March 9, 2014

Improvements In Green Energy

Improvements to alternative energy sources mean that many are competitive with standard harmful sources.

With a little imagination, a willingness to do things differently, and armed with efficient and affordable methods, there are few reasons for continued reliance on scarce and dirty fossil fuels.

Sustainable small scale energy generation projects, coupled with energy conservation practices, can go a long way to reducing our reliance on centralized generating stations that often have a monopoly in the areas they operate.

Solar, geothermal, biofuel from rotting waste, wind, and micro-hydro and others are all ways we can take advantage of improvements in green energy technology at home. Residential energy use is very important, and accounts for 22% of consumption globally, about as much as the entire transportation sector.

Most of the power generation (90%) in British Columbia is from hydroelectric generating stations. The rest comes from two gas-fired thermal plants, and one combustion turbine station.

This is where my electricity comes from. Hydroelectric
is considered green, but has it drawbacks, too.
Photo: Jordan River Dam

Our grid power is generated locally in a hydro station on nearby Jordan River, just up the coast. While our household does not currently generate any of our own power using alternate sources, we are very careful about conserving and have lowered our consumption over the years.

Good thing we are using less because as of April 1 this year the price of electricity will be going up 9%. Similar increases are planned for the next several years, and that is no joke. It is time for some new and improved solar panels and a small wind turbine... once we have a yard in which to put them.

Do you know where your power comes from? Are you using any alternative energy sources, either grid power or on your own? Do you have plans to incorporate green energy in the future?

"Respondents to the survey strongly supported policy options to promote sustainable fuel substitution, but less than 1 percent actually signed contracts to pay a premium for ‘green electricity’ when given the opportunity." 
- The Residential Energy Efficiency Project in Waterloo Region (REEP) 1998


  1. We cannot use solar power or wind at our current townhouse, alas, but I do pay to support our local green energy department of our power company. One day in the future when we have our own place, we want it to be fully sustainable for energy. In the meantime we work hard at decreasing the amount of energy we're using. This winter we weren't as good as we should have been on the heat. :(

    1. Adge Lockhart,

      Congratulations on A) knowing where your energy comes from, and B) putting your green ($$) towards green energy. That is walking the talk.

      This winter was brutal cold in many places, which takes a toll on energy use. I would like to have a wood stove for winters such as these, plus passive solar and a solar furnace.

      When we are able, we will be trying many exciting green alternatives.

      Fully sustainable energy at home is a laudable goal, and one which we will be shooting for when we have our tiny home and homestead.


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