resources…”

Unfortunately what he means is he wants to find ways of ensuring fossil fuels and uranium come out of the ground at an increasingly profitable pace, no matter the world’s demand/need for such things.
Greg Fingas views it as such, too.

He notes that oil pride goes “Before the fall”. (Although technically oil prices have already fallen.)

The government’s climate change policy works like this: extract every last drop of fossil fuel then pray to God that no one uses it.” – G. Monbiot
I’ll add that they hope no one uses it, so long as someone first buys it. Perhaps we need to consider if the economic system is capable of delivering what Wall says he wants for our society.

I wouldn’t have as big a problem with the SaskParty’s development of Wall’s favoured energy resources if they also put money and thought into doing a better job of sustainably developing our energy resources – all of our resources, like wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro.

“It (coal/oil) employs people right across Canada, indirectly and directly. And yes, we all hope that fossil fuels will one day not be needed, but in the meantime they are — 2013, 80% of the world’s energy was, came from fossil fuels, after all of the world’s projected climate change measures are done by two (zero) thirty five (2035), the number’s 57%.”

It’s 57%, if we as a species fail to avert climate change. If our political leaders make an effort to save us, then it can be less than 10%.

“Coil, coal and oil, will still be a part of, it makes a big part, more than half of the mix of generating energy.

We have a chance as a country to play a big part in that, in terms of reducing the carbon footprint of energy development. We should be a little prouder than we are of the resource, and understand that programs like equalization and all the rest are funded by a strong economy and in our country a big part of a strong economy has been energy.”

Proud that Saskatchewan is a world leader in carbon pollution per capita? Wall’s right that Saskatchewan has a chance to play a big part in reducing the carbon footprint, but he’s barely begun. Aside from the billion tax dollar giveaway to Cenovus at the SaskPower CCS power plant, he’s spent insignificant time/money on wind or solar energy resources.

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