10.25.16

Four Policies to Quickly and Significantly Reduce Canada’s Carbon Footprint

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:35 pm by Administrator

The road to a sustainable energy environment in Canada will require complex and politically untenable policy changes and will take decades to implement – right?

Maybe not! Here are four government policies that can be implemented in short order that would begin a radical de-carbonization of the Canadian economy. And none of them involve a carbon tax or huge government investments.

Policy: Update building codes to require that all new commercial/industrial buildings and all new residential housing developments implement geoexchange. Provide low-interest loans for retrofitting existing buildings with this technology.

Impact: All impacted buildings would use approximately 50% as much electricity as compared to traditional HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning) systems.

Cost: Essentially no cost. The increased up-front cost to developers would be repaid through lower utility bills over the life of the building.


Policy: Impose a fee for single-occupancy vehicles entering the downtown cores of major Canadian cities (similar to the London, England congestion fee). At the same time create a government vetted registry for car-pooling and expand funding for public transit.

Impact: Substantial reduction in congestion and commute times recovering lost productivity as well as resulting in lower taxi fares and reduced pollution and related health issues.

Cost: The initial cost of setting up the system will be recovered within a few years of operation and will then generate revenues going forward based upon the London experience.


Policy: Establish a Federally funded “regional grid balancing” initiative that will coordinate large-scale hydro developments with expansion of wind generation. For example, Site “C” in BC as well as potential hydro projects in Northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba could provide balancing services for vastly expanded wind development in the prairies. Implement “Unpumped Storage” to increase the ability of the hydro projects to support wind.

Impact: Expanded wind generation with reliable hydro backup will result in the reduction and eventual elimination of coal-fired generation in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Cost: These projects can be self-financing through a combination of modest electricity rate increases and direct Federal and Provincial support through long-term, low interest loans for construction of the projects.


Policy: Provide support for the development of energy storage solutions through the elimination of grid transit fees for electricity going into storage and by providing a feed-in-tarrif for electricity retrieved from storage.

Impact: This policy will attract private capital to large-scale storage projects by supporting viable business cases. Utility-scale storage would support further expansion of wind energy which will be the primary source of energy in a de-carbonized Canadian economy. Canada will become a world leader in the development of energy storage technologies.

Cost: Minimal cost. The introduction of higher cost (because of the FIT) energy from storage will be offset by the declining wholesale cost of electricity that is associated with introducing large amounts of wind generation.

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