Canadians have an inherent love for nature and the environment. This is most likely because they live on a land that is one of the least densely populated places in the world. Canada is a natural resource begging to be preserved, and Canadians realize and respect that. So they are innovative in its preservation methods, looking for alternative and renewable energy sources that will help not only preserve but hopefully restore the environment.
Canada is a global leader in providing renewable energy to its residents, continually moving to reduce ecological footprints created by industry.
Today’s renewable energy sources in Canada are extracted from the sun or heat within the earth. Types of renewable energy used in Canada and continuously being researched and developed by CanmetENERGY, Canada’s top research and technology organization in the field of clean energy, are
1. Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic (PV) Technology
3. Wind Energy
All of this seems to be a more significant concern than what homeowners would consider every day but allow me to bring this much closer to home.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) for Electricity and Solar Thermal Technology for Heat
Both Solar Photovoltaic & Solar Thermal processes both harness the sun for power, but PV powers electricity and thermal powers heating. Canada leads the world in solar renewable energy development and commercialization with seventy percent of the energy used in both residential and commercial units using solar thermal energy for heating. It has become Canadian’s favourite form of renewable energy because of its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), deregulate government control and ultimately restructure the control of the electric power generating companies in our country. This puts power back in the hands of the people, literally and figuratively!
You’ve seen these mirror-like grids that cover rooftops and adorn land masses but ask yourself “how do they work?” The grid contains an inverter that converts DC electricity from the solar panel to AC electricity which can be used by your household.
Although it seems residential incentive programs have dropped “off the grid,” Ontario is still committed to reducing its carbon footprint. The Green Ontario Fund recently announced a significant rebate for businesses that is inspired by the pledge Ontario has made to cut greenhouse gas pollution a whopping 80% by mid-century!
Hydropower or Hydroelectricity
The concept is simple yet invisibly working within the thread of our country and its communities. Moving water rotates a turbine shaft with the help of an electrical generator producing electricity with 90% efficiency! (the best fossil fuels are only at 60%!) The statistics around hydropower or hydroelectricity’s role in Canada though, are not simple, to say the least! Canada is a global POWERhouse, a net exporter of hydropower, being the third largest producer in the world! It is Canada’s largest renewable energy source with sixty percent of all the country’s electricity generated from it. Even small hydropower sources are either being connected to the main grids or used independently. Canadian researchers are even looking into marine energy or ocean resources to assist in this process, harnessing energy from river currents, tides and ocean waves to power these turbines even more. The possibilities seem endless. As Canadians, we don’t give much thought to where our electrical energy comes from but rest assured it’s coming, and we should be grateful for the advancements in renewable energy sources in Canada that have made our country a light to the industrialized world.
This is simply air which is converted to electricity by wind turbines, placed in locations with weather conditions perfect for energy generation. Canada’s geographical location creates ideal conditions for wind energy to work here. Essex County houses Canada’s largest wind farm. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable energy sources in the world, and while it only supplies 6% of Canada’s electricity, it is enough to power to sustain 3 million homes coast to coast! Plus, the technology behind this is making wind energy one of the lowest cost renewable energy sources available. It is no wonder so much research and development going into wind energy. Just take a drive through Essex County, through highway 3 or Kings Highway 401, and you won’t miss these goliath structures!
Other Alternative Energy Sources
Although only 6% of total energy produced in Canada is from bioenergy or biomass systems is another alternative energy source that is a growing interest. They are produced from living organisms and/or their by-products and emit low CO2 and reduce waste. Canada is dedicated to research and development of many renewable energy sources, and you will continue to hear about them in future years.
Although not economically feasible yet, Canadian’s can look forward to a future where more net-zero energy (NZE) homes are built, designed to actually produce at least as much energy as they consume on an annual basis. These concepts renewable energy sources seem simple but the science behind perfecting them for the fast-paced world we live in today, is certainly not. One thing is for certain; you can rest assured that Canada is representing you well in reducing its carbon footprint. Please also do your part by always choosing Energy Star products and making small contributions within your home like insulating properly, sealing air leaks and installing programmable thermostats, just to name a few. The masses of people contributing to a worthy cause, equal one large effort achieved!