This week in Clean Energy Review, wind energy rises again, geothermal gains momentum, and Saskatchewan misses the #energyrevolution memo.
VANCOUVER COMMITS TO 100 PERCENT RENEWABLE ENERGY FUTURE
1. The City of Vancouver last week voted to joined a select club of major urban centres that have committed to a goal of 100 percent clean energy. A council motion, adopted unanimously last week, directs municipal staff to develop a timeline for meeting all of the city’s energy needs—buildings, transportation, power, the works—from renewable sources. “Cities, as the most direct level of government, need to take action,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson introducing the motion. Councillor Andrea Reimer (pictured above), the motion’s sponsor, said “the moral imperative is to act to prevent disaster, but also to act for hope, to provide future generations with hope.” Staff will report back this fall with a timeline for the transition. [Coverage: Vancouver Sun op-ed, Vancouver Observer, DeSmog Canada, Clean Energy Canada statement.]
2. VEHICLE ELECTRIFICATION “PIVOTAL” FOR REDUCTIONS: Coal-reliant provinces such as Alberta and Nova Scotia can benefit from electric vehicles if they lower their utility emissions below a threshold of 600 tonnes of CO2 per GW/hr, a new study concluded.
LEARN MORE about the City of Vancouver's commitment to 100 percent renewable energy at our upcoming free webinar, The Urban Frontier: Webinar on the Opportunity for Cities in the Global Energy Revolution. Deputy city manger Sadhu Johnston will answer questions on the new goal. Register today!
3. SASKATCHEWAN TRAPPED IN THE 19th CENTURY: Absent policy leadership, clean-energy investors are largely giving the province a pass, the Star Phoenix reported. Despite abundant wind and sun, it has “put most of its money behind so-called clean coal.”
4. WIND SURGES BACK: Wind energy posted a remarkable recovery in 2014, with developers installing 42 percent more gigawatts worldwide than the previous year. The tally: 51.2 new GW of capacity last year, for a cumulative total of 372 GW.
5. ANOTHER REASON TO LOVE MISSISSAUGA: Atlantic Wind & Solar completed a $3 million utility-scale solar installation in the Ontario city. The 2,300 panels are expected to deliver 12,500 MW/h of clean electricity to the grid over the next 20 years.
6. DRILL, BABY, DRILL: Within three years, Borealis Geopower intends to throw the switch on British Columbia’s first geothermal power plants, the company’s chief geologist said last week. “Geothermal is my energy superhero,” noted Craig Dunn (pictured).
7. IS OTTAWA PASSING THE BUCK?: Provincial governments are taking the lead on climate policy, but that may not be what Canadians want, wrote The Globe and Mail’s Shawn McCarthy. Provincial action could create political cover for sluggish federal policy, he noted.
8. AN OUNCE OF FISCAL PRUDENCE: The Bank of Canada should assess the risks the country faces from over-valued fossil fuel assets as an exercise in “fiscal prudence,” U.K. legal researcher and urbanist Hamish Stewart opined in the Vancouver Observer.
9. U.K. CARBON EMISSIONS PLUMMET: The U.K.’s CO2 emissions fell nearly one-tenth last year, the steepest drop since 1990. Coal use declined, and renewables supplied nearly one-fifth of all electricity. Activists said more work remains to meet climate targets.
10. BEIJING TURNS OUT THE LIGHTS ON COAL: Beijing will shut down the last of its four major coal plants next year in a bid to reduce air pollution. The move will cut annual coal use by 9.2 million tonnes. (Will somebody please get Edmonton on the phone?)
Andrea Reimer photo by Zack Embree. Craig Dunn photo via Facebook. Did you miss last week’s Clean Energy Review? Catch up here.
FRONT BURNER: This week, the International Living Future Institute hosts its Living Future unConference 2015 in Seattle, Washington. Tomorrow is also the Nominations Deadline for the Scotiabank EcoLiving Awards.
April 8: The Business of Carbon Pricing in Ontario, hosted by Sustainable Prosperity, TSX Gallery, Toronto.
April 13-15: The Future of Energy Summit, hosted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, New York.
April 14-15: REC2015, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
April 23: The Urban Frontier: Webinar on the Opportunity for Cities in the Global Energy Revolution, hosted by Clean Energy Canada.
April 27-28: CanWEA Western Forum, hosted by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), Vancouver, British Columbia.
April 27-28: Hydrogen + Fuel Cells 2015, hosted by the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Vancouver, British Columbia.
May 7: Earthkeeping: A Climate for Change with Katharine Hayhoe, hosted by A Rocha and Regent College. Sponsored in part by Clean Energy Canada.
May 11: Ontario Climate Consortium 2015, hosted by the McMaster University Centre for Climate Change, Hamilton, Ontario.
May 13-15: Global Learning Forum, hosted by Renewable Cities in partnership with Clean Energy Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia.
May 14-15: Forum on Hydropower, hosted by the Canadian Hydropower Association, Ottawa, Ontario.
May 20: Clean Energy Investments: Powering BC's 21st Century Economy, co-hosted by Clean Energy BC and the Vancouver Board of Trade.
May 25-27: Solar Ontario, hosted by the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA), Niagara Falls, Ontario.
June 10-13: International Student Energy Summit, hosted by Student Energy and Institute Teknologi Bandung, Bali, Indonesia.
June 19: Future Cities Conference, hosted by Pathways 2 Sustainability, Calgary, Alberta.
December 7-8: Solar Canada, hosted by the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA), Toronto, Ontario.
Clean Energy Review is a weekly digest of climate and clean energy updates from across Canada and around the world—plus a peek over the horizon. If you received this from a friend, you can subscribe yourself here. Mitchell Beer assembled this digest in Ottawa.