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From off-the-grid to on-the-stream

Green Business Canada welcomes Siddha Mahajan Lavania as our new Asia Editor and correspondent. A clean energy technology and policy professional, she is going to introduce us to the evolving clean green business and lifestyle from this region of the world that majority would not get to experience.

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Imagine Travelling Across the Prairies on a High-Speed Train

Imagine getting from Edmonton to Calgary within 90 minutes and for less than $100 or Saskatoon to Winnipeg or Regina to Calgary; we see a network connecting Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg. Now imagine you’re sitting back and watching the scenery with a glass of wine and a buttery, flaky croissant in your hands while someone else drives at 300 KMH. This reality is much closer than you may think.

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Water problems pose new threats & opportunities

The decision made by the City of Montreal to dump an estimated 8 billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River during the late autumn of 2015 was, to say the least, unsettling.

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Edmonton Folk Music Festival rocks energy efficiency

Joni Mitchell, David Byrne, k.d. lang, Joan Armatrading, Passenger, Michael Franti, Blue Rodeo, John Hiatt, Elvis Costello—after attending the Edmonton Folk Music Festival for 22 years, I have seen more cool music there than I have elsewhere in my entire life. It’s not the place I was expecting to find an innovative story about energy efficiency.

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Alberta Agriculture and Forestry aerobic digestion technology

Before launching Green Business Canada, I spent so much time in the deep-fried chicken business; the lesson I learned was that you cannot make chicken salad from chicken-shit.

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Sustainival, the world’s first green carnival

Life may be a carnival, but at Sustainival you can’t “walk on water, drown in the sand or buy a watch real cheap,” as the song goes, but you can take the Green Beast challenge, learn about climate change, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

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Home builders embrace net-zero with new labeling program

Until quite recently net-zero homes were pioneered mostly by an early adopter group of passionate, mission driven home builders pursuing the holy grail of a self sufficient home that produces all of its own energy.

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Brazeau County – Solar in oil country

Until quite recently net-zero homes were pioneered mostly by an early adopter group of passionate, mission driven home builders pursuing the holy grail of a self sufficient home that produces all of its own energy.

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Vulcan builds Canada’s first solar park

It seems fitting that Vulcan, Alberta is home to the first solar park in Canada. After all this small town of fewer than 2,000 people loves making science reality out of science fiction. They built a replica starship enterprise, and a space station-styled visitor centre while declaring themselves full-on Trekkies.

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PACE financing created $3.4 billion in energy efficiency projects in U.S.

Currently, the biggest barrier to people and organizations investing in energy-efficiency upgrades and renewable energy on their buildings is access to affordable financing. That’s according to Brian Scott, an Edmonton developer and Leigh Bond, an entrepreneur who has been working on geothermal and energy efficiency projects for the past decade. That’s why they are both advocating for bringing PACE financing to Alberta.

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Dawning of the age of affordable net-zero homes

Welcome to the future, a time when your home is energy self sufficient, very comfortable and produces almost no utility bills. Landmark Homes of Edmonton, Alberta has announced one of the lowest-priced net-zero homes in Canada. The Pisa sells for $399,737 all in (incl. GST), a real breakthrough in the evolution of buildings that produce all their own energy on a net-annual basis.

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Skeena – Canada’s largest passive house

Welcome to the future, a time when your home is energy self sufficient, very comfortable and produces almost no utility bills. Landmark Homes of Edmonton, Alberta has announced one of the lowest-priced net-zero homes in Canada. The Pisa sells for $399,737 all in (incl. GST), a real breakthrough in the evolution of buildings that produce all their own energy on a net-annual basis.

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Workers want a just energy transition

Blue Green Canada is an unlikely alliance of labour unions and environmental groups who learned that there was much to be gained by working together rather than at odds. Take the situation in Alberta right now. Alberta’s Climate Leadership plan aims to accelerate the shutting down of the province’s remaining coal plants. Instead, 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030.

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Nova Scotia has created the first energy efficiency utility in Canada

What’s that old saying, a penny saved is a penny earned? Nova Scotia really took this idea to heart in 2010 when it created Efficiency Nova Scotia (ENS). EfficiencyOne is the franchise holder of ENS and the first energy efficiency utility in Canada.

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Solar Thermal 101 – getting to net-positive

“He wanted as much solar power as he could get on that building so we’ve maximized the density,” says Jackman. Maximizing density in this case meant installing six solar thermal collectors to produce heat and hot water and five kilowatts of solar PV to produce electricity.

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Saskatchewan solar co-operative brings power to the people

On the roof of the Two Twenty building in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan are 90 solar modules comprising a 27.5 kilowatt solar system, the very first project built by the newly-formed SES Solar Co-operative. The co-op is an offshoot of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES) that works on conservation, sustainability and yes, energy issues. In fact, in its early days the SES fought the construction of a dam on the Churchill River. The society offices are in the Two Twenty building, a co-working space for social innovators in Saskatoon.

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Prince Edward Island rocks wind power

Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in Canada. It’s known for Anne of Green Gables, mussels, lobster and some “bright red mud” as Stompin Tom Conners called it in his song Bud the Spud, about the red earth that grows one quarter of all the potatoes in Canada. But, perhaps less famous, for lack of a catchy theme song, is that Prince Edward Island (PEI) also has the highest proportion of wind power of any jurisdiction in North America.

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Vitoria-Gasteiz: Spain’s green capital is made for walking

Change is hard. Green energy enthusiasts talk a lot about creating more sustainable cities, reducing emissions and greening up our lifestyle. But then we toil away inside the bubble of our geography and culture while the inertia of our traditions resists innovation. Shedding this inertia, we flew to Vltoria-Gasteiz (or VG) in the Basque Country ofSpain to take a look at the 2012 European green capital. I was looking for a shake-up, some stimulating ideas for creating new sustainable cities that are resilient, beautiful and oozing with livability.

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Earthship living in a cold Canadian winter

When we last visited the Kinney Earthship it was a smokin’ hot 30 degrees Celsius outside. Michael Reynolds and his crew from Earthship Biotecture, along with a group of volunteers, were just finishing work on this radically sustainable home. An earthship is an off-grid home that produces its own energy, captures its own water, treats its own wastewater, grows its own food and passively collects the sun’s energy for heat.

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Green Energy: The highlights of 2015

“Alberta is going to move away from coal and towards clean power,” said Premier Rachael Notley when, in November, she announced a sweeping plan to accelerate the phase out of coal electricity and replace two thirds of it with renewable energy by 2030. She also said Alberta will put a price on carbon pollution and reinvest the money in clean research and technology, green infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

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