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Found 61 results

  1. Questerre Energy a annoncé mercredi que le forage du puits de schiste bitumineux Gentilly, dans la région de Bécancour, avait été couronné de succès, et qu'il produisait plus de 800 000 pieds cubes par jour. Pour en lire plus...
  2. Corn-based ethanol: The negatives outweigh the positives JEFFREY SIMPSON From Wednesday's Globe and Mail July 30, 2008 at 7:58 AM EDT Canada's governments have done something really stupid in subsidizing corn-based ethanol, and requiring its increased use, but apparently cannot correct their mistake. As a policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, corn-based ethanol is a poor option; as a farm subsidy program, it's also a poor bet. Making matters worse, corn-based ethanol takes corn-for-food out of production, and moves land from other kinds of production into corn, thereby adding to what are already rising food prices. Governments, here and in the U.S., thought they were doing great things for the environment and helping farmers, too. Ethanol policy was, to quote the Harper government, a "win-win." Actually, it was a lose-lose policy for all but corn producers, who, naturally enough, have rallied furiously to protect their good fortune. Many researchers have exposed the follies of subsidizing corn-based ethanol production, the latest being Douglas Auld, in an extremely well-documented paper for the C.D. Howe Institute. Mr. Auld has surveyed the research literature about the putatively beneficial effects of corn-based ethanol on replacing gasoline. The theory is that such ethanol produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline from a vehicle engine. Indeed, it does, but that simple statement ignores what energy is required to produce a litre of ethanol. When the so-called "lifecycle" of ethanol production is counted, Mr. Auld concludes (as have many others) that ethanol doesn't lower GHG outputs. Remember, too, that ethanol delivers less energy per litre than gasoline, so more litres of production are required to move a vehicle a certain distance. Mr. Auld, therefore, correctly concludes, "It is clear from the evidence to date that there is no consensus regarding the efficacy of corn-based ethanol either to reduce GHGs or reduce overall energy demands." But we aren't dealing with "evidence," rather with political optics from governments wanting to look "green" and from a desire to help farmers. And so, the Harper government replaced the previous special tax exemption for ethanol to a producer credit that will cost the country about $1.5-billion. To this sum were added loans, biofuel research grants plus mandatory ethanol content requirements. In other words, the government pushed up the supply of corn-based ethanol through subsidies, then pushed up the demand through regulation. Provinces got in on the act, offering producer credits and mandatory ethanol content requirements. Putting the provincial and federal policies together produced whopping advantages for ethanol of about $400-million a year. For such money, Canadians might expect at least some decline in greenhouse gas emissions. They will be disappointed. There will be few reductions, and Mr. Auld estimates that these might cost $368 a tonne - way, way higher than other per-tonne costs for eliminating carbon dioxide, the main climate-warming gas. By contrast, one part of the Harper government's proposed climate-change policy would see big companies that do not meet their intensity-based reduction targets paying $15 a tonne into a technology fund. World prices for carbon offsetting these days are about $30 a tonne. However, even if this form of ethanol is a climate-change bust, at least it's great for farmers. Not so fast. It's a boon to the corn producers, but to supply all the additional demand for ethanol, up to half the current farmland for corn will be used. As more land is diverted to corn for ethanol, there will be less corn for human and animal consumption. So whereas corn producers will gain, livestock producers will suffer. As their costs rise, so will the price of their products to consumers. It's wrong to blame the rush to ethanol for rising food prices here and abroad. Let's just say the rush contributes to the problem. Mr. Auld estimates that if you take the direct subsidies for ethanol production of $400-million a year, and add the costs of higher food to consumers, the wealth transfer to corn-based farmers could soon be about $800-million. It's the classic case of subsidies distorting markets: One group gains and mobilizes all of its resources to protect its gains, insisting these gains reflect the public good; whereas in reality almost everyone else loses but doesn't complain. So we have a silly policy with hundreds of millions of dollars going down the policy drain, achieving none of the objectives the politicians claimed.
  3. Canada's inflation rate jumps to 3.1 per cent Canwest News Service Published: 1 hour ago OTTAWA - The annual rate of inflation in Canada jumped to 3.1 per cent in June, the biggest rise in almost three year years, fuelled by soaring gasoline prices, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. Most economists had expected an overall inflation rate last month of 2.9 per cent from a year early, compared with a year-on-year increase of 2.2 per cent in May. "Gasoline prices increased 26.9 per cent between June 2007 and June 2008, significantly higher than the 15 per cent advance posted in May," the federal agency said. "June's increase was the largest since the 34.7 per cent gain reported for September 2005, when hurricanes Katrina and Rita disrupted the oil market," it said. "June's increase reflected both recent increases in pump prices, as well as the fact that gasoline prices had been on the decline in June 2007." On a monthly basis, inflation rose 0.7 per cent in June from May. "In addition to gasoline prices, mortgage interest cost, bakery products and air transportation also exerted strong upward pressure on the consumer price index in June," Statistics Canada said. Prince Edward Island and Alberta posted the biggest gains in consumer prices, rises 4.7 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, the core rate - which strips out volatile items, such as energy and food, and is used by the Bank of Canada to gauge inflation - rose by 1.5 per cent in June, the same rate as the previous month. On Tuesday, Statistics Canada reported that retail sales rose by a less than expected 0.4 per cent in May, with virtually all of the increase due to higher prices, especially for gasoline. However, Canadian consumers - thanks to the strong Canadian dollar - have not been as hard hit by rising prices for food and fuel. As well, pump prices have fluctuated over the past few months from the $1.20 range upwards to nearly $1.50 a litre, driving down consumption. The Bank of Canada's target for inflation is between one and three per cent, although it expects the rate to peak at 4.3 per cent early in 2009. The central bank has held its key lending rate steady at three per cent for the past two months after a series of reductions in an effort to spur spending amid an economic slowdown. However, the bank has signalled it is now balancing the need to encourage growth without fuelling inflation. "The sting of the steep pick-up in headline inflation is lessened by the fact that the Bank of Canada was already so public in calling for an eventual peak of more than four per cent by the turn of the year," said BMO Capital Markets economist Douglas Porter. "A further correction in energy prices (on top of the $20 drop in crude oil in the past two weeks) would go a long way to further dampening concerns about lofty headline inflation readings," he said. "With core holding steady at 1.5 per cent in June, right around where the bank looks for it to average in Q3, there's really not much to chew on here from a monetary policy stance." The Canadian dollar trading around 99 cents US following the inflation report, little changed from its Tuesday close of 99.16 cents US. Percentage change (May to June / June 2007 to June 2008): All-items +0.7 / +3.1 Food +1 / +2.8 Shelter +0.6 /+4.7 Household operations and furnishings 0.0 / +1.3 Clothing and footwear -0.5 / -0.6 Transportation +1.8 / +5.5 Health and personal care +0.1 / +0.7 Recreation, education and reading 0.0 / +0.4 Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products +0.2 / +1.6 Goods +1.1 / +2.5 Services +0.3 / +3.7 All-items excluding food and energy 0.0 / +1.2 Energy +4.4 / +18 Source: Statistics Canada Percentage change (May to June / June 2007 to June 2008): Newfoundland and Labrador +0.8 / +3.1 Prince Edward Island +0.5 / +4.7 Nova Scotia +0.6 / +4.2 New Brunswick +0.5 / +2.1 Quebec +0.4 / +3.1 Ontario +0.5 / +2.8 Manitoba +0.8 / +2.4 Saskatchewan +0.7 / +3.4 Alberta +1.5 / +4.4 British Columbia +0.7 / +3 Whitehorse +0.9 / +4.5 Yellowknife +0.8 / +4.5 Iqaluit +0.6 / +2.3 Source: Statistics Canada http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=8187d0e4-0761-4d7e-a550-ad9f55369ca1
  4. The New York Times July 15, 2008 Country, the City Version: By BINA VENKATARAMAN What if “eating local” in Shanghai or New York meant getting your fresh produce from five blocks away? And what if skyscrapers grew off the grid, as verdant, self-sustaining towers where city slickers cultivated their own food? Dickson Despommier, a professor of public health at Columbia University, hopes to make these zucchini-in-the-sky visions a reality. Dr. Despommier’s pet project is the “vertical farm,” a concept he created in 1999 with graduate students in his class on medical ecology, the study of how the environment and human health interact. The idea, which has captured the imagination of several architects in the United States and Europe in the past several years, just caught the eye of another big city dreamer: Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. When Mr. Stringer heard about the concept in June, he said he immediately pictured a “food farm” addition to the New York City skyline. “Obviously we don’t have vast amounts of vacant land,” he said in a phone interview. “But the sky is the limit in Manhattan.” Mr. Stringer’s office is “sketching out what it would take to pilot a vertical farm,” and plans to pitch a feasibility study to the mayor’s office within the next couple of months, he said. “I think we can really do this,” he added. “We could get the funding.” Dr. Despommier estimates that it would cost $20 million to $30 million to make a prototype of a vertical farm, but hundreds of millions to build one of the 30-story towers that he suggests could feed 50,000 people. “I’m viewed as kind of an outlier because it’s kind of a crazy idea,” Dr. Despommier, 68, said with a chuckle. “You’d think these are mythological creatures.” Dr. Despommier, whose name in French means “of the apple trees,” has been spreading the seeds of his radical idea in lectures and through his Web site. He says his ideas are supported by hydroponic vegetable research done by NASA and are made more feasible by the potential to use sun, wind and wastewater as energy sources. Several observers have said Dr. Despommier’s sky-high dreams need to be brought down to earth. “Why does it have to be 30 stories?” said Jerry Kaufman, professor emeritus of urban and regional planning at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “Why can’t it be six stories? There’s some exciting potential in the concept, but I think he overstates what can be done.” Armando Carbonell, chairman of the department of planning and urban form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Mass., called the idea “very provocative.” But it requires a rigorous economic analysis, he added. “Would a tomato in lower Manhattan be able to outbid an investment banker for space in a high-rise? My bet is that the investment banker will pay more.” Mr. Carbonell questions if a vertical farm could deliver the energy savings its supporters promise. “There’s embodied energy in the concrete and steel and in construction,” he said, adding that the price of land in the city would still outweigh any savings from not having to transport food from afar. “I believe that this general relationship is going to hold, even as transportation costs go up and carbon costs get incorporated into the economic system.” Some criticism is quite helpful. Stephen Colbert jokingly asserted that vertical farming was elitist when Dr. Despommier appeared in June on “The Colbert Report,” a visit that led to a jump in hits to the project’s Web site from an average of 400 daily to 400,000 the day after the show. Dr. Despommier agrees that more research is needed, and calls the energy calculations his students made for the farms, which would rely solely on alternative energy, “a little bit too optimistic.” He added, “I’m a biologist swimming in very deep water right now.” “If I were to set myself as a certifier of vertical farms, I would begin with security,” he said. “How do you keep insects and bacteria from invading your crops?” He says growing food in climate-controlled skyscrapers would also protect against hail and other weather-related hazards, ensuring a higher quality food supply for a city, without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Architects’ renderings of vertical farms — hybrids of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Biosphere 2 with SimCity appeal — seem to be stirring interest. “It also has to be stunning in terms of the architecture, because it needs to work in terms of social marketing,” Dr. Despommier said. “You want people to say, ‘I want that in my backyard.’ ” Augustin Rosenstiehl, a French architect who worked with Dr. Despommier to design a template “living tower,” said he thought that any vertical farm proposal needed to be adapted to a specific place. Mr. Rosenstiehl, principal architect for Atelier SOA in Paris, said: “We cannot do a project without knowing where and why and what we are going to cultivate. For example, in Paris, if you grow some wheat, it’s stupid because we have big fields all around the city and lots of wheat and it’s good wheat. There’s no reason to build towers that are very expensive.” Despite its potential problems, the idea of bringing food closer to the city is gaining traction among pragmatists and dreamers alike. A smaller-scale design of a vertical farm for downtown Seattle won a regional green building contest in 2007 and has piqued the interest of officials in Portland, Ore. The building, a Center for Urban Agriculture designed by architects at Mithun, would supply about a third of the food needed for the 400 people who would live there. In June at P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center in Queens, a husband-wife architect team built a solar-powered outdoor farm out of stacked rows of cardboard tube planters — one that would not meet Dr. Despommier’s security requirements — with chicken coops for egg collection and an array of fruits and vegetables. For Dr. Despommier, the high-rise version is on the horizon. “It’s very idealistic and ivory tower and all of that,” he said. “But there’s a real desire to make this happen.” ---------------- Peut-être pour Dubai en premier? Et le silo no.5, un de ses jours?
  5. Icon of city's night sky going high-tech The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago The iconic clock atop the Molson Canada brewery tower facing downtown Montreal has gone high-tech. Over the past several weeks, the neon tubing in the clock and company logo were replaced with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, providing an energy-saving source of light that is more direct as well as higher in output and lower in wattage. The switch will allow Molson to save 72 per cent of its energy consumption to operate the largest functioning timepiece in the province at 13.8 metres in diameter. "Our hexagonal clock in the shape of the original label for Molson Export has been an iconic figure on the Montreal landscape helping keep the tempo for neighbours for more than 50 years," said Serge Chevrier, who is responsible for its upkeep. "Every year, in case of a break or during maintenance, many residents of the Ville Marie borough call us to say the Molson clock isn't working and asking when it will be functioning again," Chevrier said. "It seems the clock is essential to their daily lives." Molson spokesperson Marie-Hélène Lagacé said the beermaker is swamped with calls twice a year when the time changes and the clock isn't immediately adjusted. She said it takes up to 48 hours to make the necessary changes to the clock, which was built in 1950. Lagacé said Molson made the change to reduce its environmental footprint. LED lights last six times longer than neon lights, yet consume only 28 per cent as much energy.
  6. Which Are The World's Cleanest Cities? Robert Malone, 04.16.07, 12:10 PM ET In Pictures: The World's Cleanest Cities There is clean and then there is clean. In the world, as a rule of thumb, the North is clean and the South is dirty. Indeed only two of the top-25 cleanest cities in the world are below the Equator--Auckland, New Zealand, and Wellington, New Zealand. The cleanest cities are largely located in countries noted for their democracy and their industrialization. The only Asian cities represented are in Japan. There are no top-25 clean cities in South or Central America, Africa and Australia. The U.S. has five of the top 25; Canada, a strong five, with the top spot its city of Calgary; Europe has 11 of the top 25; and Japan has three. The 25 cleanest cities are located in 13 countries. It may not be accidental that these countries are among the highest in purchasing power parity according to the World Development Indicator database of the World Bank. Twelve are in the top 20, and only New Zealand lags in wealth, at No. 37 on the list of world's wealthiest. So clean may also mean well-off. In Pictures: The World's Cleanest Cities To be clean a city has to face and solve many problems that otherwise lead to unsanitary conditions and poor health as well as possible economic stagnation. Producing energy for industry, homes and transportation has to be planned and executed reasonably, and this means some form of regulation and control. To be clean means organizing what is done with waste. Landfills are being closed or filled up. Recycling is the only long-range answer, but this takes civic discipline, a system and preferably a system that turns a profit. Green only works well when it results in greenbacks. In addition a city has to look closely at its transportation infrastructure (roads, rail, air, subways) and their impact upon being clean or going dirty or staying dirty. The logistics infrastructure is also critical in terms of efficiency that can translate into money and fuel savings that in turn affect cleanliness (air quality, water quality and ground quality). Taken all together as with clean energy generation, waste control, recycling and various levels of infrastructure reorganization, the challenge is formidable. Some will recommend taking on one challenge at a time, and this may be what President Bush has in mind with ethanol. Bush's advocacy of ethanol is a step towards cleaner fuel and in turn cleaner cities. The idea is also controversial as the resources available for ethanol are directly related to the food supply chain. There can be great friction over sharing such resources. Some are advocating inputs beyond corn grain. "One of the most abundant potential resources we have is the nonfood parts of the corn plant, including the stalks, leaves and husks,” says Dr. Michael Pacheco, director of the National Bioenergy Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The figures for the cleanest cities are derived from studies by the Mercer Human Resources Consulting that cull from 300 cities, identifying overall quality of living as well as special reports on regions. It is interesting to note that size does not appear to be a factor either in terms of size of population or physical size of the city. The most common trait in common to each is a focus on high tech, education and headquartering of national and international companies along with an extensive public transit system.
  7. Il faut le souligner quand des compagnies d'ici font des acquisitions à l'étranger, comme quoi tout ne va pas d'un seul bord! Boralex boosts France operations with proposed takeover Montreal-based renewable energy producer Boralex Inc. has sharply boosted its presence in France with a $400-million proposed takeover of wind power company Enel Green Power France. The acquisition of the Enel wind portfolio will boost the generating capacity of Boralex’s existing operations by about 25 per cent, with the addition of 12 operating wind farms generating about 186 megawatts of power. Currently, Boralex has wind farms, solar projects, hydroelectric and thermal operations in France, Canada and the United States, that have a total capacity of about 754 MW. The company said this deal will make it the biggest independent wind power producer in France. Adding a large proportion to the French porfolio is a “truly company-transforming move,” said Boralex chief executive officer Patrick Lemaire. Currently, France makes up about 37 per cent of the Boralex portfolio, but that will expand to almost half after this transaction closes in January. Mr. Lemaire said in an interview that growth in the renewable sector is “clearer” in Europe than in North America, at the moment. Changes in Ontario’s renewable energy procurement program that make it less attractive, and limits to Quebec’s plans to acquire clean energy, have made those two core Canadian markets less attractive, he said. “France still has nice objectives,” he said. Boralex is also less interested in expanding in the United States, Mr. Lemaire said, because most jurisdictions there operate with a spot market for electricity, and thus there are fewer long-term contracts that secure a power price over the long term. The wind farms being purchased in this deal have long-term contracts in place averaging about 11 years. Privately owned Enel also has a pipeline of about 310 MW of new wind projects that are not yet built, and that will add further to the Boralex total in the next few years, Mr. Lemaire said. “Our main goals are to operate what we have acquired in the past, build new projects … and add growth for the next few years.” Boralex will finance the Enel purchase through bank loans, an existing revolving credit facility, and a bridge credit facility. It will also sell about $110-million in subscription receipts through a bought-deal transaction arranged by National Bank Financial. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/boralex-boosts-france-operations-with-proposed-takeover/article22095267/
  8. IluvMTL

    CityLab

    http://www.citylab.com/ https://www.facebook.com/thisiscitylab [h=2]Frequently Asked Questions[/h]General What is CityLab? CityLab is dedicated to the people who are creating the cities of the future—and those who want to live there. Through sharp analysis, original reporting, and visual storytelling, our coverage focuses on the biggest ideas and most pressing issues facing the world’s metro areas and neighborhoods. Is CityLab the same thing as The Atlantic Cities? Yes. Previously known as The Atlantic Cities, CityLab re-launched in May 2014 with an expanded editorial mission as well as a new name, URL, and mobile-first responsive design. Can I still read stories that appeared on The Atlantic Cities here? Yes. All of the content that was on theatlanticcities.com is now on citylab.com. Atlantic Cities urls will redirect to the new site. What is Navigator? Navigator is “the modern urbanist’s guide to life,” a section of the site that launched in 2014 offering tips and strategies for city lifestyles. Check it out here. What is CityFixer? CityFixer is our tool that offers “solutions for an urbanizing world.” It collects the best ideas and stories for a dozen of the leading drivers of modern cities — including schools, civic life, policing, and energy use. A click on “Aging,” for example, will surface all past CityLab coverage on the topic. Check it out here.
  9. The new oil sheik of Quebec SOPHIE COUSINEAU MONTREAL — The Globe and Mail Published Tuesday, Feb. 05 2013, 7:45 PM EST Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 05 2013, 7:53 PM EST 6 comments 25 8 17 0 Print / License AA To say that I am a football fan is an overstatement as big as New Orleans’ Superdome, though I’ve always had a soft spot for the San Francisco 49ers. But I gave up on “my team” and on the Super Bowl when the Baltimore Ravens’ lead reached 22 points, and switched to Tout le monde en parle, the talk show that normally rules Quebec airwaves on Sundays. MORE RELATED TO THIS STORY Redford calls on energy workers to raise the flag Alberta stands firm on Keystone Gaspé drilling ban assailed by pro-exploration factions ENERGY Video: How oil sands players are collaborating on environmental innovation VIDEO Video: Quebec considers updating common law legislation GALLERY From Leduc to the Bakken boom, big moments in Canada's modern age of oil So I missed the power outage and the 49ers’ spectacular comeback. But I did see Quebec’s Natural Resource Minister, Martine Ouellet, throw a couple of Hail Marys. This may come as a surprise to those who have heard of Quebeckers’ widespread disdain for the oil sands, but the province of cheap, abundant hydroelectricity has some big oil ambitions of its own. On the Radio-Canada talk show, Ms. Ouellet talked about the revenues that could be extracted from Quebec’s oil reserves. The Gaspé region could generate $35-billion, she said. The Anticosti Island? Between $200-billion and $300-billion. The Old Harry offshore deposit in the Gulf of St.-Lawrence? A whopping $500-billion! (A press officer corrected her Tuesday and said she had meant to say $50-billion, but still.) The show’s court jester, Dany Turcotte, was flabbergasted at those huge figures, which conjured up images of oil gushing from a swamp like in the opening of the old Beverly Hillbillies TV series. Until now, the reality has been very different. Quebec’s oil is hard to extract. In the past 10 years, junior resource companies poking the land have only succeeded in pumping a couple of hundred of very pricey barrels from exploration wells. “You have got to be careful before asserting that we are going to be as rich as Alberta,” says Jean-Yves Lavoie, chief executive officer of Junex, a Quebec exploration company. There is still a lot of work to be done. There is only one deposit close to being commercially viable, according to its promoter, Pétrolia Inc., and that is the Haldimand project near the town of Gaspé, where exploratory work is now halted. But Premier Pauline Marois is determined to see Quebec reduce its reliance on imported oil. And for a cash-strapped province that is cutting expenses in all departments to balance its books, extra oil royalties would ease some fiscal pain. Even Ms. Ouellet, a former water conservationist who denounced “fracking” as unsafe in her first days in a limousine, is officially riding along, although she advocates moving with extreme caution. Fracking is a technique that injects a chemically-laced solutions underground to fracture rock formations and release oil and gas. But Quebec’s three known oil regions are facing daunting obstacles. The Old Harry offshore deposit has become another battleground between Quebec and Newfoundland, with both provinces claiming jurisdiction over its riches. While there have been some seismic surveys on the Newfoundland side, there has been no exploratory work on the Quebec side of the disputed border, as the government awaits an environmental assessment of the fragile ecosystem. Since no drilling has been done, no one knows what Old Harry truly holds. “Chances are it’s natural gas, but when politicians take a hold of Old Harry, it turns into oil,” says Mr. Lavoie, a mining engineer. The Anticosti island, also in the Gulf, holds the best promise, according to Mr. Lavoie, whose exploration licences border the south of the island. Pétrolia concurs. Its licences and those of its partner Corridor Resources from Halifax cover the rest of the island; they hold 30.9 billion barrels of oil, according to an assessment by Sproule Associates Ltd. But most of this oil would only be accessible by fracking, not by conventional extraction methods, according to Pétrolia president and chairman André Proulx. And there is a de facto moratorium on fracking until Quebec completes its environmental review on the controversial technique. In the meantime, the former shale gas opponents are revving up the campaign to protect the sparsely populated wildlife sanctuary against oil production. This places the Marois government in an untenable position, as it opposed fracking for gas while apparently favouring it for the oil industry. Which leaves Gaspésie. There, Pétrolia temporarily halted its exploratory work on the Haldimand project because of the Gaspé mayor’s opposition on environmental grounds. Mr. Proulx believes the fear of ground water contamination is rubbish. “What they are truly trying to do is to get more municipal powers and a share of the mining royalties,” says Mr. Proulx, who hopes the province will settle the issue. Despite this setback, Pétrolia’s president remains a believer. “In theory, in five or six years time, we could supply half of all the oil Quebec consumes,” Mr. Proulx asserts. Only a vocal minority opposes oil production, this promoter says. Yet the Marois government will have to do a hell of a selling job. Because if recent history proves anything, that minority is what freezes energy development in Quebec – be it winter or summer.
  10. Hydro-Quebec and NB Power : Power talks continue Last Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2009 | 8:54 PM AT CBC News Opposition Leader David Alward says Premier Shawn Graham has a responsibility to be clear to New Brunswickers.Opposition Leader David Alward says Premier Shawn Graham has a responsibility to be clear to New Brunswickers. (CBC)New Brunswick Opposition Leader David Alward is calling on Premier Shawn Graham to clear the air about the future of NB Power and say whether it is for sale. Alward said he's been hearing speculation that Hydro-Québec, the provincial energy utility, wants to buy NB Power, a provincial Crown corporation. "It's important at this time that the premier be transparent, be open to New Brunswickers," he said. "If these are just rumours, if this isn't true, then he has the opportunity to tell New Brunswickers. He has the responsibility. If they are true, he has a responsibility to tell New Brunswickers what's going on." Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams told CBC News he has also heard rumours about a possible deal between NB Power and Hydro-Québec. In a statement Thursday, his communications director, Elizabeth Matthews, said Williams "can't imagine the people of New Brunswick would allow their government to sell their energy asset and put that power into someone else's hands." Graham began discussions with Quebec Premier Jean Charest last summer about energy issues, including possible relationships between Hydro-Québec and NB Power. Those talks spawned rumours that NB Power would be sold to Hydro-Québec. Late Thursday, Graham's office issued a statement that neither confirms nor denies those rumours. "We're having a variety of conversations with Quebec, but they have not concluded," said Graham's communications director, Jordan O'Brien. "It's not in anybody's interest to talk about a possible outcome." NB Power has been owned by the province since 1920. In the last provincial election, Graham promised to keep it as a publicly owned utility. ________________________________________________________________ N.L. premier watching N.B., Quebec energy talks Fri Oct 23, 7:06 AM Reports that have been circulating in New Brunswick about the possible sale of that province's energy utility have the attention of the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. In a statement Thursday, Danny Williams's communications director, Elizabeth Matthews, said the premier "can't imagine the people of New Brunswick would allow their government to sell their energy asset and put that power into someone else's hands." The rumours say that New Brunswick is on the verge of a deal to sell its utility NB Power to Hydro-Québec. New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham isn't commenting. But the province's Progressive Conservative Leader David Alward is calling on Graham to clear the air about the future of NB Power and say whether it is for sale. Alward said he's been hearing speculation that Hydro-Québec, the provincial energy utility, wants to buy NB Power, a provincial Crown corporation. "It's important at this time that the premier be transparent, be open to New Brunswickers," he said. "If these are just rumours, if this isn't true, then he has the opportunity to tell New Brunswickers. He has the responsibility. If they are true, he has a responsibility to tell New Brunswickers what's going on." Graham began discussions with Quebec Premier Jean Charest last summer about energy issues, including possible relationships between Hydro-Québec and NB Power. Those talks spawned the rumours that NB Power would be sold to Hydro-Québec. Late Thursday, Graham's office issued a statement that neither confirms nor denies the possibility. "We're having a variety of conversations with Quebec, but they have not concluded," said Graham's communications director, Jordan O'Brien. "It's not in anybody's interest to talk about a possible outcome." NB Power has been owned by the province since 1920. In the last provincial election, Graham promised to keep it as a publicly owned utility. À lire les commentaires sur le site de la CBC, je crois que les gens du NB sont en désaccords, bref du bon vieux Quebec-bashing comme on l'aime. Ceci est très divertissant par contre. Enfin, de dire que le Canada n'est pas vraiment divisé en deux solitudes indifférentes tient purement du délire.
  11. GDS

    2009 Global 500

    Rank Company Global 500 rank Revenues ($ millions) City 1 Royal Bank of Canada 211 $36,616 Toronto 2 Power Corp. of Canada 226 $35,125 Montreal 3 George Weston 254 $32,361 Toronto 4 Manulife Financial 276 $30,948 Toronto 5 EnCana 284 $30,064 Calgary 6 Suncor Energy 325 $27,680 Calgary 7 Petro-Canada 340 $26,054 Calgary 8 Bank of Nova Scotia 343 $25,944 Toronto 9 Onex 353 $25,207 Toronto 10 Toronto-Dominion Bank 354 $25,070 Toronto 11 Magna International 384 $23,704 Aurora 12 Husky Energy 396 $23,162 Calgary 13 Bombardier 468 $19,721 Montreal 14 Bank of Montreal 479 $19,365 Toronto SunCor et Petro Canada fusionnent et deviendront premier l'année prochaine.
  12. Shows you where the money is going these days. Great looking skyscraper! Article on FP: http://business.financialpost.com/2013/07/04/telus-to-build-400-million-tower-in-calgarys-downtown/?__lsa=e9e9-144b
  13. To stay sexy, must the German capital remain poor? Sep 17th 2011 | BERLIN | from the print edition Still on the edge CLOUD clamps on to the rooftops in October and stays until April. The language seems equally forbidding to many. Berlin’s streetscapes and restaurants dazzle less than those of Paris or London. Apart from that, it is hard to find fault with the city. Berlin has music, art and nightlife to rival Europe’s more established capitals, but not their high costs and hellish commutes. It is a metropolis with the lazy charm of the countryside. It took a while for people to notice. After the brief euphoria of unification in 1990, the West’s subsidised industry and the East’s socialist enterprise collapsed alongside each other. On measures like employment, public debt and school performance, Berlin ranks at or near the bottom among Germany’s 16 states (it is one of three city-states). Klaus Wowereit, who hopes to be re-elected to a third term as mayor on September 18th, memorably branded the city “poor but sexy”. That is its magnetism. The federal government’s move to Berlin from Bonn in 1999 was a political decision. “Creative” folk are drawn from across Europe and America by cheap studios and frontier-like freedoms. Berlin’s centre still has voids to be built on and argued about. “Easyjetsetters” infest clubs and bars at weekends. More than 1m newcomers have replaced Berliners who have died or left the city since the 1990s. Effervescence pulls in investors. Google plans an “institute for the internet and society”. Industrial clusters have formed in health, transport and green technology. Parts of the media have relocated from Hamburg. Germany will never be as centralised as Britain or France, but if people have something to say to a national audience they tend increasingly to say it in Berlin. Since 2004 Berlin has created jobs at a faster pace than the German average. It leads the country in business start-ups. But the city is defined as much by its inertia as by its energy. A fifth of Berliners live off social transfers. Unemployment is still close to double the national rate because the workforce has recently expanded almost as quickly as the number of jobs. In Berlin “aspiration can be a negative word,” says Philipp Rode of the London School of Economics. Much of its energy comes from outsiders. Even the aspiring are often thwarted: 29% of social scientists and 40% of artists are jobless, according to DIW, a Berlin think-tank. Mr Wowereit, a Social Democrat, strives to channel the city’s edginess while reassuring Berliners weary of change. That is one reason why he is likely to win re-election. (The main suspense involves the Greens, which could replace the ex-communist Left Party as Mr Wowereit’s coalition partner, and the open-source-inspired Pirate Party, which might enter a German state legislature for the first time.) But the straddle is becoming harder. Rents, although still low, have jumped by 30% since 1999. The Swabian yuppie, with multiple offspring and a fondness for coffee bars, is a widely despised figure. “Berlin’s drama”, wrote Berliner Zeitung, a local newspaper, is that its “creative richness is inseparable from its economic poverty.” That will be Mr Wowereit’s puzzle, if he wins
  14. A cautionary tale: Cheap glass window wall is not suitable for our climate http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/11/13/tor-glass-walled-condos.html Thermal Window Failure: How it Happens A Developer's Change of Heart Engineering Buildings to Perform Audio and Video Highlights Many of the glass condominium towers filling up the Toronto skyline will fail 15 to 25 years after they’re built, perhaps even earlier, and will need retrofits costing millions of dollars, say some industry experts. Buyers drawn to glass-walled condos because of the price and spectacular views may soon find themselves grappling with major problems including: Insulation failures. Water leaks. Skyrocketing energy and maintenance costs. Declining resale potential. Glass condominiums — known in the industry as window walls — have floor-to-ceiling glass, so essentially the window becomes the wall. Window walls generally span from the top of the concrete slab right to the bottom. The slow-motion failure of Toronto's glass condos http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/condos/ Over the past decade, Toronto's building boom has been dominated by tall glass condo towers. They've transformed the look of city skylines all over the world – especially here in Toronto, where according to Emporis.comwe've built more towers per capita than any other city in North America. But it may be a trend that puts style over substance. A small but growing chorus is sounding the alarm about the future of these buildings. Building scientists have known for a long time that glass-walled structures are less energy efficient than the stone and concrete buildings that were put up forty of fifty years ago. But the market demand for glass combined with the relatively low cost of glass-wall construction means the building industry has been happy to oblige. However, industry insiders warn that as energy costs climb, glass towers may become the "pariah" buildings of the future. In these stories, we explore the hidden costs of building with glass and the slow-motion failure of window walls. We also look at why the Ontario Building Code failed to make energy performance a priority, and meet a developer who is reconsidering the construction of such buildings. Building science consultant and University of Waterloo professor John Straube wrote a paper called Can Highly Glazed Building Facades be Green? View Paper [1MB .pdf] http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/condos/pdf/condo_conundrum.pdf John Straube John Straube, a building science consultant and professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo says glass condos are a "perfect reflection" of a society that's found it easier to throw things away than to build them to last. "We have a hard time," says Straube, "thinking five years when we buy a laptop, ten years when we buy a car. With these buildings – both the skin and the mechanical systems are going to have to be redone in a 25-year time frame. The concrete structure will be there a long time but in 20, 25 years time, we are going to see a lot of scaffolding on the outside of the buildings as we replace the glazing, sealants and the glass itself." Although falling glass from the condo balconies has attracted most of the public attention during the summer of 2011, building scientists warn that the long-term failure of the glass structures – although less sensational – is much more serious. More: how thermal window failure happens Window-wall systems Most of them are built using window-wall systems which have next to no insulation value, except for a half inch of heavy gas between the two panels of glass. As John Straube points out, what glass does really well is conduct heat. "A little experiment anyone can do at home is get a glass for drinking. Pour boiling water into it, and try and pick it up. You'll burn yourself." Straube, along with building science colleagues like Ted Kesik at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto, warns that as energy costs climb, the costs of heating and cooling glass towers will increase the monthly fees. Kesik wrote a paper called The Glass Condo Conundrum (250KB .pdf) on the potential liabilities of glass towers. The Glass Condo Conundrum It's not just the energy costs. Glass structures require major maintenance much earlier in their life cycle than a traditional structure made of precast or brick. Straube warns maintenance costs will skyrocket in 20 to 25 years' time as the buildings age. The windows will begin to fog up, and the cost of replacing entire walls of glass will be prohibitive on highrise structures that can only be accessed from swing stages. Building scientists talk about the life cycle of a building, akin to a human life cycle, language that encourages people like Straube to see a building as an organism. "It has lungs," says Straube, "it has veins, all of that stuff – it has a structural skeleton." To Straube, a building is a living, breathing thing, enclosing the people who live inside. Building with glass walls is to miss the main point of a building, says Straube – sacrificing the protection that is a building's first duty for a beauty that is only skin-deep. "It's almost derogatory in my world," says Straube, "to forget about everything else that's part of experiencing a building. I like to think what is this building going to be like on a dark and stormy night. In our climate particularly, we care about that. It's life and death." Audio Introduction Matt Galloway spoke with Mary Wiens about the series. Listen (runs 6:11) Part One Mary Wiens introduces us to people concerned about the hidden costs of glass walls. Listen (runs 6:48) Part Two A developer of glass towers tells us why he will never put up another one. Listen (runs 6:28) Part Three Mary Wiens asks engineers about the rise, and repair, of the glass towers. Listen (runs 6:38) Part Four Mary Wiens tours a new condominium with a young couple and their real estate agent. Listen (runs 6:50) Part Five Mary Wiens tells us about a solution that has helped produce more efficient cars and appliances, an approach that may have potential for condominiums as well. Listen (runs 6:59) Video Part One: How glass fails John Lancaster talks to David House about the potential problems facing owners of glass condos in Toronto. Watch (runs 3:16) Part Two: Hidden costs Kamela and Jason Hurlbut are looking for their first dream home but there are hidden costs to living in Toronto's glass condos. Watch (runs 3:19) Part Three: The ripple effect If I can't sell my condo, I can't buy your home. John Lancaster looks at the possible ripple effect in Toronto's real estate market. Watch (runs 3:48)
  15. Deflation a concern in North America By Paul Vieira, Financial Post February 20, 2009 OTTAWA -- Inflation in North America is to remain benign for the months -- and perhaps years -- ahead, analysts say, as a shrinking global economy undercuts commodity prices and inventories in Canada remain at excess levels. Data were released in both Canada and the United States on Friday. The Canadian numbers, Bay Street economists say, further strengthen the case for the Bank of Canada to cut its key lending rate by a further 50 basis points on March 3. Further, the data indicate deflation remains a concern for policy-makers on both sides of the border. Statistics Canada said the headline inflation rate dropped for a fourth consecutive month, to 1.1% from 1.2%. The Bank of Canada’s core rate, which removes elements subject to volatile prices, such as energy, dropped to 1.9% from 2.4%. That is in contrast to the United States, where the cost of living rose 0.3% in January, the first climb in six months based on stronger energy prices. Last month, prices fell 0.8%. The U.S. numbers initially eased deflationary fears. Analysts, however, were not so confident. "The near-term risk has lightened a little bit, but if anything the medium-term risk may have been ramped up a notch or two by the clear evidence about how the global economy is sliding," Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, said. "The deep dive in the global economy threatens to further undercut commodity prices, and more broadly, pricing power in other industrial goods." Mr. Porter said the BMO economics team envisages the global economy shrinking 0.5% this year. As it happens, economists at Toronto-Dominion Bank issued an updated outlook that forecasts a similar contraction in the world economy -- the first since the Second World War. "Deflation is not a paramount risk right now -- but it is a risk when you are looking at a global contraction," said Richard Kelly, the TD senior economist who issued the revised global forecast. The Bank of Canada had forecast inflation would dip below zero for two quarters this year, largely based on the big drop in energy prices. However, the central bank has dismissed concerns about deflation, calling risk "remote." Mr. Porter said he believes Canada can avoid deflation, "but my conviction is weakening given just how weak the global economy has become." In a related report, David Wolf, chief Canadian economist at Bank of America Securities-Merrill Lynch, said inventory held by Canadian companies remains at higher levels compared with their U.S. counterparts. As a result, this excess supply will attract lower prices -- which will further drive down inflation. Mr. Wolf added there remains an "excess" overbuilding of housing supply in Canada. "That will continue to be a factor that will put a lot of downward pressure on prices," he said, adding that new house prices make up a small component of the consumer price index. © Copyright © National Post
  16. STM plans to build solar-powered bus shelters Panels could be used to power lighting * and illuminate revenue-producing ads By Monique Beaudin, The GazetteFebruary 2, 2009 Montreal’s public-transit agency is planning to spend $14.4 million to buy 400 new bus shelters – some of which would use solar panels to provide electricity. The new shelters need an energy source to allow the Société de transport de Montréal to use new tools to provide customer service and advertising. In some cases the shelters would be powered by solar energy, in others the shelters would be linked into a local source of electricity. Several other cities – including London, Vancouver and Toronto – already have bus shelters that use solar panels to charge batteries that power their lighting systems. Blainville, north of Mont-real, put up four such shelters in October and plans to replace all its bus shelters with solar-powered ones by 2010, said spokesperson Yves Meunier. Blainville’s plan was to make their bus shelters self-financing, by using revenue generated from selling advertising in the shelters. For that they needed an energy source to illuminate the ads. “People selling advertising want the ads to be visible for a certain number of hours every day, especially during the winter,” Meunier said. Blainville’s bus shelters – which cost about $30,000 each – were designed and built by a local firm, Meunier said. The city will recycle the old shelters by selling them to other municipalities, he added. The STM also expects that by selling ad space in its new shelters they’ll pay for themselves over a 10-year period. While the STM has already tested several different kinds of solar-powered bus shelters, spokesperson Isabelle Tremblay said the agency hasn’t chosen a specific bus shelter model to buy yet. The transit agency is still waiting for the results of a bus-shelter design contest announced by Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay last September. Tremblay called on the city’s designers to come up with new ideas for five things – the Champs de Mars métro station, the eastern wall of the courthouse, bus shelters, taxis and temporary festival furniture. Design Montreal has not yet launched the contest, spokesperson Stéphanie Jecrois said yesterday. The agency is still meeting with its partners to determine how the contest will work, but she said the contest details should be announced with a few weeks. The contest will be held in 2009, she said. Meanwhile, at the STM, Tremblay said the agency will only go to tender for new bus shelters after the Design Montreal contest wraps up. The STM now has 2,977 bus shelters, serving about one-third of its bus stops. It would like to install 100 new bus shelters over the next two years, and 100 more each year from 2011 to 2013. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  17. Excess wind energy to be stored underground for future use Posted Oct 5th 2007 8:57PM by Darren Murph Filed under: Misc. Gadgets We've seen some fairly impressive uses of wind power, but a group in Iowa is looking to actually capture and preserve excess wind energy for use when demand peaks. At the Iowa Stored Energy Park, a number of local utilities is "building a system that will steer surplus electricity generated by a nearby wind farm to a big air compressor," which will be held deep below the ground for future use. The project is being backed by the Energy Department, but more than a hundred municipal utilities in surrounding states are shelling out $200 million to construct the 268-megawatt system. As it stands, Iowa's compressed air energy storage (CAES) installation will be the first of its kind when it's completed in 2011, but there's already work being done in Texas to build a similar unit.
  18. Telus announces $33 million "Green" Internet data centre Wednesday, 08 October 2008 Telus announces $33 million "Green" Internet data centreTelus today announced that it would be investing over $33 million to build a more energy efficient Internet data centre to be located in Laval, Quebec. The company says the state-of-the-art facility will be designed according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. An Internet data centre is a highly secure building that houses extremely powerful computer servers; all of which have redundant power, cooling and security systems. Recent estimates suggest that data centres now consume about 1 to 1.5% of all energy produced in North America and its share is growing therefore, longer term, greener data centres could make a significant dent in overall energy consumption. Telus, which currently operates eight data centres across Canada, says its newest Internet data centre will be a 44,500 square foot facility that will be connected to six mega-volt-amps of power, equivalent to the needs of more than 5,000 homes! In addition to the power required to power individual computer servers, data centers require a vast amount energy to counter the heat generated by the computer servers. The new data center features a high density power design and efficient heat exchange system will turn Quebec's cold climate into "free cooling" during two thirds of the year. Large, highly efficient air conditioning units will be used when "free cooling" is unavailable. The company says its newest, greenest Internet data centre will become operational in 2010.
  19. Cette transaction permettra à Barrick de concrétiser sa stratégie à long terme, qui vise à couvrir ses achats de pétrole afin de réduire les coûts de carburant de ses différentes exploitations. Pour en lire plus...
  20. Renewable Energy Corp a non seulement obtenu du gouvernement un bon tarif d'électricité, mais surtout l'assurance que sa facture n'augmentera pas de plus que 2,4% par année pendant 20 ans. Pour en lire plus...