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Archive for the category “Canada”

Home Gardening – A Glimpse of the Future

People turning their ordinary garden in a vegetable garden. We did it as well. A freezer full with food from your own garden and powered by your own solar panels, that’s a new quality of well-begin.

Gepubliceerd op 14 dec. 2015

“I’m not a millionaire but I feel like one,” declares Gabriel Pliska. This Vancouver, B.C. urban farmer gives a tour of a residential front yard garden, including planted boxes in the boulevard strip beside the curb. Several homeowners provide him yard space and water for cultivating veggies, flowers, herbs, wildlife habitat and beauty. They receive beautifully tended gardens all year round (and some produce, too!) Gabriel harvests veggies for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes and sells the surplus at a weekly growers market. Gabriel’s “hyper-local” enterprise is achieved almost entirely on bike. We finish with images of his “guerrilla garden” on an unused railway spur, accompanied by a music track of with his own lyrics “Garden Nostalgia.” Episode 298.

Cars Don’t Belong in the City

Canadian Oil Sands – Kjell Aleklett Visits Fort McMurray

Crane Lake

The chairman of ASPO Kjell Aleklett reports of a recent visit to the Canadian oil sands mining operation in Fort McMurray.

[Google Maps] – Fort McMurray

[] – A visit to the heart of Canada’s oil sands industry – Fort McMurray

The road Fort McMurray to Fort McKay passes the heart of the Canadian oil sands industry.

I travelled from Fort McMurray to Fort McKay, a distance of 58 km. Along that route I passed near part of the heart of Canada’s oil sands industry including Suncore Mine, Syncrude Mine and Shell Mine.

map-mcmurray-mckayEn route impressions.

Before I arrived in Fort McMurray I had no real understanding of the size of the area from which oil sands are mined. If one draws a circle of 50 km radius then that will encompass the heart of the mining activity. A little less than I had imagined… Places where industrial activity is ongoing, especially where mining activity is occurring, are not pretty to look at. The oil sand mining along Highway 63 is a clear example of this. But they show also that it is possible to rehabilitate these areas.

02-mcmurrayOriginal undisturbed landscape. What an empty space!

The oil production rate is currently 1.9 million barrels per day (Mb/d). The current lower oil price makes it uncertain whether this production rate will increase. In our 2007 publication we predicted maximal possible production from the oil sands in 2015 at 3.5 Mb/d so it is clear that current production is not following our “crash programme scenario”. According to Canada’s prognoses production in 2025 will be 4.5 Mb/d, a rate that seems far from possible…. In the OSCA text on the oil sands they give Canada’s producible oil reserves as 173 billion barrels, of which the oil sands represent 168 billion. If the production rate increases to 2.7 Mb/d then sufficient oil sands exist for over 150 years of oil production.

Installed Wind capacity: 9 GW. Plan until 2025: 55 GW (20% electricity).
Hydro electricity: largest in the world.

Editor: report confirms that from an energy perspective, Canada is probably the country one needs to worry about least. Low population density, lots of hydro-power, lots of space with large wind power potential.

[] – Fort McMurray

Canada’s First CSP Plant

[] – Canada’s first concentrated solar thermal plant

Canada Is Most Important Energy Partner to U.S.

With all the US sabre-rattling vis a vis the Gulf region over the past decades, one would expect that the Gulf is the most important supplier of oil to the US. Well, it is not, Canada is. In fact Canada exports nearly twice as much oil to the US as Saudi-Arabia does.


The diagram shows that the US is in a relatively comfortable geopolitical position when it comes to energy security, as more than half of its supply originates from the western hemisphere, and as such threatened by no one and access is limited only by the scruples of the US military, which is even at shorter supply than the oil involved.

So why all this US interest in the Gulf region? Take a look at this map (see page 9 source, the explosive German army peak-oil study):


After the demise of the USSR, the US is the only political entity left with global hegemonic ambitions. Although the US does not have the resources to occupy every piece of land on the globe, it does have the resources to control access to ca. 3/4 of the world’s fossil fuel reserves (mostly sealanes), confined to a relatively small part of the world (‘strategic ellipse’ as the German army study calls it). Control the oil, control the oil dependent nations.


Vaclav Smil on Energy Transitions

Youtube text: Vaclav Smil of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Manitoba, discusses Energy Transitions in this lecture which was part of the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI)Equinox Summit, hosted by the Perimeter Institute. Uploaded August 2012.

[] – Can We Live again in 1964’s Energy World?

Read more…

Ontario achieves energy goals earlier than planned

Ontario, Canada now has 1200 windturbines in operation. This should be doubled in the next few years. In the end that figure could be as high as 6,400. Ontario’s original goal was to have 10,700 megawatts of power from wind, solar and bio-energy in place by 2018. An Energy Ministry spokesperson said it appears that target — enough energy to power millions of homes — will be hit three years earlier, by 2015. At the end of 2013, we will decide whether to raise the 10,700-MW target,” he said. Citizens are not amused and fear for the value of their property. Read more…

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