Recent Episodes

Oil 2 Solar

RenuWell – Solar breathes new life into abandoned oil wells


Here’s a big idea! RenuWell wants to breathe new life into thousands of Alberta’s abandoned oil wells by reusing well pads and roads and building 750-kilowatt solar farms. It’s a win-win for landowners, municipalities and energy transition.

Energy, Climate and the Media

277. Energy, climate and the media a discussion with CBC’s Laura Lynch

The media loves a good headline – The Energy vs Climate expert panel tackles energy and climate change in the media with Laura Lynch of the CBC’s What on Earth show.

Energy vs Climate

276. Canada’s Climate Plan – Can it deliver on Paris goals?

Canada just updated its climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 and get Canada to “net-zero emissions” by 2050. Is the plan going to work? Green Energy Futures checks in with the Energy vs Climate panel of experts to find out.

Recycling batteries

275. What to do with the mounting heap of spent lithium-ion batteries – Recycle them!

Li-Cycle is a Canadian company from Ontario that is taking the mounting heap of battery waste and turning 95 per cent of it into gold – battery-grade raw materials for new batteries. This is the very definition of a circular economy and a secure supply of batteries for electric vehicles.

Dan Balaban, CEO of Greengate Power

274. Alberta’s solar boom – The biggest story you haven’t heard about

In spite of COVID-19 and economic chaos in the world there is a solar boom going on in Alberta, Canada’s oil-rich province. This is big news you probably haven’t heard about. The biggest solar project in Canadian history is just about finished, a project four times larger starts construction this year and there are 77 other projects in the development queue in the province.

Nukes or No Nukes

273. Nukes or no nukes – Nuclear’s role in a low carbon future

Is nuclear power the only way we can reach net-zero emissions or is it a threat to civilization and a distraction from the development of other low carbon sources of energy such as solar and wind? We discuss this with energy experts Ed Whittingham, Dr. David Keith, Dr. Sara Hastings-Simon and former Canadian Green Party leader and current MP Elizabeth May.

EV Revolution

272. 2020 Year of the EV Revolution

$300 billion in investment, 700 new EV models and numerous stunning trends mark 2020 as the tipping point for the EV Revolution. The only question is how fast the revolution will take hold and transform the transportation industry around the world. We look back on 2020 with Norman Crowley of the Cool Planet Group, Eddie Robar, transit boss in Edmonton, and Leon Milner e-bike enthusiast.

Renewable Revolution

271. 2020 – Year of the Renewable Revolution

PODCAST – As 2020 winds down we look back at the year when the renewable energy revolution past the tipping point. Renewable energy is now the cheapest energy money can buy and is attracting trillions in investment. In Canada the largest solar project in Canadian history was built unsubsidized in Claresholm Alberta. Before it was complete another solar project was announced four times larger for 2021, also in Alberta. Renewable energy is becoming a story of opportunity, investment, jobs and economic diversification.

Edmonton E-Bus Transit Garage with Art Installation

270. E-bus Revolution II – Batteries included at Edmonton’s artsy home for electric buses

Batteries Included – In part II of our series on Edmonton’s e-bus revolution, we visit the Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage for eletric buses which boasts a dramatic art installation on the roof of this stainless steel expanse of post-industrial design.

YEG Transit boss Eddie Robar in a long row or electric buses

269. E-Bus Revolution – Edmonton is a national leader

Edmonton has quietly become a national leader in electric buses and is counting on these zero-emissions vehicles to reduce operating costs.

Alberta Screw Piles crew

268. Solar screw piles – How a boom in solar is diversifying the economy

Bryce Bernhard came to Alberta from Texas in 2010 with little more than a half-ton and a bag of tools. Today he is the CEO of Alberta Screw Piles a business booming thanks to a booming solar industry.

Raymond Cardinal's solar-powered cabin

267. Into the wild – solar is revolutionizing life at Raymond Cardinal’s cabin in Canada’s north

Solar is revolutionizing life for indigenous people at their remote cabins in Canada’s north. Join us as we take a tour of Raymond Cardinal’s solar-powered cabin out on the Peace-Athabasca Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest inland delta in North America.

Blue Eyes Simpson

266. Hello solar, goodbye gas generator – Indigenous solar cabins

Blue Eyes Simpson is just one of 20 Indigenous and Metis people of Fort Chipewyan getting a custom-designed off-grid solar system to replace gas generators at their remote cabins out on the Peace-Athabasca Delta in Canada’s North. 

Chief Allan Adam

265. Community-owned Indigenous Solar for Diesel in Canada’s North

Three Indigenous Nations in northern Canada joined forces to build a 2.2-megawatt solar project to replace 25 per cent of the local diesel-generated electricity. What’s more, it’s completely community-owned which contributes to energy sovereignty while creating local jobs and training. 

TerraView net-zero

264. TerraView builds net-zero ready and only net-zero ready homes

This Canadian home builder now builds only net-zero ready and net-zero homes and the best part is – the homes are selling like crazy!

Electrifi making the classics zero emissions

263. Electrifi – back to the future with a 2000 hp electric Corvette Stingray

How a 2000 horsepower 1963 Corvette Stingray, energy efficiency and wisdom fits into Norman Crowley’s recipe for cooling the planet and tackling and taming the scourge of climate change.

Norman Crowley

262. Norman Crowley: Capitalist fights climate change

Norman Crowley was blown away when he discovered businesses waste $1.2 trillion worth of energy per year – so he started Crowley Carbon to make and save millions of dollars. Climate Capitalism Part I

261. How a boring church lawn was transformed into a food forest

Kenton Zerbin took a large slopped Church lawn that was not used much, except for mowing and transformed it into a public food forest park. 

Kenton Zerbin - Tiny Home

260. Tiny Home Tour – Living large super efficiently

Permaculturalist Kenton Zerbin is living large in his super-efficient tiny home. Join us as we take a tour of this amazing tiny home with big features.

Kent Rathwell - Carbon Plunk Parks

259. Carbon Plunk – Going Beyond Carbon Negative

Kent Rathwell’s new big idea is to create Carbon Plunk Parks near cities to plunk carbon back into the Earth where it came from by planting trees and actively sequestering carbon. 

Charge it!

258. How Kent Rathwell created a zero-emissions birdseed company and the world’s longest green highway for EVs

They said it couldn’t be done, but Kent Rathwell created the first zero-emissions wild bird seed company and then created the longest green highway in the world where you could charge your electric vehicle for free.

Richard Zurawski

257. HalifACT 2050 – How Halifax got its climate plan and a goal of carbon neutrality

First came evidence-based decision making, then Halifax declared a climate emergency and now HalifACT 2050 is their plan to get to carbon neutrality by 2050.

Edmonton's Solar Skydome

256. Solar as art – Edmonton’s solar skydome

We’re calling it Edmonton’s Solar Skydome! It’s the largest architectural solar installation in Canada and one of the most beautiful. We tag along with Adam Yereniuk of Kuby Renewable Energy for a tour of this amazing project.

E-bike revolution

255. “Why I ditched my car for an e-bike” – Leon’s story

E-bikes are selling like hotcakes. We go for a spin with Leon Milner to learn why he ditched his car to ride an e-bike in the most northerly big city in North America.

254. Biomass a missing link for Canada’s future sustainable economy?

There are an estimated 120 million tonnes of waste and residue biomass in Canada right now — waste that could form the cornerstone of a green COVID-19 recovery effort that fights climate change by building the sustainable economy we need.

What is used to make biodiesel fuel?

253. Neste: How an oil company became the largest producer of renewable diesel fuels in the world

Jeremy Baines was skeptical at first, when Neste Oil started experimenting with the production of renewable fuels. Today Neste produces 3.4 trillion liters of renewable fuels every year making it the largest producer in the world. We talk to Jeremy Baines the president of Neste U.S. about how this came to be.

Faruq Vishram, solar engineer

252. Former Alberta coal guy is now a solar guru sought after around the world

Faruq Vishram is an engineer from Edmonton, Alberta who cut his teeth designing coal-fired power plants in fossil-fuel rich Alberta. When they started closing coal plants Vishram pivoted to solar and he is now sought after to do projects around the world including a solar-powered hospital in Afghanistan.

Ford Mustang Electric

251. EV Tipping Point – The Future of Cars is Electric

We’ve hit the electric vehicle tipping point. Surprised? According to EV expert and columnist Matthew Klippenstein the auto industry is investing $300 billion in the development of more than 500 new electric car models by 2025.

250. Best COVID recovery is climate capitalism

“We’ve got abundant opportunity in Alberta and in Canada more broadly to be part of [the clean energy] transition and to benefit from it,” said Dan Woynillowicz, a policy director for Clean Energy Canada.

Nathan Kuptana and Eriel Lugt Happening to Us

249. “They can’t even see it”: Tuktoyaktuk Teens’ film on the Impacts of Climate Change

Nathan Kuptana and Eriel Lugt, two of the youth filmmakers in the TukTV collective are creating a film entitled “Happening to Us,” a film about the impacts of climate change on their home in Tuktoyaktuk in the Arctic. They took a preview of their film to COP25, the IPCC climate change conference in Madrid, Spain.

248. Want recycling on steroids – make producers responsible

According to a new study, implementing extended producer responsibility, or EPR, in Alberta would not only save taxpayers money, but would lead to more waste being recycled, create new jobs, and benefit the environment. is working to drastically reduce food waste

247. turns the table on food waste, reduces emissions

More than half (58%) of the food that enters Canada’s food system is wasted, filling landfills and releasing major greenhouse gas emissions. is working to change all that.

246. Indigenous-owned renewable energy projects secure low electricity price

An indigenous working helped pave the way for indigenous ownership in renewable energy procurement in Alberta. They also secured some of the best prices for renewable electricity in Canadian history.

Land Reclamation International Graduate School

245. Land Reclamation and the Decade of Ecological Restoration

The UN has declared 2021 to 2030 to be the Decade of Ecological Restoration and, thanks to the University of Alberta–based award-winning Land Restoration International Graduate School (LRIGS), students in Alberta are taking up the challenge.

Mortimer Capriles of the Goodwill Impact Centre.

244. Rethinking Recycling

All “R”s are not created equal. Recycling a bottle can save 10 – 15 per cent of the energy it takes to create a new bottle. But reusing a bottle saves almost 100 per cent of the energy. The reuse “R” is the one they try to focus on at the Goodwill Impact and Edmonton’s ReUse Centres.

243. Alberta builder includes solar with every new home

“Little things make a big difference.” So said baseball legend Yogi Berra. He could have been talking about Jayman Homes that began installing small solar systems on every new home one year ago. Today there is one megawatt of solar on new homes in Alberta.

Merran Smith, Clean Energy Canada

242. Canada’s Clean Energy Transition Underway & A Good Thing – Canadians

Most Canadians believe an energy transition to cleaner sources of energy is already underway in Canada and that it will be a good thing for the economy in the long run. Clean Energy Canada found economic growth in the clean energy sector is outpacing other sectors.

Vivian Manasc green architect

241. Vivian Manasc – A lifetime of Building it Green

Vivian Manasc is an architect with a passion for building it green. Her company Manasc Isaac is well known for its pioneering work on many green buildings – they also built the first net-zero commercial building in Alberta. We talk to Vivian Manasc about her journey and her work.

Carbon Busters net-zero homes in Blatchford

240. Carbon Busters – Building net-zero in Blatchford

Carbon Busters is building the first net-zero homes in Blatchford, the largest carbon-neutral community in Canada. Solar-powered and geothermal heated and cooled these homes require 94% less energy for heating.

Blatchford Carbon Neutral Community

Green Energy Futures – Four stories that matter from 2019

Climate change may be the Canadian Press story of the year in 2019, but when we cast our eyes back on the year that was we find inspiring stories of people working on solutions to climate change. From the largest carbon-neutral community in the world to the largest solar project in Canadian history it was a year of firsts. 

Greta Thunberg in Edmonton, Alberta

2019–The year of Greta Thunberg

In 2019 Time Magazine named Greta Thunberg “person of the year” and climate change was the news story of the year as chosen by Canadian Press. At Green Energy Futures we documented a number of firsts: the first net-zero church and social housing project, the first passive house car dealership and the inspiring story on students in the EcoVision Club at Lacombe Composite High School who changed their school by taking action.

Reverend Annabelle Wallace and elder Les Young

237. God’s green home is net-zero

The amazing story of a church in crisis that took stock of their assets and wound up building the first solar-powered, net-zero church and social housing project in Canada. They saved the church, saved the school, built 16 new homes for refugee families and created an amazing community of sustainability.

Greenest School in Canada

236. Greenest School in Canada has a solar-geothermal greenhouse

Building on a teacher’s maxim “Words without actions are meaningless,” students at Lacombe High School formed the EcoVision club, took on a dozen projects and became the Greenest School in Canada.

Travers solar

235. Travers: Largest Solar Project in Canada

Alberta-based Greengate Power has already developed the largest wind farm in Canada – now they’re building the largest solar farm in Canada by a factor of four.


234. Blatchford: Largest Carbon Neutral Community in Canada

Edmontonians have already been recognized as pioneers of net-zero homes, and now they are building the largest carbon-neutral community in the country: Blatchford.

Jeff Linton, Alberta Beverage Container Management Board

233. Momentum building to have producers pay for recycling the waste they produce

Jeff Linton says by making producers responsible for recycling the waste they produce we can solve the waste crisis, create jobs and reduce environmental impacts.

Tony Rossi of Loop

232. Loop – Reuse like the milkman

Circular economy – Loop is taking us back to the future by ditching the packaging and selling products in reusable containers, just like the milkman did.

231. How a brutalist University of Calgary library was transformed to Net-Zero

How the University of Calgary transformed their ‘60s-era brutalist MacKimmie Library into a building designed to reach net-zero energy.

Raffi - Young People Marching

230. Raffi – Young People Marching for Greta Thunberg

Raffi’s song “Young People Marching” is a tribute to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired millions of youth around the world to call for action on climate change. 

229. Recycling Energy

People in the movies carry disposable cups like people in the ‘60s were portrayed smoking cigarettes as the norm. Has the recycling generation lost it? Some believe we need to recycle recycling to tackle huge waste issues and tackle climate change.

228. Solar for Diesel: The Sun Shines on Fort Chipewyan

Solar will replace 25 per cent of diesel generation in Fort Chipewyan a small community of 1,000 people in northern Alberta that until now has received all of its electricity from a diesel microgrid. 

Kevin Ma with his Chevy Bolt.

227. Life with an EV: Kevin Ma, an environment reporter’s long winding road to electric vehicle ownership

Kevin Ma is a long-standing environment reporter in the Edmonton Metro region. He realized there was an electric vehicle in his future almost a decade ago. This is the story of the long and winding road that led up to him driving an electric vehicle. 

Carol Bishop with her Nissan Leaf

226. Life with an EV: Carol Bishop – Fill it up for 3 bucks

Carol Bishop of Edmonton bought a Nissan Leaf EV “for environmental reasons,” but loves it because it’s “fun to drive” and super cheap to operate. Fill it up for three bucks this week as we take a ride with Carol in her Leaf in Part II of our #LifeWithAnEV series. 

Ed Ma with his Tesla Model X

225. Life with an EV: Ed Ma – Electrifying performance

Once Ed Ma started reading about Tesla ten years ago, he was hooked! In the first in our series Life with an EV we talk to Ed Ma and Rhonda Blair about their ten-year romance with electric vehicles. Ed likes that EVs are better for the environment, but he absolutely loves the electrifying performance of electric vehicles. 

224. Activist David Chernushenko delivers a climate thriller in Burning Souls

Activist and former Ottawa City Councillor David Chernushenko’s new book Burning Souls is a climate thriller–fiction with a firm grasp on the real world and the vexing issue of climate change.

Ed Ma with solar thermal on his home

223. Solar Thermal Home still cool after all these years

Ed Ma and Rhonda Blair built their super energy efficient green home 12 years ago using solar thermal modules–it’s still pretty cool after all these years. So much has changed since then and his green home project continues to this day. We talk to the couple about what they’ve done, what they’ve learned and what they would do differently today.

Jacob Komar and the geothermal revival

222. Geothermal Revival – Getting to net-zero the easy way

Jacob Komar is shaking up the energy efficient building world by resorting to an age-old technology: geothermal energy. He says you can save lots of money and use much less insulation and get to net-zero for half the price if you use geothermal to heat and cool your home or building.

Matthew Klippenstein

221. Tesla 3 is Canada’s Best Selling EV

Big news in EV circles. Matthew Klippenstein tells us the Tesla Model 3 is the best selling electric vehicle in Canada and sales of electric vehicles have eclipsed internal combustion vehicles in Norway.

220. Alberta farms fertile land for Rural Routes to Climate Solutions

His friends said he was crazy, but when Derek Leahy came to Alberta to start Rural Routes to Climate Solutions he found fertile ground for this ground-breaking project. He says engaging Alberta farmers in farm solutions that are climate solutions has been “a walk in the park.”

219. Osnabrück county produces 80% renewable energy

The county of Osnabrück in northern Germany produces 80 per cent its electricity from renewable sources, smashing national goals that call for 60 per cent by 2050. We look at one county’s response to the challenge of the national goals of Energiewende (energy transition) in Germany.

218. Effect Homes office goes off-grid in the big city

Effect Homes, a local leader in building net-zero, solar-powered homes has built Alberta’s first off-grid solar-cogen-powered and heated office.

Geothermal agricultural revolution?

217. Geothermal’s promise of endless heat for agriculture

Geothermal energy could be harvested from tens of thousands of spent oil wells in Alberta––enough to support a revolution in agriculture. So says Dr. Johnathan Banks of the UofA in this co-production between Green Energy Futures and Rural Routes to Climate Change.

Christian Meyer zu Venne with original waffle machine

216. Waffle cone factory shares its warmth

A German waffle cone factory is using its waste heat to heat the homes in its hometown—an ingenious initiative that could serve as a template for other heat-wasting small-town factories.

Philippe Dunsky, energy efficiency expert

215. Energy efficiency essential for the planet, great for the economy

In a scenario where Canada invests 2.5 times more in energy efficiency, Canada would create 118,000 jobs, save $75 billion on energy costs and reduce emissions up to 50 per cent. “And without energy efficiency, there’s no way that we can meet our Paris targets,” says Phillipe Dunksy an international energy efficiency consultant.

214. Saerbeck, Germany – a model “Climate Community of the Future”

Saerbeck, Germany calls itself the “Climate Community of the Future.” Today they produce 400 per cent as much renewable energy as they need.

213. First passive house car dealership in Canada

After visiting the zero-waste Subaru of America plant in Indiana Garrett Scott wanted to do something really special for their new car dealership in Red Deer, Alberta. With floor-to-ceiling windows it is no small task, but they have built the first passive house car dealership in North America. 

Tim Weis

212. The year wind power won the price war

In 2018 Alberta secured the cheapest wind power price in history, electric vehicles are on the rise and coal is on the decline. We talk to Dr. Tim Weis, industrial professor from the University of Alberta about some of the big green energy stories in Alberta from 2018.

Solar powered Simons

211. Solar leads a year of firsts in Alberta

Solar played a starring role in every single one of our favorite Green Energy Futures stories from 2018. It’s the leading clean technology in terms of global investment and it’s playing a pivotal role is zero emissions homes, stores, colleges and grids.

David McGown, Insurance Bureau of Canada

210. Risky business: insurance and climate change

Insurance payouts for severe weather events tied to climate change have gone up 250 per cent from $400 million/year to $1 billion/year in just ten years in Canada.

The Symonds Passive House

209. Passive house runs on sunshine, good to -30

The Symonds Passive House is 90% more energy efficient, solar powered and built out of solid wood (cross-laminated timber) and one of the most beautiful super energy efficient homes we’ve seen at Green Energy Futures. 

Julia Pyper, Greentech Media

208. Ms. Pyper goes to Washington

Julia Pyper grew up on a horse farm in Milton, Ontario. But at a time when journalism seems like a tough career, she went to university in New York, landed an internship reporting on what she calls the “apocalypse beat” (climate change) for Climate Wire in Washington DC and today she’s senior editor with Greentech Media in Los Angeles. We talk about clean tech in the Trump era and much more.

Energy Shift - the way forward

207. Energy Shift – An oil and gas guy’s take on alternative energy

Energy Shift is an e-newsletter – an oil and gas guy’s take on how conventional energy needs to work with alternative energy to tackle climate change and find the way forward.

Joel Gingrich with Alternative Energy Lab behind

206. Sleepy small city college with a big solar vision

Red Deer College has surged beyond its own goals for renewable energy by installing a 1.6-megawatt solar system, the largest on any post-secondary institution in Canada. Solar is everywhere and combined with their new 1-megawatt cogeneration system they generate 66% of their own electricity right on campus.

Greg Caldwell with micro cogen unit

205. Solar cogen, generate your own electricity rain or shine

Greg Caldwell generates 80 per cent of his own electricity, right in his Edmonton home. He uses a solar micro combined-heat-and-power (cogen) system—one that combines a rooftop solar system with a small gas-fired generator.

NAIT Alternative Energy comes of age

204. NAIT from the cutting edge to leaders of the energy revolution in seven short years

Just seven short years ago NAIT’s Alternative Energy program seemed ahead of its time. Today this innovative 2-year program is training the leaders of the clean energy revolution in Alberta. We talk to program chair Dr. Jim Sandercock about the evolution of the program.

Rae-Anne Wadey - The accidental solar star

203. Rae-Anne Wadey – A Diesel Truck or a Career in Solar

As a 19-year-old Rae-Anne Wadey had to make a decision – buy a diesel truck or study Alternative Energy. The program was ahead of its time and Rae-Anne had problems finding a job. What happened next is history – she’s a Face of the New Energy Economy.

Brandon Sandmaier heavy duty mechanic starts solar company

202. Brandon Sandmaier – Oilsands Mechanic to Solar Company Owner

Brandon Sandmaier is one of the faces of the new energy economy. He left a six-figure job as a heavy duty mechanic in the oil industry to study Alternative Energy at NAIT. Even before graduation, he started a company called Generate Energy.

Devashish Paul CEO of BluWave AI

201. Summerside a “living lab” for ultimate smart grid

At 46% Summerside PEI already has among the highest integration rates for wind energy in North America – now they are working with BluWave AI to use artificial intelligence to use even more renewable energy.

Gary Holden presenting at AEEA in Calgary

200. Solar-battery revolution tied to time-of-use pricing in New Zealand

In New Zealand solar with batteries is economic today, and could transform the electricity grid thanks to a simple market-based policy called time-of-use pricing.

Carl Denis in sea of solar

199. Alberta manufacturer sees solar as key to the future

A Calgary-based medical device manufacturer sees solar as key in the global marketplace, important to attract new talent and a key part of the new energy economy.

Mike Brigham of SolarShare with his pure electric Chevrolet Bolt

198. SolarShare co-operative reaches $60 million in projects

Ontario’s SolarShare is North America’s largest renewable energy cooperative, with $60 million in projects—but its beginnings were much more humble. We talk to Mike Brigham, solar evangelist and co-founder of SolarShare.


197. Metamorphosis – The art of the climate crisis

Metamorphosis the film takes viewers on a poetic, visually stunning journey through the climate crisis to a brave new world of clean energy solutions and a new relationship with nature. It was inspired by climate change itself.

Riverdale the Sustainable

196. Riverdale the Sustainable in Eco-City

Riverdale Community League tested public interest in sustainability at a community meeting in 2005 and since then the community has created a community garden, a food forest, hosted energy efficiency pizza parties, and thanks to a grant from Eco-City is now powered by solar energy. Oh, and there’s a waiting list to get on the sustainability committee!

What if economics tracked our well-being

195. An Economy of Well-Being

Economist Mark Anielski says we should transition to a Genuine Wealth Accounting system––one that accounts for our well-being, values natural capital (nature) and accurately tracks our mounting environmental liabilities.

First Net-Zero Home in Canada to receive Net-Zero Home label

194. Home builders embrace net-zero with new labelling program

The Canadian Home Builders Association now has a net-zero labeling program. We talk to Sonja Winkelmann about the program designed to help consumers and builders understand and embrace super energy efficient, solar-powered net-zero homes.

North Glenora Net-Zero Church and Townhomes

193. Visit 21 Inspiring green buildings on Eco-Solar Home Tour

Ever wondered about going net-zero with your home? Curious about solar, heat pumps or geothermal systems? The 19th Annual Edmonton Eco-Solar Home Tour is your chance to see the latest solar and energy efficiency technologies and talk to the owners who installed them.

PACE coming to Alberta

192. PACE makes it easy to invest in solar and energy efficiency

It’s called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. Alberta introduced a PACE bill and some believe if passed, it could drive a surge of investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy in Alberta homes and businesses.

Hudson's Hope District Office solar

191. Hudson’s Hope Solar Inspiring

The small community of Hudson’s Hope, British Columbia has more solar per capita than any B.C. district on municipal buildings. It was all due to the vision of Mayor Gwen Johansson who worked with the Peace Energy Cooperative to put Hudson’s Hope on the solar map.

Electric Buses in China

190. Energy disrupted: Five trends driving global energy transition

Energy systems around the world are being disrupted and Clean Energy Canada has just  zeroed in on five trends that are driving a global energy transition to clean energy. We talk to CEC’s policy director Dan Woynillowicz to to figure out what it means.

La Maison Simons - the first net-zero energy store in Canada

189. Simons first net-zero store in Canada

La Maison Simons just opened the first net-zero major retail store in Canada. It’s solar powered, geothermal heated and cooled and energy efficient.

Solar should be standard equipment - Desmond Bull

188. First Nations and oilsands workers learn solar shoulder to shoulder

A solar partnership in a small First Nations community in Alberta, could help point the way forward for energy workers, indigenous people, and Canada as a whole. The Louis Bull Tribe partnered with Iron and Earth an organization of oilsands workers to put on 5-day solar training course for workers.

Greenfield stack with Truly Green Farms greenhouse in background

187. Truly Green Farms – Growing tomatoes with waste energy


A greenhouse in Ontario is using waste heat from the stack of an ethanol plant to grow tomatoes and that’s only the beginning of this amazing story of industrial symbiosis. Corn comes into the biorefinery and produces ethanol, industrial alcohol and corn oil and virtually all of the waste from the plant is also used as well in this virtuous cycle.

School saved by influx of 30 students

186. Canada’s first net-zero church and social housing project

With very little money in the bank and an old church they could no longer afford to heat, the Westmount Presbyterian Church was on the brink of failure. Then, they hatched a plan to build Canada’s  first net-zero church and social housing project.

Ron Kube, energy efficiency cooking

185. Slow cooking lentil soup with almost no energy

Ron Kube, the Energy Detective, discovers a better way to slow cook lentil soup that is almost five times more energy efficient than a conventional slow cooker!

Tim Weis at Blackspring Ridge Wind Farm

2017 a banner year for green energy in Alberta

Alberta secured the lowest price for wind energy in Canadian history and built the first utility scale solar farm in Western Canada in 2017 a banner year for Green Energy in Alberta.

Energy profile for a 1956 home

183. EnerGuide: How does your home rate?

Learn all about the new EnerGuide for homes label and how an assessment can help you reduce energy use in your home, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Hi David, It was my privilege listening to your presentation at the AAA 2017 DP day. As I have discussed with you after your presentation, Please kindly provide the following information. (1) Calgary Siding contactor (Reduced energy by 85%) after renovating his house. Please send me the contact information (Telephone/ Email/ Location of the place). (2) You have mentioned there is one Net Zero town house complex (30,000 units) in Edmonton. Please kindly send me the details. (3) Land mark homes details. I would appreciate your early response.

182. Top 10 Energy Efficiency Tips for the Home

Green Energy Futures presents the Top 10 Energy Efficiency Tips for your home. We tag along with an EnerGuide for homes auditor and together create the ultimate list of things you can do to dramatically reduce energy use in your home.

The energy detective

181. The Energy Detective

When Ron Kube discovered his home was using nearly twice as much energy as the average home the energy detective was born. We can all learn from Ron’s journey that led to him reducing electricity use in his home by more than half–through measures so simple they are clichés.

The Kube's 9 kilowatt solar system

180. Solar 101 – everything you need to know

Producing your own solar electricity, it’s a cool idea right? But when is the right time to go solar? We talk to Ron Kube, who installed solar on his home and Clifton Lofthaug of Great Canadian Solar about everything you need to know before going solar.

IPCC Cities conference in Edmonton

179. Cities are source and may hold solutions to climate change

Edmonton is getting set to host the first international conference on Cities and Climate Change Science. We talk to Seth Schultz from C40 about Edmonton, climate change and the action thats required. Schultz is an organizer and director with a global organization of 90 megacities helping mayors and cities taken action on climate change.

Net-zero reno

178. Renovating your home to net-zero

SMART HOMES PART 2 – Have you ever dreamed of living in a net-zero home? According to Peter Darlington, that dream may be closer than you think. In fact, you might already be living in your future net-zero home. We present Peter’s four steps to making your home net-zero.

Getting in hot water efficiently

177. Water Heaters 101: Getting yourself in hot water

SMART HOMES PART 1 – Is your water heater kaput? Want to discover the best option for high efficiency water heaters? Look no further! We check out tankless, electric heat pump and power vented conventional high efficiency water heaters. Is one of them right for you? Read on and find out.

Peter Simons, CEO of Simons

176. New Simons has largest solar system in Edmonton

The new Londonderry Simons in Edmonton, Alberta has a 636 kilowatt solar system, the largest in the city and three solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations including one level three charger capable of charging EVs in under 30 minutes.

Eagles fly on solar power

175. NFL Eagles fly on 100% renewable energy

Solar powered football – the Philadelphia NFL Eagles have 11,000 solar modules, fly on 100 per cent renewable energy, divert 99 per cent of waste and recycle everything else.

Super energy efficient lighting crew

174. Edmonton Folk Music Festival rocks energy efficiency

It takes more than 2,000 volunteers to run the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, but only one to draeam up an idea of building super energy efficient LED light fixtures that will save 170,000 watts everything they turn on the lights.

Gordon Howell, solar pioneer

173. Gordon Howell, solar pioneer installed first grid-connected solar system in Western Canada

Gordon Howell is a solar pioneer, the first to install a grid-connected solar system on his home in Western Canada. Today Gordon finds himself at the hub of a community of people involved in a veritable solar revolution.


172. Sustainival, the world’s first green carnival

Life is a carnival! Sustainival, the world’s first green carnival started in Edmonton, Alberta. It’s a biodiesel powered full scale carnival infused with a message of sustainability.

Brazeau County Solar

170. Brazeau County – Solar in oil country

Brazeau County may be in the heart of Alberta’s oil and gas country in Alberta, but the county is diversifying into clean energy by putting solar on most of the country buildings.

Funding the green in buildings

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

Brian Scott and Leigh Bond want to see Property Assessed Clean Energy financing come to Alberta. They say PACE has generated $3.4 billion investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy in the U.S. and that little else would do more to spur on a boom in Alberta.

Affordable net-zero

168. Dawning of the age of affordable net-zero homes

Edmonton-based builder Landmark Homes has launched one of the most affordable net-zero homes we’ve seen in Canada.

2017 Chevy Bolt EV

167. Chevy Bolt: the first low-priced, long-range electric vehicle

Two important things happened in the electric vehicle (EV) world in recent months: Late last year Quebec became the first Canadian province to adopt a requirement for the sales of zero-emission vehicles and then in February General Motors debuted its long awaited Chevy Bolt, a long range, low-priced EV.

166. Gener8ing environmental leaders

The Gener8 Youth Energy and Climate Summit is a place for academics, experts, and industry insiders to inspire high school students to bring change to their community.

165. EnerGuide – The missing ingredient label for an energy efficient home

EnerGuide for homes: You wouldn’t buy a car without knowing how many liters per 100 kilometers it gets. So why buy a home without knowing how much power it uses?

164. The EnergieSprong has sprung!

We take a look at an ambitious energy efficiency retro-fit program designed to bring all buildings in the Netherlands to a net-zero standard by 2050.

Skeena passive house

163. Skeena – Canada’s largest passive house

The Heights is an 85-unit apartment complex in Vancouver that is the largest passive house in Canada. The project is leading the way to for a zero emissions building policy in Vancouver.

162. 2016 year in review

From wind-powered cities and schools to net-zero straw-bale homes, Green Energy Futures reflects on our green energy past.

161. Social housing retrofits save real money

Ian Cullis of the B.C Non-profit Housing Association shows us how some shallow retrofits are saving big money in Vancouver.

160. Green gift guide 2016

Green Energy Futures takes the stress out of holiday shopping with this cheat sheet of green gift ideas.

159. When the levy breaks

What’s in a name? Quite a bit actually! This week, we examine Alberta’s carbon levy and the affect it will have on Albertans.

158. Workers want a just energy transition

We examine the state of the world’s renewable energy investment and meet BlueGreen Canada, an advocacy group that seeks to secure a fair shake for workers affected by the sunset of the coal industry.

157. Straw-bale 101: A tale of two homes

This is a tale of two straw-bale homes: one a standard energy efficient, environmentally friendly straw-bale home built for Nora Bumanis, the harpist for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra; and second a net-zero, super energy efficient home built by Lance and Wendy Olson at Buffalo Lake, Alberta. See how a straw-bale home is built in our video!

156. Nova Scotia has created the first energy efficiency utility in Canada

We chat with EfficiencyOne’s CEO Stephen MacDonald about how investing in energy efficiency is cheaper than just producing more power.

155. We’re feeling Rand-y about clean tech investment

We check in with Canada’s “Climate Capitalist” about the state of our cleantech startup landscape.

154. Solar Thermal 101 – getting to net-positive

Tom Jackman of Simple Solar shows us the benefits of solar thermal technology.

153. Vulcan builds Canada’s first solar park

Vulcan, Alberta, the Star Trek Capital of Canada, has built the countries first aesthetically-minded solar park. Residents and visitors alike can now soak in rays alongside a visually pleasing solar resource.

Thumbs up for solar

152. Leduc has the largest rooftop solar system in Western Canada

The 1.14 megawatt solar system on the roof of the Leduc Recreation Centre is the largest of its kind in Canada and accounts for fully 10 per cent of Alberta’s total solar capacity.

Bull Creek Wind Farm

151. Wind farm powers 500 Alberta schools

Twenty six school districts in Alberta banded together to purchase 100 per cent renewable energy and have the Bull Creek Wind Farm, near Provost, Alberta to show for it. We talk to school trustees, the CEO of BluEarth Renewables, a farmer and a member of the Alberta Government on location at the Bull Creek Wind Farm.

Student-led Climate Leadership for Alberta Schools white paper

150. Student white paper calls for climate change action in Alberta schools

Alberta students present a white paper on Climate Leadership in Alberta Schools to the ministers of education and environment calling for climate change to be added to the curriculum and schools to become models of sustainability.

A new blue roof in Saskatoon

149. 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, an offshoot of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. This week, it’s power to the people on Green Energy Futures.


148. Summerside smart grid uses 46 per cent wind power

Summerside, Prince Edward Island (PEI) replaced expensive diesel power with record amounts of wind power using a smart grid and simple energy storage in residents furnaces and hot water heaters.

"calming quiet of the country" where he built his storied solar-powered Cabin in the Woods the inspiration behind the landmark radio series The Road Home. “I wanted to integrate the things I love in my life most. Living here in a cabin, living out of the city, living in nature, making radio, storytelling, and painting pictures through that storytelling.” “The best pictures I make are on radio,” says the accomplished photographer. Photo David Dodge,

147. Bob Chelmick’s Solar-powered Cabin in the Woods

Bob Chelmick is a former CBC news anchor who built his storied solar-powered “Cabin in the Woods” and started the ground-breaking radio series entitled: The Road Home. We visit the home of solar-powered radio this week on Green Energy Futures.

Lliam Hildebrand is an boilermaker and oilsands worker that helped found Iron and Earth to call on training in renewable energy for out of work oil workers.

146. Iron and Earth: oilsands workers call for training in renewable energy

More than 4,000 people have signed Iron and Earth’s pledge calling for renewable energy training for out-of-work oil workers and already 450 workers have said they want training.

A beautiful home in West Cape PEI with the West Cape Wind Farm in the background. Islanders get an average of 26 per cent of their electricity from wind power. Virtually all of the rest comes from an inter-tie undersea cable to the New Brunswick grid. Photo David Dodge,

145. Prince Edward Island rocks wind power

Prince Edward Island, Canada (PEI) is home of the highest proportion of wind power in North America. We talk to Energy Minister Paula Biggar about how this little province replaced expensive diesel power with enough wind power to provide 26 per cent of the electricity in PEI.

Scott Harper, the CEO of the Wind Energy Institute of Canada at North Cape on Prince Edward Island. The institute reinvented itself in 2005 adding it's own 10 megawatt wind farm to the research institute to fund their work and being real life experience to their research and work. Photo David Dodge,

144. This energy institute loves wind so much, they bought the farm

The Wind Energy Institute of Canada in Prince Edward Island helped that province integrate the highest proportion of wind power in North America.

Calgary is wind powered

143. Renewable energy powers Canada’s oil capital

When people think Calgary, renewable energy doesn’t usually come to mind. But dig a little deeper and it seems the oil capital of Canada is more ready for a carbon tax than many jurisdiction, thanks to investments in renewable energy the city is in a great position to save money.

142. Alberta students school Premier Rachel Notley on climate change

This past March, students from around Alberta and beyond collaborated on a white paper that seeks to influence the future of climate change education in the province.

Medicine Hat, Alberta AKA "The Gas City" wanted to diversify into wind power so they entered into a public private partnership with Wind River Power to build a 6 megawatt wind farm, the largest inside a city in Canada. The power purchase agreement is what helped access bank financing from ATB Financial, something that is challenging in Alberta's deregulated electricity market. Since Alberta needs 5-7 gigawatts of new renewable energy by 2030, creating enough price certainty to attract bank financing will be very important in Alberta. Photo David Dodge, Learn more: //

141. Financing critical for renewable energy projects

Securing investment in renewable energy is getting easier, but banks have a few things they like to see in projects, like price certainty and long term contracts that ensure a steady stream of revenue to support the loans needed to develop renewable energy projects.

Saskatchewan will add another 1,700 megawatts of wind capacity between now and 2030 to reach their goal of 50% of generation capacity. This naturally means actual generation by renewables will be much lower due to capacity factors of less than 50%. Photo David Dodge,

140. Saskatchewan blows the dust off its dirty electricity grid

Moving from one of the dirtiest grids in the country to 50 per cent renewable is no small task. However, Saskatchewan’s ambitions are matched by the quality of their renewable resource. We visit the Morse Wind Farm in southern Saskatchewan to see the start of the wind energy boom in Saskatchewan.

The Temperance Street Passive House will be the first passive house certified in Saskatchewan. Photo David Dodge,

139. The first certified passive house in Saskatchewan

We visit what will be the first certified passive house in Saskatchewan, Canada. This is somewhat ironic, because the first concept passive house ever was built in Saskatchewan in the 1970s by passive house pioneer Harold Orr. Meet Harold and see this amazing home!

Energy audits are often supported by municipal or provincial energy efficiency programs because they provide a strategic recipe book for all future energy efficiency improvements to businesses or homes. It provides hard, cold facts about return on investment for each change you are contemplating. It might be the best money you spend. Here, Rob Gawreletz inspects the attic insulation and seals in a home audit by CReturns, in Edmonton, Alberta. Photo David Dodge,

138. Energy efficiency coming to Alberta, at last!

This week, we visit a conference on energy efficiency that’s looking to to change Alberta’s current lack of program support for energy efficiency initiatives.

Edmonton's new carbon neutral net-zero garage suite is full of sensors and will be part of Godo Stoyke's PhD lifecycle assessment of the home to determine if energy efficiency and solar energy production can make not only the operation of the home carbon neutral, but whether it can also offset the carbon used in materials and construction and decommission. Photo David Dodge,

137. Carbon neutral laneway home–first of its kind

This carbon neutral home has a solar wall, solar PV on the roof and a unique energy storage system that heats this innovative garage suite when the sun doesn’t shine!

Visiting the Kinney Earthship, in the dead of winter on the Canadian prairie landscape north of Lethbridge, Alberta does invite comparisons with the lunar landscape! So much so it inspired photographer Steve Nagy to create this selfie in the middle of the night on a fine winter day. And in fact the number one question the Kinney's get about their Earthship is how does this passive solar heated home work when it's -30 degrees celsius.

136. Earthship living in a cold Canadian winter

How does a passive solar heated Earthship fare in the long cold Canadian winter. This week we return to a familiar place, the Kinney Family Earthship, to see how it holds up in the middle of a cold Canadian prairie winter.

The Mosaic Centre in Edmonton, Alberta is a net-zero commercial building powered by a nearly 200 kilowatt solar system (some of which is flat mounted) and heated by a geoexchange system that runs on solar power.

135. Shining a light on solar energy myths

Aren’t we too far north for solar? I’ve heard solar doesn’t work in the cold. And aren’t solar modules only 15 per cent efficient? This week take an illuminating look at some pesky solar myths and help you sort myths from facts.

Electricity from tomatoes?

134. Biogas: Brown waste – green power!

Lethbridge Biogas takes the manure and food waste, mixes it together, heats it to 39 degrees Celsius and captures the methane to power twin 1.4-megawatt generators, producing enough power for 3,000 homes.

In Green Energy Futures' whirlwind tour of wind energy myths we learned that the only significant health effect of wind farms is that they annoy some people. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Photo David Dodge,

133. A whirlwind tour of wind energy myths

Ever hear the one about how it takes more energy to make a wind turbine than it will produce over its lifetime? This week we blow the smoke away, and delve into some of the more pernicious myths about wind energy. Bookmark this one, you’ll want to use it later!

Peter Amerongen is one of the acknowledged grandfathers of the net-zero home—a home that produces as much energy as it consumes. Using his secret formula for insulation you can make a net-zero home in the most northerly city in North America. Photo David Dodge,

132. Insulation 101: One builder’s secret blueprint for a net-zero home

The era of net-zero homes is upon us. These super-efficient homes use rooftop solar energy production and smaller, electric powered heating systems such as air source heat pumps to produce as much energy as they consume. But the real secret is insulation. Peter Amerongen shows us Habitat Studio’s unique formula for insulating the heck out of a home.

Carl Lauren of Tyee Log and Timber Homes in Kimberley B.C. wanted to promote energy efficiency in home building so he pushed City Hall to start a program. Pictured is the crew that hand builds log homes at Tyee in Kimberley. Photo David Dodge,

131. Small town energy efficiency program is simple by design

Carl Lauren, owner of Tyee Custom Homes, wanted to encourage energy efficient design in construction, but the building code hamstrung his efforts. So he helped create a rebate system that gets around the bureaucracy!

Jason Rioux's shipping container cabin. The cabin was built out of seven sea containers in a hub and spoke pattern near Bobcaygeon, Ontario. This incredibly innovative sea container cabin is powered by a small 1 kW solar system and is packed with energy efficiency innovation - probably part of the reason the video has more than 100k views on YouTube. Photo Courtesy of Jason Rioux

130. Green Energy Futures: Our favourite stories from 2015

2015 will go down as the year that marked the dawning of the age of the net-zero home. We took notice by preparing our four-part Chasing Net-Zero series. And we we just loved the story about Jason Rioux’s shipping container cabin, as did almost 200,000 viewers!  Here are some of our favourites from 2015.

Highlight of 2015 - Dan Hofer, financial boss, David Vonesch of Skyfire Energy and Jake Hofer electrician with Green Acres Farm near Bassano, Alberta pose in front of their 2 megawatt solar farm that consists of more than 7,600 solar modules that produce the electricity to run Green Acre's recycling and farming operations. Photo David Dodge

129. Green Energy: The highlights of 2015

2015 was a banner year for clean, green energy! Vancouver pledged to go 100 per cent renewable energy, the Cowessess First Nation built a wind turbine and is testing energy storage, Edmonton passed an energy transition plan and Rachael Notley the new premier of Alberta announced a plan to phase out coal and greatly expand renewable energy.

Even the suburbs of Vitoria-Gasteiz are green and pedestrian friendly. Photo, David Dodge

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

The European green capital for 2012, Vitoria-Gasteiz is small in size but big in ambition.

According to Penelope Comette of the Pembina Institute and the Green Jobs Map there are 14,100 renewable energy jobs in B.C. Photo David Dodge

127. Where are the renewable energy jobs?

This week, Green Energy Futures explores the state of the green economy

The solar crew of Dave Simmonds, Warren Sarauer and Steve Milne from Evergreen and Gold Renewable Energy pose with Evansdale Community League's new 13.6 kilowatt solar system that will provide half of the community organizations electricity over the course of a year. Photo David Dodge,

126. Solar: A community investment

Evansdale Community League goes solar and builds a more resiliant community in Edmonton, Alberta.

Approximately 13 million tonnes of coal are mined at Highvale (adjacent to Wabamun Lake in Alberta) each year and delivered to TransAlta’s Sundance and Keephills coal-fired power plants. Photo David Dodge

125. Coal phase out case study: What Alberta can learn from Washington State

This is the story of Bruce Nilles of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign worked with Dawn Farrell the CEO of TransAlta to accellerate the end of coal-fired electricity generation in Washington State.

Dan Hofer hands me a carrot from the cool storage room on the Green Acres Hutterite Colony. These carrots are for colony use, but these are the same you might see at a farmers market in the region. Photo David Dodge

124. Green Acres, the largest solar farm in Western Canada

This week we visit the largest solar farm in Western Canada on the Green Acres Hutterite colony.

Edmonton's Energy Transition Strategy seeks to reduce emissions by 35%, reduce individual energy use by 25% and get 10% of our electricity from local renewable energy sources by 2035. Photo David Dodge,

123. Mayor Don Iveson on Edmonton’s Energy Transition Strategy

Edmonton, the oil capital of Alberta, passed its energy transition strategy earlier this year. We talk to Mayor Don Iveson about what this northern city is doing to transition to clean energy.

Just one of the groups that has taken the 5-day solar training course at Grid Works Energy Group in Edmonton, Alberta. Owner Randall Benson has trained more than 700 electricians in solar in the last six years. Solar jobs now total 174,000 in the U.S. surpassing coal jobs. Many places in Canada are just beginning to install solar, but it has enormous potential to diversify the economy and provide clean, low emissions electricity. Photo David Dodge,

122. Solar training on the rise

Randal Benson has trained more than 700 electricians across Canada to install solar systems. This week we go to solar school and talk to Benson and his students.

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick at the mountain city's large sun tracking 1-megawatt solar farm a project designed to re-brand Kimberley as a modern, clean energy tourism town. Photo David Dodge,

121. SunMine: How solar is transforming an old mining town

Kimberley B.C. installed the largest solar tracking solar PV system in western Canada and it’s all part of the reinvention of a mining town as tourism City and developer of clean renewable energy.

Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver says "In our greenest city plan we have a goal to double the number of green jobs in the city." More than 3,000 of the clean energy jobs found in the Clean Energy Jobs map are in Vancouver. Photo David Dodge,

120. Vancouver to go 100 per cent renewable

When Vancouver Mayor first ran for election he pledged to make his city the “greenest city in the world.” Now Vancouver has upped the ante pledging to make the city 100 per cent renewable by 2050.

Abasi Sanders shows off one of the creatively designed wind turbines created by students involved in the TREC Education Capture the Wind program in a Toronto school. Photo David Dodge,

119. Students capture the wind with TREC Education

Talk about light bulb moments, the grade 5 students at George Webster School in Toronto, Ontario are literally turning the lights on in TREC Education’s Capture the Wind renewable education program.

Science teacher Stephanie Bennett with two alumni - all veterans of the Cochrane High School Sustainable Development Committee. Successive committees have built seven major projects at the school including solar, energy efficiency and gardens. Photo David Dodge,

118. Cochrane students install solar and get new town policy permitting renewable energy

You could call it Sustainability High – since 2002 students in the Sustainable Development Committee at Cochrane High School in Alberta have raised almost $150,000 and build more than half a dozen solar, energy efficiency and green projects around their school.

Siemen’s Tillsonburg Wind Blade plant Photo David Dodge,

116. Tillsonburg: From tobacco farming to building wind turbine blades

In a repurposed auto parts factory on the edge of Tillsonburg, Ontario the transformation of the economy of Canada’s most populous province is underway.

"Every one of these three-car trains that goes by has a capacity of 600 people. That means it's taking about 550 cars off the road. It makes a lot of sense," says Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Photo David Dodge,

115. Calgary’s wind-powered LRT an incredibly successful system: Nenshi

Calgary’s LRT system is one of the most successful electrified transport systems in North America both from a ridership perspective and a green energy perspective.

Reid's Heritage Homes is building five net-zero homes as part of NRCan's Eco-Energy program. Here's their first home nearly completed on the left. The only external signs are the solar on the roof and the air source heat pump heating system mounted on the side of the house. Photo David Dodge,

114. Net-zero contagious: Five mini net-zero communities spring up across Canada

Canada’s latest batch of net-zero homes is being built in Guelph, Ontario. We head to the build site to check them out up close.

tesla powerwall

113. Beyond the Tesla Powerwall: How energy storage is shaping up in Ontario

Elon Musk’s presentation on the Powerwall gave the energy storage business a billion dollars worth of free press. In Canada, Ontario is leading the way in energy storage deployment; we head there to learn more.

Jason Rioux's shipping container cabin. The cabin was built out of seven containers in a hub-and-spoke pattern near Bobcaygeon, Ontario. Photo Courtesy of Jason Rioux

112. Welcome to the Octopod: An off-grid, solar powered shipping container cabin in Bobcaygeon, Ontario

Shipping container architecture has become more and more popular over the years. We check out an off-grid solar powered sea contaner cabin called the Octopod, located near Bobcaygeon, Ontario.

Solar flowers at Clarkson Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Region of Peel in Mississauga, Ontario. This flamboyant solar system is installed right next door to a former hybrid bus plant that also has a 427 kW solar system on it's roof. More than 23,000 renewable energy projects have been built in Ontario since the launch of the Green Energy Act in 2009. Photo David Dodge, Green

111. Ontario: Canada’s energy transition success story

Ontario’s energy transition — shutting down coal and ramping up renewables — is the most successful greenhouse gas reduction project in Canada’s history.

Location Efficiency expert Kurt Borth says too many people "drive until you qualify" for a big house, without considering the very real and significant transportation costs you will experience just getting to work and play. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

110. Location efficiency: Discovering the hidden transportation costs of where you live

Transportation is the average family’s second-biggest household expense. We learn why buying a location efficient house might just save you a whole lot of money.

Geoff Wensel works hands-on in his pilot plant that makes shingles out of recycled milk jugs, plastic grocery bags and limestone waste. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

109. Cradle to Cradle: Recycling’s cooler younger brother

Why changing the way we make things could change everything.

AIM Energy Pros have created their own custom circuit by circuit energy monitoring unit that here is hooked up to Evergreen Ecological Services electrical panel searching or energy savings. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

106. The $750 billion dollar opportunity in industrial and commercial energy efficiency

A new breed of startups is taking on a $750 billion dollar opportunity in industrial and commercial energy efficiency. We talk to two of them.

Judith Sayers at the China Creek run-of-river powerhouse. Photo by David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

105. Judith Sayers, First Nations run-of-river hydro trailblazer

Meet Judith Sayers, an incredible leader who got one of the first run-of-river hydro projects off the ground in B.C. that was majority owned by a First Nation.

Keeping turbines off of ridge tops, upwind of side slopes, and away from pronounced valleys, help reduce raptor fatalities in wind farms. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

104. Birds, bats and wind turbines

We dive into the science and research behind the effect of wind turbines on bats and birds.

The grand opening of the Mosaic Centre for Conscious Community and Commerce in Edmonton. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

103. Welcome to the Mosaic Centre: Canada’s biggest net-zero building

Net-zero houses are almost old news here at Green Energy Futures. But a net-zero commercial building? Now that got our attention.

Austin Brown of the National Renewable Energy Lab keeps this hunk of coal on his desk as a reminder of what a kilowatt-hour of electricity actually is. Burning this softball sized piece of coal will give you roughly a kilowatt-hour worth of electricity. Photo courtesy of Austin Brown NREL.

102. Everything you wanted to know about a kilowatt-hour but were afraid to ask

We can be guilty of using jargon here at Green Energy Futures. That’s why this episode is dedicated to clearing up two of the most common used and misused terms that come up on a regular basis.

Think of the filter material in your fish tank. Thanks to its very porous structure biochar provides an excellent medium for bacteria to live and do good work cleaning water, soils or someday perhaps even the stomachs of livestock. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures //

101. Biochar 101

Titan Clean Energy Projects is a Saskatchewan-based company making a very interesting product: biochar. We visit their plant and learn more about this amazing product.

Prior to launching the solar municipal feed-in-tariff program Banff invested in solar systems on public buildings such as the public washrooms in downtown Banff. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

100. Banff launches the first municipal solar feed-in tariff in Canada

Feed-in tariffs have transformed renewable energy markets around the world. Now the mountain town of Banff is the first municipality in Canada to institute this important piece of renewable energy supporting policy.

No two homes are the same in the Craik Eco-Village. There are tiny homes, homes made of straw bales, homes made out of insulated concrete forms – each home is its own unique recipe for building eco-home. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

99. Craik, Saskatchewan: The little Eco-Village that could

What happens when you sell unserviced lots for a dollar and get people to build green homes on the edge of a small Saskatchewan town? We find out.

Nissan LEAF makes it "easy to be green," offering the space and range to meet everyday needs, while also providing an exceptional value proposition due to zero spending on gas, lower operating and maintenance costs and a starting price after tax incentives competitive with a comparable gas-powered car.

98. Market snapshot: The state of electric vehicles in Canada

We check out one of the rarest electric vehicles in Canada and that spurs us to check on the state of the EV market here in Canada.

The wood for Millar Western's mills comes from the boreal forest surrounding the Whitecourt area in northern Alberta. Waste from the mills is burned by Whitecourt Power to generate electricity. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

97. Ban the beehive: Why wood waste to energy is a no-brainer

Whitecourt, Alberta has a pulp mill and a saw mill. With all that wood comes wood waste. We look at how one company is turning this wood waste into something useful — green electricity.

Green Energy Future's David Dodge and Keith Wallgren of RBF Cycles get ready to try a little winter cycling in the most northerly big city in North America. Photo Duncan Kinney, Green Energy Futures

96. Winter Cycling 101

David Dodge gets out of his comfort zone and jumps on a bike in the middle of an Edmonton winter. He learns about what kind of gear you need and how to stay warm for this fun, energy efficient mode of transportation.

Ryan Jansen of the Saskatchewan Research Council research shows batteries can increase a wind turbine's capacity factor significantly, allowing grid operators to incorporate more wind turbines. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

95. Cowessess First Nation has the biggest battery in Saskatchewan

Energy storage is getting ready to expand across the world. We head to Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan to see a finished project and understand more about this important next wave of energy technology.

94. Energiewende: Addressing the myths of Germany’s energy transition

Germany, Europe’s largest, most successful economy, is successfully and aggressively transitioning away from fossil fuels and nuclear. We debunk some of the myths that have sprung up around this incredible transition.

Alberta Pacific Forest Industries uses 2.56 million cubic meters of Aspen, poplars and birch to feed their pulp mill and power plants in Boyle, Alberta. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

93. Big Biomass 101

We head to one of the largest pulp mills in North America to check out how big biomass works up close.

Toronto may have one wind turbine in the core of the city but Medicine Hat now has three two-megawatt wind turbines right in the city. In a public-private partnership the city agreed to buy the wind-powered electricity produced by the turbines for 20 years. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

92. Our favourite Green Energy Futures stories of 2014

We look at the last year and explore our favourite stories of 2014.

91. Green Gift Guide

The best gifts for the green energy or energy efficiency nerd in your life.

DIY Solar Hot Water Heater Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

90. DIY Solar air heating

Build your own solar air heater. Follow along with Green Energy Futures’ David Dodge as he takes old pop cans, a little bit of wood, and builds a passive solar air heater that actually works. A great project for students!

Kyle Kasawski of Landmark Solar

89. Wind and solar reduce the price of electricity in Alberta

Learn how wind and solar energy are driving down prices for consumers in Canada’s most fossil-fuel-friendly province.

This concentrated solar thermal plant will supply superheated fluid to the city’s natural gas fired power plant, enough to generate one megawatt of electricity. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

88. Canada’s first concentrated solar thermal plant

Welcome to Canada’s first concentrated solar thermal energy plant in sunny Medicine Hat, Alberta. Discover how “The Gas City” is adding solar and wind to diversify it’s electricity supply in a city endowed with rich fossil fuel resources.

In spite of the volatility of solar stocks, Schnell predicts they will have a bull run that could last 15-20 years. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

87. Solar stocks rising

This week learn why one stock analyst thinks the future is bright for the solar industry.

Dave Spencer and Debbie Wiltshire in front of their net-zero home. They wanted to develop a green community in Calgary and started the process more than 12 years ago. The concept turns traditional suburban neighbourhoods on its ear. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

86. Echohaven: An environmentally friendly, energy efficient suburb

Echohaven is a different kind of suburban development. It preserves natural landscapes, mandates energy efficient homes and guarantees solar access.

Wilbur McLean, a communications officer with the city of Medicine Hat, stands in front of a wall of smart meters. Medicine Hat has installed 26,000 smart meters.

85. How to make your smart meter even smarter

Chances are the electricity meter in your home is dumb as a sack of hammers. We head to Medicine Hat, Alberta, to find out what smart meters are, and we talk to the CEO of a company that makes smart meters even smarter.

Himark Biogas has trademarked the process of integrating cattle, biogas and ethanol operations and they have actually licensed it for use by other companies in the US. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

84. Integrated bio-refinery

On their own a feedlot, an anaerobic digester and an ethanol plant might not make sense but combine them and you’ve got an integrated bio-refinery where each business feeds the other in a virtuous cycle.

The roof of the Eastgate office building in Edmonton, home to an Environment Canada office, has 640 solar panels.

83. Is Alberta Canada’s next big solar market? We make the case

Solar energy may only make up 0.03 per cent of Alberta’s electrical generation capacity. We make the case that solar is a growth opportunity in Canada’s only deregulated electricity market.

Landmark Solar Townhomes

81. Chasing Net Zero: Go big or go home

Landmark Homes is planning to have all of their homes be net-zero by 2015. Learn how net-zero is transitioning from small custom home builders to large scale companies.

Shafraaz and Serena Kaba’s near net-zero home was inspired by the German concept of the Passivhaus, a super energy efficient home that requires very little energy for heating or cooling. The home is air tight, very well insulated and it gets half its heating from passive solar energy streaming through the windows. Photo Darren Greenwood

80: Chasing Net Zero: Net-zero evolution

In 10 years net-zero homes have gone from government pilot project to mass production. Shafraaz Kaba’s near net-zero home is an excellent example of how we got there.

Spo'pi solar house

79. Chasing Net Zero: Net-zero beautiful

We look at making energy efficient, infill homes that are beautiful and also at how the location of your home can have a dramatic effect on your energy footprint.

Photo Garth Crump Chasing net-zero Part 1: Net-zero 101

78. Chasing Net Zero: Net-zero 101

The first episode of our four-part series Chasing Net-Zero.  We dive into the history of net-zero homes and figure out you can build one of these comfortable, beautiful homes that also doubles as a mini-powerplant.

77. Classroom energy challenge

This week we follow students at Prairie Waters school in Chestermere, Alberta to seek out and destroy energy vampires, increase energy literacy and save energy in the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge.

Angelo Ligori, plant manager of Greenfield Specialty AlcoholsPhoto David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Greenfield Industrial Alcohols - industrial symbiosis

76. An integrated ethanol biorefinery wastes not

Learn how a seriously integrated ethanol plant has become a central hub for half a dozen other businesses using its byproducts of heat, CO2, distillers grains and more!

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Pond Biofuels and St Marys Cement Plant St Marys, Ontario

75. Pond Biofuels: Growing algae from CO2

Taking a waste product and turning it into a resource has been a recurring theme on this show. This week learn how Pond Biofuels is taking raw smokestack gas from one of the developed world’s most carbon intensive activities, cement manufacturing, and turning it into algae.

The Zeus electric motorbike team at the University of Calgary.

74. Team Zeus

The University of Calgary is home to Team Zeus and they’re building an electric motorbike to race this summer.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Groundswell Network Greenhouse, Invermere BC

73. Passive solar greenhouses: Producing more food with less energy

A passive solar greenhouse in Invermere B.C. is making people across the continent sit up and takes notice. It may sound ironic, but most greenhouses are not designed to harvest and retain the sun’s energy.

Photo Duncan Kinney, Green Energy Futures GLOBE 2014 Vancouver

72. Three up and comers show their stuff at GLOBE 2014

This week join us as head head to Globe 2014 into the Grizzly Den, where 36 different companies are pitching to investors, partners and customers. We feature three out of 30 that we thought you should know about.

Greg Devries, president of Truly Green greenhouses that plans to use the waste heat from an ethanol plant to heat 60 acre of greenhouse.

71. Industrial symbiosis: Growing tomatoes with an ethanol plants waste

We head to Chatham, Ontario to explore a unique example of industrial symbiosis between an ethanol plant and a greenhouse.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Executive Flight Centre Development Edmonton International Aiport

70. Solar hot water 101

With cheap natural gas and cheap solar PV is solar hot water still worth it? We explore how this technology works and in what applications it makes the most sense.

Bryn Davidson, designer of the Lanefab laneway Energuide 90 home in Vancouver, BC.

69. Vancouver’s laneway homes

Come take a tour of a super energy efficient laneway home in Vancouver and talk to a builder of these tiny, fun homes.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Starland Country Community Solar Program, Alberta

68. Community solar: Farmers love the sun

We head to Starland County, Alberta where some very innovative farmers are working with Bullfrog Builds and the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre to build solar that pays for itself in 10-13 years.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Harvest Power, Richmond, BC, Canada

67. Harvest Power: Energy and compost from rotten food

Learn how Harvest Power turns your rotten banana peels and other gross assorted food waste into energy and compost at their site in Richmond, BC.

66. KidWind Challenge: Getting high school kids amped about wind power

Check out 30 plus Edmonton area high school students as they build two-foot wind turbines and are judged on how much power the wind turbine produces in a wind tunnel, the design, documentation and wind energy knowledge.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Community Solar at Oilfield Arena, Black Diamond, Alberta

65. Community solar: Meet a small town solar energy Macgyver

Community scale renewable solar is cheap and requires very little maintenance. Learn how two communities in Alberta built successful community solar energy programs.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Oxford’s Centennial Bldg Calgary Jan. 29 2014

64. Urban cogeneration

Cogeneration is a simple, effective idea – generate electricity from the waste heat from a boiler. We explore a 370 kilowatt unit powering and heating an office building in downtown Calgary.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Passive Solar Heating Belgravia Net-zero Home in Edmonton, Alberta

63. The power of passive solar and thermal mass

Passive solar energy and its running buddy thermal mass give you the opportunity to get a significant portion of your home’s heat for free from the sun.

In a home audit by CReturns in Edmonton, Alberta an infared camera reveals heat leakage around the windows. The complete blanket of insulation and high performance R8 windows cut down on heat loss dramatically in new super insulated net-zero homes. Photo David Dodge,

62. The massive potential of energy efficiency

Learn how the energy efficiency policy process works and how, if applied in Alberta, Canada’s biggest carbon emitter could save a ton of money and get halfway to its 2020 greenhouse gas emission targets.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Windy Coulee Canadian Horses Ranch, Pincher Creek Alberta

61. Learn about Alberta’s $380 million green technology fund

Alberta has a carbon price and it’s collected $380 million worth of cash for carbon reduction technology projects. Learn how they’re spending that money.

60. Phasing out coal in Alberta

We talk to a doctor who knows the true health costs of coal in Alberta as well as Alberta’s new Associate Minister of Renewable Energy and Electricity on what she would replace coal with.

Sonny Shem has really taken a shine to electric bikes and commutes regularly to work: " It makes you feel like you have bionic legs," says Shem. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

59. Electric bikes – An easy way to green your commute

The electric bike might be the single best urban transportation option out there. It’s super green, gets you outside, has really low emissions and can get you up that big hill without breaking a sweat.

The CREE 60-watt equivalent LED light bulb

58. The incandescent light bulb phase out is a good thing

The incandescent light bulb phase-out is akin to getting rid of leaded gas, CFCs or the Ford Pinto. It is unequivocally a good news story. Learn why this week at Green Energy Futures.

Energy Storage

57. Energy storage: Power-to-gas and better batteries

Renewable energy produces energy when the sun shines and the wind blows, but these entrepreneurs are developing better batteries and new and innovative ways of capturing and storing renewable energy.

James Callaghan and his two brothers run Maryland Farms, a 250 cow dairy operation that set up a biogas operation on their site two years ago. Behind him is the anaerobic digester.

56. Best stories of 2013

Here are our favourite stories of 2013.

Pam Goertzen of Climate Change Central shows off the Nest programmable thermostat.

55. Green Energy Futures holiday gift guide

It’s that time of the year to sweat about what exactly you’re going to give to the people you care about in your life. Here at Green Energy Futures we’ve taken the time to come up with a short but awesome list of what to get for someone whether they’re a total green energy geek or they’re a total green energy neophyte.

54. The amazing earth tube cools office tower

Earth tubes are a simple, passive geothermal system that takes advantage of the earth’s constant temperature below the frost line. By drawing fresh air for your building through an earth tube you pre-heat or pre-cool your air depending on your needs. This saves you a ton of money, according to architect Tang Lee an earth tube system can save you up to half of your ventilation heating costs. At the Epcor Tower it saves the building $50,000 a year.

Rae-Anne Wadey of Great Canadian Solar working on the Eastgate Environment Canada building in Edmonton. Photo by David Dodge, Green Energy Futures.

53. The cheap solar revolution is upon us

Soon solar will be so cheap it won’t make sense not to have it on your house, office building or spare building facing south. The price of solar has dropped one hundred times in the past 35 years, that’s not a typo. Learn what’s driving the low cost of solar and where and when you’ll start seeing it in the near term this week at Green Energy Futures.

Photo David Dodge

52. Sun Country Highway

Kent Rathwell, the co-founder of Sun Country Highway, a company that installs electric charging stations, drove a Tesla Roadster across Canada in the dead of winter just to prove it could be done.

Tom Rand is an entrepreneur and cleantech expert. He's a senior advisor with the MaRS cleantech practice and a managing partner of the MaRS Cleantech Fund. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

51. Tom Rand and the MaRS Cleantech Fund

The International Energy Agency estimates the cleantech market will be a three to four trillion dollar concern by 2020. Tom Rand is helping Canadian entrepreneurs get a slice of that trillion dollar pie through his work at the MaRS cleantech business incubator and through investing in early stage cleantech startups with the MaRS cleantech fund. Learn all about this week on Green Energy Futures.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

50. Morgan Solar, a new kind of solar for the people

We profile Morgan Solar, a Canadian startup that aims to develop a cheaper to produce and more efficient solar module.

Cam Carver, CEO of Temporal Power with a 9,000 pound steel flywheel suspended by magnets and held in a vacuum to reduce friction. Photo David Dodge

49. The Energy storage revolution!

We talk to two Canadian startups working in the energy storage space, Temporal Power, a a company making flywheels and eCAMION doing community battery storage.

Bullfrog Power offices in Toronto

48. Bullfrog Power – the story behind the cute little frog

We get behind the cute logo and figure out if Bullfrog Power is for real.

Ashley Lubyk next to a completed rocket stove. Notice the barrel and the large cob bench he is sitting on. That cob bench acts as a thermal battery, storing the heat after the fire is burned out.

47. Rocket stoves and the rocket mass heater

The rocket stove takes our fascination with fire and bends it 90 degrees. It’s a hyper efficient wood stove that uses far less wood to get a far more effective result.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Sherwood Park Biomass/Nat Gas District Heating Project

46. Biomass district heating in Sherwood Park

In Sherwood Park, Alberta just minutes from refinery row city hall, the famous Festival Place Theatre, condos, a high school and more buildings are all heated by biomass, wood to be exact.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Shot at EECOL Electric in Calgary, Alberta.

45. Big idea: The distributed generation revolution

Ever looked at the breakdown of your electricity bill with all of its transmission and distribution charges and wondered if there was a better way? There is and it’s called distributed generation. Learn about it this week at Green Energy Futures.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

44. Future of transportation Part Two

With the Edmonton Auto Show under our belt we went to check out the Future of Transpotation Symposium There we met the people who are driving and using the next generation of vehicles today.

Photo by David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

43. Future of transportation Part One

Shiny, spinning and promising the latest and greatest experiences you can get behind the wheel of a car – when you’re at a car show almost anything is possible. That’s why we headed to the Edmonton Auto Show to get a handle on what the world’s biggest manufacturers are doing in the EV, hybrid and fuel economy space. Follow us as we talk to industry executives and dive into the numbers behind what’s next for the auto industry.

John Wycoco hops in one of the 300 Smart Cars that Car2Go has available in the inner core of Calgary for rental by the minute. The company also operates in Vancouver and Toronto in Canada and 14 other cities worldwide. Photo David Dodge

42. Car2Go: Carsharing in Calgary

We head to Calgary to explore how the car sharing service Car2Go works. With 300 Smart cars spread throughout Calgary they make their money on by-the-minute, on demand car rentals within 93 square kilometers of Calgary’s inner core. Parking, gas, maintenance and insurance are all included in the rate and you can find the nearest car with your smartphone. Check it out, this week at Green Energy Futures.

Peter Amerongen led the construction of the first net-zero home in Edmonton, Alberta and continues to lead innovation by specializing in the construction of net-zero homes. Photo David Dodge,

41. Net-zero evolution: From the Star Trek Enterprise to utter simplicity

It took a 45-person team to build Edmonton’s first net-zero home. In six short years since then net-zero builders are constructing cheaper and radically simpler net-zero homes. We Peter Amerongen and Simon Knight, two net-zero pioneers.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Lawrence Grassi School, Canmore, Alberta

40. The grass really is greener at Lawrence Grassi middle school

Sometimes the Grassi really is greener. Lawrence Grassi that it is. It’s a middle school in the Albertan mountain town of Canmore and while not a showy building it’s 70 per cent more efficient than a comparable building and it was built on budget. Learn how they did it this week at Green Energy Futures.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Nanaimo waste to energy

39. Nanaimo: Turning waste into compost, carbon credits and electricity

The Nanaimo Regional District is home to about 145,000 people on the east coast of Vancouver Island. This west-coast municipality is turning its trash into compost, clean energy and carbon credits.

T'Sou-ke Chief Gordon Planes

38. T’sou-ke First Nation goes all in on energy conservation and solar

The T’Souke First Nation on Vancouver Island developed and implemented a plan that slashed 75 per cent of their energy use and installed solar PV to provide clean power. It turns out it’s a lot easier to go net-zero when you drastically cut your energy use.

Landmark Homes construction1

37. Landmark: How to make a more energy efficient home with robots

Landmark Homes builds super energy efficient homes in a factory. Not only is this process more energy efficient – it’s also about 10-12 tonnes of CO2 more efficient. The homes they’re building are understated energy efficiency lions.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures On the trail of cooking oil, from cruise ships to bus cruise lines – the story of the Cowichan Biodiesel Coop in Duncan, British Columbia

36. Micro-brewed biodiesel powers bus tours in Victoria

The Cowichan Bio-Diesel Cooperative is the plucky little coop that could. In 2004 they started selling 20-litre jugs of bio-disel at the local farmer’s market. Nine years later they’re planning to produce 150,000 to 200,000 litres with a mix of corporate and retail clients.

35. Reimagine your office building – Servus did it!

When Servus Credit Union acquired an old Dell call centre and decided to turn it into their corporate headquarters it was a bit of a fixer-upper. It was a concrete tip-up building originally designed for the climes of Oklahoma 3,000 km south of Edmonton. Well, they decided to keep the building but go full-out on a creative renovation to make a better building.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

34. The Nest: The iPod of programmable thermostats

Most programmable thermostats are poorly designed and beset with confusing instructions and non-intuitive press-and-hold interfaces. Enter Tony Fadell, the chief designer behind the original iPod. He walked away from Apple in 2010 and started a company that makes the Nest, a sleek new entry in the programmable thermostat that’s taking the home energy efficiency world by storm.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Edmonton Waste Management Facility

33. Landfill gas: How old garbage can generate electricity

Landfills are quickly becoming centres of innovation when it comes to turning what we throw away into energy. Edmonton has had a landfill gas operation since 1992 and it was the first in Western Canada to turn old garbage into a new resource. Learn how it’s done this week on Green Energy Futures.

Receiving one of two daily biomass shipments at the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility at UBC. Photo David Dodge

32. UBC district heating: Low carbon Lego

The new low temperature hot water style heating system at UBC is taylor-made to integrate renewable energy systems like biomass, geoexchange, solar thermal and waste heat into a natural gas system all because the barrier for entry is lower. The bouncer at the old steam heating system was pretty strict – you had to be 190 C to get in. Now you only have to get the temperature up to 80 C.


Cows in the cow barn eat when they are hungry and big rakes automatically collect manure from the floors to feed the biogas operation on on the Callaghan family farm in Lindsay, Ontario. Ontario has built about 30 similar projects that produce electricity, clean up environmental problems and creates economic diversification on the farm. Photo David Dodge,

31. Biogas: Closing the loop on cow poop

Cow poop isn’t typically thought of as a valuable resource. But with a process called anaerobic digestion that cow poop can be turned into electricity, heat, a near odourless fertilizer and and animal bedding.

Don Gamache, operator of the Fitzsimmons Creek run-of-river project, gestures at the weir where water is diverted into a penstock pipe that travels 3.5 km down to the power plant. This headpond is sandwhiched between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Photo David Dodge

30. How it works: Run-of-river hydroelectric power

More than 45 run-of-river projects have popped up in B.C. in recent years. We explore the Fitzsimmons Creek run-of-river project, a 7.5 megawatt powerplant that puts out enough juice to meet the annual demand of the Whistler Blackcomb resort.

The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver is striving to be a LEED Platinum building and to meet the Living Building Challenge certification, a standard met by only three other buildings in the world. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

29. Canada’s greenest building

This four-story, 60,000 square feet structure is practically a living thing. It’s a $37-million laboratory that aims to achieve LEED Platinum status, but more than that, they’re also pursuing a Living Building Challenge certification. This certification is so hard to get, there are only three certified living buildings in the world.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

28. Sewer heat keep homes warm in Vancouver’s False Creek area

We head down into the sewer, not to hang out with Michelangelo and the rest of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but to explore a unique district heating scheme that’s over 2.7 million square feet in Vancouver. It’s called sewage heat recovery and it’s the only system of its kind in North America.

Vancouver is "Bike City"

27. Bike city – What the rest of Canada can learn from Vancouver

This week we examine how Vancouver became “Bike City” and why this is important for cities who want to reduce their carbon emissions and become more energy efficient.

Dan Balaban is the CEO of Greengate Power and as we’ve described him on the program before, a clean energy cowboy who’s building big wind projects in Alberta’s deregulated electricity market with hardly any local government help. “The federal government should be very clear that we favour clean sources of energy in this country to dirty sources of energy,” says Balaban in the report.

26. Clean energy entrepreneurs

With more than 700 companies, the cleantech sector has emerged as a major driver of innovation and employment growth in Canada, investing almost $2 billion in research and development. We talk to Canadian entrepreneurs about can be done to ensure that Canada grows in concert with this rapidly expanding $1 trillion global clean technology industry.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Willow harvesting at Ohaton Sewage Lagoon, Camrose County, Alberta

25. Waste to willows

Learn how a small rural Albertan county is treating it’s waste in a more environmentally responsible fashion and growing their own substitute for natural gas. They pump the effluent from a waste lagoon into a densely planted stand of willows. Willows like moist soil, grow fast and grow easily in our climate. That willow is then chopped down every three years and can be used for wood, heat or compost. In Camrose, they’re using it to heat their main county office.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

24. Our favourite stories of 2012

Join us as we dive into our archives and give you our favourite clips and behind the scenes moments from 2012. From nearly falling into the Bay of Fundy to angry anti-wind protesters we go coast to coast to coast to give you best.

Matthew Lumley shows a figure that illustrates how the coast line pinches in Minas Passage to produce a flood tide that races along more like a river than a tide. Photo David Dodge

23. Tidal Energy 101

If Nova Scotia could get tidal energy to work right, it could power all of Nova Scotia. Discover the potential of tidal energy in the Minas Passage.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Nova Scotia

22. The greenest little campus in Canada

Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia switched from fuel oil boilers to biomass, then added solar thermal modules to their dorms and even installed two wind turbines and are saving money on operating costs!

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Walmart-SMC Balzac Western Distribution Center

21. The unlikely Walmart sustainability story

When you think of Walmart do a plethora of contradictory thoughts and images come into your brain? Well get ready for it to get even more confusing because the world’s largest retailer and the 19th largest economy in the world have stepped up the plate with one of the best corporate sustainability plans in the world. It’s not just planning either, they’re executing it as well. We went to their Fresh Food Distribution Centre in Balzac to get the story.

Austen Hughes, a community wind developer with Natural Forces is developing several projects that qualify for Nova Scotia's community feed-in tariff. Photo by David Dodge

20. Nova Scotia’s community power

If you’re a cooperative, not-for-profit, municipality, university, First Nation or Community Economic Development Investment Fund you can qualify for Nova Scotia’s community feed-in tariff. This means a guaranteed economic return on any approved project and it means regular folks and not necessarily large multi-nationals get to see the financial benefits of building out new renewable energy infrastructure.

Photo Duncan Kinney, Green Energy Futures

19. Sunny solar Alberta

Some provinces have all of the luck. While poor PEI has little more than potatoes and tourists Alberta gets not only the lions share of Canada’s coal, oil, gas and bitumen, it gets the best solar resource in all of Canada too. We learned this by talking to Alberta’ solar industry veterans, experts from Ontario and even the minister of environment for Alberta, Diana McQueen at CANSIA West.


Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Home Audit by CReturns, Edmonton, Alberta

18. The power of a home energy audit

When Ted Wolff decided to buy a 55-year-old bungalow in the west end of Edmonton he knew he wanted to renovate. He also knew that his home wasn’t necessarily the most energy efficient, that’s when he brought in C Returns and Godo Stoyke and they called for an energy audit. By getting an audit Wolff will be able to make the best decisions when it comes to allocating money and resources to make his home more energy efficient.

Light Up Alberta

17. Light Up Alberta

If I told you you could almost double the amount of money you got from the solar energy you put on the grid would that make you more likely to get a rooftop solar system? Spark and several other small electricity retailers are betting that you will. Is this the final push that gets solar over the hump in Alberta?

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Pumpjack by River Cree Casino

16. Pumpjack powerplants

Canadian Control Works is a small Edmonton based company with a big idea. They’ve figured out how to create green electricity from the downswing of a pumpjack with a device called the Enersaver. We don’t give them much thought but each pump jack is moving 5-10 tons each time it goes up and down. By harvesting that energy oilfield operators save money and stabilize the grid around it.

Canadian Solar was one of many companies that have started in Ontario since the launch of the Green Energy Act. Ontario's local content rule was shot down by the WTO, but meanwhile dozens of clean energy companies emerged and are operating in Ontario. Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

15. House of the rising sun: Canadian Solar is an Ontario-based solar manufacturer

We take a tour of the Canadian Solar plant in Mississauga, Ontario. In 2011, the solar manufacturing industry in Canada was responsible employing over 2,100 people $584 million of economic output.

Phil Dayson is an accidental electric vehicle pioneer who lives in Vancouver. He wound up owning an electric car company almost a decade ago and when the Chevy Volt came out he snapped one up. Photo Kevin Sauvé

14. The rise of the electric car

Phil Dayson says he’s not a car guy, but he should probably clarify. He’s not an internal combustion engine car guy. What gets Dayson motor running isn’t the familiar rumble of a V8 but the smooth, seamless acceleration of an electric vehicle. Join us as Phil tells us what it’s like to own and drive the most popular electric vehicle going, the Chevy Volt

Mike Brigham, the president of Solar Share, at its WaterView facility. Located on the roof of a bus manufacturing plant it has 438kw of thin-film solar.

13. Solar bonds: Ethical, local investing in solar energy

“We can take a commercial roof that was previously wasted space and turn it into a generation asset which is producing clean, safe, renewable energy,” says SolarShare president Mike Brigham.

Not only that but investors get to finance these projects through solar bonds and see a healthy financial return without creating a toxic legacy.

Heidi Eijgel, rides her horse Luna, past the turbines of Summerview wind farm.

12. Heidi Eigel: One farmer’s wind story

Heidi Eijgel has lived next to the 136 megawatt Summerview wind farm since 2003. She is happy to have these towers of clean, green power next to her home. She tells us about the noise levels, the effects on wildlife and the business and environmental case for wind energy.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Dawson Creek and Tumbler Ridge BC Sustainable Dawson Creek and Big Wind in BC

11. Big wind in British Columbia

When the wind blows in British Columbia’s Peace region it’s being put to use. In the plast 4 years three large wind projects have been built in this beautiful, remote place. We explore the story of two of them, visiting one under construction and one where the community led the way.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

10. The renewable energy revolution in Ontario

The German style feed-in tariff that Ontario implemented in 2009 has made Ontario a North American leader in renewable energy. Learn how they did and why other provinces need to follow the lead of Ontario.

09. How Toronto’s waterfront wind turbine kick-started a green energy revolution

When the people behind the Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative first thought up the idea of a highly visible urban wind turbine they had no idea how far it would eventually go. From this revolutionary first project grew the organizations and people who would nudge Ontario towards North America’s first German style feed-in tariff.

Bear Mountain Wind Park defines the skyline around the city of Dawson Creek.

08. Awesome Dawson Creek: A northern oil and gas town bets big on renewable energy

Cheryl Shuman, a city councillor with the city of Dawson Creek in northeastern British Columbia considers herself a turbine hugger, not a tree hugger. She was part of the Peace Energy Co-operative a local grassroots group that developed the Bear Mountain Wind Park.


Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Interviews with Wayne Rogers of Luminessence Lighting at Matthew Rogers' home in Edmonton, Alberta

07. Green lighting 101

This week we speak to Wayne Rogers of Luminessence Lighting as we pit compact fluorescent bulbs against LEDs in the battle for efficient lighting. We also speak to Don Cherwonka of EWEL Electric Wholesalers about the amazing T8 bulb and how a lighting fixture can almost double the light with no extra watts! Bonus – we peak under the hood of one of the Phillips $10 million L-prize LED bulbs to find out how it works.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures Geothermal with Leigh Bond, Threshold Energy Brentwood Apartments, Edmonton Geothermal, Solar Thermal, Solar PV, Net Zero ready apartment building

06. Geothermal 101

If you own a fridge you own the same technology used in a geothermal heating system. It’s called a heat pump and its job is to pump heat from one place to another. In the fridge’s case it pumps the heat out of the fridge to keep it cool. In a ground source heat pump’s case it pumps the latent heat in the ground into your home.

Get a more detailed explanation and check out both a residential and a commercial scale example of this energy efficient technology that takes advantage of the Earth’s constant temperature.

Dan Balaban, the founder and CEO of Greengate Power has almost 1500 megawatts of wind projects in the pipeline.

05. Meet Dan Balaban – Alberta’s wind energy cowboy

Dan Balaban is a genuine wind energy cowboy. In five short years this Calgary entrepreneur has gone from little knowledge about the wind business to building some of the largest wind farms in Canada.

What’s his secret? It’s in his business plan and his determination to succeed. Meet Dan Balaban in this weeks episode of Green Energy Futures.

Les Wold, a managing partner with Effect Homes, is part of the second wave of net-zero home builders making it simpler and more affordable.

04. Learn how net-zero home builders are building a better world

Les Wold is a part of this second wave of net-zero home builders. At 38-years-old he’s a managing partner with Effect Homes, an Edmonton based homebuilder that currently builds about 10 houses a year.

Learn about how these new kinds of homes are getting built and the simple design cues you can take even if you don’t put solar panels on your roof.

03. How Enmax is making simple, easy, low-cost, off-the-shelf solar a reality

Have you ever wanted to get solar panels on your house but were scared of the costs, time and effort it would take? Enmax, a Calgary based utility, has simplified the process for homeowners with their Generate Choice program. Simply sign up and if you qualify Enmax will handle the installation, permitting and maintenance.

Meet the people and families that have taken the solar energy plunge.

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

02. NAIT’s new alternative energy program zeros in on solar, wind, geothermal and more

NAIT’s Alternative Energy Program is helping meet the increasing demand for professionals to design, build, install and maintain green energy systems. A two-year program, it teaches students the intricacies of solar, wind, geothermal and even fuel cell systems.

Meet the students and instructors who are helping to create the next generation of skilled green energy workers.

01. Author Chris Turner on taking the green energy leap

Author Chris Turner is an inspiration. As a writer he has focused on real world examples of people, places and programs where the future is already here. Things like self-sufficient islands in Denmark, Germany’s renewable energy metamorphosis and the surprising results of Spain’s commitment to high-speed rail.

We speak with Chris about the three leaps we need to take to replace non-renewable energy with renewable energy in the next 50 years.

Medicine Hat’s smart energy revolution (pilot episode)

The award winning Hat Smart program in Medicine Hat, Alberta provides incentives and rebates for renewable energy and energy efficiency and has really captured the imagination of residents of this Southern Alberta City of 61,000 people. In this week’s episode Alderman Ted Clugston explains how success depends on a sexy program, a solar powered dentist shows his stuff and a home builder explains how building an EnerGuide 89 geothermal heated home is helping him build better, greener homes.