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Canada's Hydrostor eyes role in $1-billion U.S. peak power market

Canada's Hydrostor eyes role in $1-billion U.S. peak power market

as published in the Globe and Mail here

Canadian underwater energy storage company Hydrostor is eyeing $1-billion of contracts to replace decommissioned U.S. peak power plants in the next two or three years, its chief executive said.

So-called “peakers,” electrical generators which are turned on only when demand is highest, are a critical but expensive element of the electricity grid.

Hydrostor and its engineering partner AECOM are targeting dozens of mostly coal-powered facilities of at least 100 megawatt capacity across the U.S. that either shut down in 2016 or will shut this year.

Hydrostor buys off-peak electricity to compress air it stores underwater in balloon-type accumulators. It then reverses the process to generate power and feed it back into the grid when demand is high.

“We are now by far the lowest cost storage solution, we can be built at scale, we’ve got our partnerships in place and we’re going to start marketing it here in the next month or two,” Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s chief executive, said.

Hydrostor will compete for the attention of utilities against battery companies and new, more efficient gas-powered facilities.

“Most of the utilities in the U.S. that are starting to get their feet wet with storage are typically going with these battery plays, mostly because they’re a little more flexible,” said Craig Sabine, a strategic advisor for utilities at Navigant, a consultancy.

Utilities may also prove reluctant to turn away from gas given years of record shale production which pushed prices in 2016 to their lowest since 1999.

“The silver bullet has yet to be defined,” said Richard McMahon of the Edison Electric Institute, which represents U.S. investor-owned electric companies. “There’s a place for a lot of these technologies and certainly there remains a place for gas peaking when you’ve got those conditions, low gas prices,” he said.

VanWalleghem said Hydrostor’s capital cost of between $1,000 and $2,000 per kilowatt compares to at least $3,500 per kilowatt for batteries, and makes it comparable to the cost of a new gas-fired plant, although with lower operating and maintenance costs.

He says the company, which had only built or contracted for projects of less than 2 megawatt capacity before inking the AECOM deal last year, can build facilities of up to 200 megawatts. One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.

Canadian companies can clean up in China

Canadian companies can clean up in China

as published in the Globe and Mail here

The global economic outlook may look hazy for 2017, but there are still lots of opportunity for Canadian exporters to clean up in China, according to those who watch the Chinese market.

For companies that focus strategically on the right products and services, the market for Canadians to export clean technology, or cleantech, to China, still has room to grow, says Tom Rand, managing partner of ArcTern Ventures, a Toronto firm that invests in cleantech startups.

“We have something like 1.3 per cent of the market share for cleantech in China. About five years ago we had 1.8 per cent,” explains Mr. Rand, who is also senior adviser of the Cleantech Venture Group at Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District.

“While that market share has gone down, the absolute amount of our exports has gone up.”

True, overall growth in China is expected to be anemic in the coming year – but that is by Chinese standards. The Chinese government is still committed to an annual growth rate of 6.5 per cent between now and 2020.

“China growing more slowly than it has in earlier years is still a huge economy growing rapidly. Even if we can get a small increase in our market share there it’s still significant,” says Danielle Goldfarb, director of the Conference Board of Canada’s Global Commerce Centre.

Greg Nuttall, president and chief executive officer at Toronto-based Woodland Biofuels Inc., which has built a demonstration plant in Sarnia, Ont., and is talking to potential partners in China about expansion there. Biofuels is an example of a cleantech field where Canada can be competitive in China, as opposed to solar and wind, which China produces locally. (Photo: Woodland Biofuels)

Mr. Rand says a 1.8-per-cent share of China’s cleantech market makes sense for the Canadian sector.

“We can achieve that [market share] just for showing up. We should be aiming much higher,” he says.

Last February, Canada and China signed a joint declaration on clean technology co-operation. They committed to look at setting up more demonstration projects and making it easier for small and medium-sized companies to collaborate in both countries.

This is helpful for the Canadian cleantech sector because it is made up of about 800 companies, mostly small or medium-sized firms. Mr. Rand says the key for Canada’s sector, which employs about 55,000 people, is to focus on products and services that are strong points for Canadian companies, rather than those that the Chinese can produce at home.

The biggest opportunities are in energy storage – building the next generation of batteries – and in non-traditional fuels such as biofuels, he says.

“China is moving beyond the traditional solar and wind cleantech, which they make anyway, toward much broader needs. We can innovate; they can mass-produce. Typically China seeks its innovation from abroad rather than at home, and in Canada our cleantech companies can innovate,” Mr. Rand adds.

One MaRS-supported Canadian firm, Toronto-based Woodland Biofuels Inc., has built a demonstration plant in Sarnia, Ont., and is talking to potential partners in China about expansion there.

The company is smart to develop its technology at home and then aim to bring it to China, Mr. Rand says, to protect their intellectual property.

Chinese state-sponsored hackers were accused of breaking into the computers at the National Research Council in 2014, though the Chinese government has strongly denied the claim.

The market potential is huge, in any case. In October, a delegation of Chinese billionaires visited Canada, and met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“We are more interested in investing in environment technology [and] cleantech,” said Wang Chaoyong, chairman and chief executive officer of ChinaEquity, an independent venture capital firm, in an interview with the CBC.

The 800 or so Canadian companies in the cleantech sector export about $14-billion around the world annually, and they actually spend more money on research and development than Canada’s entire oil and gas sector, Mr. Rand says.

Analysts agree with Mr. Rand’s assessment that the market for exporters of basic solar and wind energy products in China is saturated and slowing. While China remains the world’s biggest clean-energy investor, in November, Bloomberg reported that the country lowered its targets for solar and wind power for 2020.

The Chinese National Energy Administration reduced its target for wind power by 27 per cent and solar by 16 per cent from earlier goals, Bloomberg reported. China has set a goal of generating 15 per cent of its power from renewable and nuclear energy by 2020.

Greenpeace says that China is still approving construction of greenhouse-gas emitting coal-fired power plants at the rate of four a week, but Mr. Rand says that, as long as the cleantech sector keeps growing at the same time, there will be opportunities for Canadian companies.

China remains the world’s largest investor in clean technology. Its carbon emissions are expected to peak in 2030 and then decline, “but I think it will come much sooner,” Mr. Rand says.

“Whatever else happens, we’ll all have to decarbonize,” he adds.

GreenMantra's Recycling Innovation

GreenMantra's Recycling Innovation

as published in Plant Magazine here

Look around the room you’re in. About 80% of its contents likely contain some kind of wax. Synthetic fire logs popular at Christmas time have wax in them and so does your shoe polish.

Here’s the problem: about 94% of the world’s waxes (a $10 billion global business) are made from crude oil, natural gas or coal. At a time when there’s so much focus on sustainable and greener produced goods, that just won’t fly. But it presents an opportunity for Brantford, Ont.-based GreenMantra Technologies Inc. The company founded in 2010 is a recycler that transforms plastics into high-value waxes, greases and lubricants, and pumps out 5,000 tonnes of product a year.

In May, GreenMantra finished two years of work on a new manufacturing operation at a former Cascades recycling facility in the city’s downtown.

GreenMantra sells its waxes to manufacturers producing goods such as glue, roofing shingles, ink and ashphalt. The new site is equipped with a semi-continuous production that’s both compact and modular that’s designed for future expansions and for upgrades to a continuous, fixed-bed process.

What started as a four-person endeavour has morphed into a team of 35, and is soon to grow by more than 25 as it ups its sales and marketing efforts.

Its new CEO, Kousay Said, joined the company last October. He’s a nearly 20-year veteran of Dow Chemical, the Michigan-based global chemical giant. Most recently he was chief commercial officer for Sirrus Inc., a manufacturer of high-performance monomers.

Ryan L’Abbe, vice-president of operations, and Domenic Di Mondo, director of research and business development, round out GreenMantra’s leadership team.

L’Abbe joined the company in 2015, coming from Blue Mountain Plastics in Feversham, Ont., a subsidiary of Ice River Springs Water Co., where he spearheaded development and operations of Canada’s largest recycler of post-consumer PET plastics.
Di Mondo, who was GreenMantra’s first employee, developed the company’s transition metal catalysts for converting biomass feedstocks to fine chemicals and has led the scale up from lab to production.

In June, GreenMantra received $600,000 through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation Initiative to expand market development activities and develop and implement a resource planning system to automate its production operations. It also received $750,000 from the agency in 2013 to complete final commercialization testing of its technology, a project that created 13 jobs.

There’s also funding from a number of Canadian and European private sector partners, including a $1 million injection through the MaRS Clean Tech Fund and $500,000 from the innovation incubator’s Investment Accelerator Fund.

There are two product lines. A Series waxes are meant for applications that require specific technical properties such as black masterbatch, dark PVC, recycled plastics and industrial adhesives. The G Series is compatible with plastics products such as paints, inks, rubber, tires, adhesives, paper and packaging.

The waxes are derived from hard-to-recycle plastics such as grocery bags, shrink wrap, bottle caps, milk jugs and shampoo bottles. The materials are seperated by resin type and fed into a patented catalytic depolymerization process to create wax. It is then filtered and purified to create higher-value waxes and chemicals.

“The key with our system is that we’re not converting polyethylene back into the same material, but into an upgraded material,” says L’Abbe, who came on-board after the company finalized a $12 million round of seed funding in private equity and government investment to scale up the Brantford plant.

“Depending on the customer, we have the ability to uniquely formulate and replicate the kind of wax they use.”
The two modular production lines are operational 24/5 but are capable of running 24/7. The company is in talks with a number of partners in the US and Canada to expand the next evolution of the production process, and is currently on the lookout for a second production facility.

“We want to do more refinining,” he says. “Our dream is to take a recycled feedstock and produce a perfectly white, de-oiled wax – and we’re working on the technologies to do that.”

At the heart of GreenMantra’s production process is a set of proprietary heterogeneous catalysts that enables selective thermal-catalytic depolymerisation reactions to occur. Di Mondo explains that the catalysts deliver higher yields and controls factors such as molecular weight and structural and thermal properties of its final product. The catalyst’s aluminum oxide regenerates back to its virgin form and re-impregnated with active metals.

The catalysts also allow GreenMantra’s process to operate at a much lower temperature than other chemical recycling processes while avoiding the randomness of depolymerizations experienced in processes based on pyrolysis or gasifaction.
“This allows us to deliver conversion rates as high as 97%,” says Di Mondo.

There are also plans to expand the number of feedstocks, such as agricultural films and polyethylene bagging, which typically don’t make it into the recycling stream. Those kinds of materials will force the company to continue updating its proprietary catalysts, but also allow it to get into the production of higher-valued products where yields per pound are much higher.

Their product expansion plans come at a good time. Statistics show it’s likely GreenMantra won’t run out of supply any time soon. Recycling programs that now accept and recycle plastic packaging have grown to the largest ever in 10 years, according to the Canadian Plastics Industry Association. The association’s 2014 annual report shows the national rate for access to recycling of plastic non-bottle containers is at least 93% for the most common resin types of PET (polytheylene terephthalate) and HDPE (high-density polyethylene). Nonbottle containers made from other resin types, such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride), LDPE (low-density polyetehylene) and PP (polypropylene), have recycling access rates greater than 80%.

More than wax

But L’Abbe emphasizes: “We’re not fully vested in just making wax – we want to use our technology as a lever to enter a variety of other industries.”

The idea is to be a technology company that provides customers with a way to transform their businesses and develop new products or product lines.

GreenMantra has a number of local and global partners, including one in France that collects agricultural films and wants to turn them into higher-value products. L’Abbe says the company is currently working on a catalyst that would allow agricultural films to be recycled in the same way as a plastic bag. There’s also a partner in Saudi Arabia that wants to use GreenMantra’s technology to produce an extrusion-aiding wax on-site to get more output from the manufacturing process. And the City of Vancouver has tapped the company to develop a granular, wax-like material that’s added to asphalt, allowing it to flow smoothly at a much lower temperature. The material helps cut fuel costs required to heat the asphalt and limits the amount of vapours released into the atmosphere.

“Traditionally, people have thought of this as a waste plastics-to-fuel type business, but we’re not that. You can’t just throw random amounts of different plastics into a black box and expect wax to come out,” he says. “You have to depolymerize those resins in the wax to meet specific customer needs.”

Growth from start-up to full-scale commercial supplier has had its own set of challenges. But L’Abbe thinks the company has found a sweet spot in Brantford, an area in southwest Ontario that has been hungry for manufacturing capacity since the auto sector’s exit during the economic downturn of 2009.

There’s a healthy pool of qualified manufacturing workers and the plant’s proximity to university towns such as Guelph and Waterloo have also supplied a steady stream of qualified candidates for hire.

Taking over an old Cascades recycling facility also made things easy because there weren’t any issues related to zoning when construction of the plant began.

Yet as GreenMantra considers expansion into a second facility, L’Abbe has major concerns about Ontario’s high energy costs, especially for manufacturers, noting energy prices in the province are almost five times those in Quebec.

“[Energy prices] are out of control, and it’s really forcing manufacturers to look outside of Ontario as a place for growth,” he says.

He’d like to see the province find new ways to fund recycling companies. This could be achieved by examining procurement procedures to ensure the government is sourcing products that contain recycled materials.

“They have to an opportunity through procurement systems to actually make decisions about what they’re buying and from whom. They could drive the standards of buying material that contain recycled content. That would really help companies like us find a place for our products. If the government came out and said, ‘Ok, every new road has to contain 10% recycled content per kilometre,’ that would be huge for a company like us.”

In the meantime, GreenMantra will focus on expanding its portfolio of specialty chemicals and showing off its modular production system to potential partners. It’s also examining other resins, such as #7s, which are made up of feedstocks including reusable water, juice and condiment bottles, oven-baking bags, barrier layers and custom packaging.
The focus on greening industry is a positive development for the $10 billion global industrial wax sector. GreenMantra is in a prime position to play a key role in the industry’s transformation.

Smarter Alloys Receives $1.1 Million to Fast-Track the Cars of the Future

Smarter Alloys Receives $1.1 Million to Fast-Track the Cars of the Future

as released by SmarterAlloys

The Government of Canada has announced that Smarter Alloys™ will receive up to $1.1 million to develop advanced alloys for the automotive industry under the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program (ASIP).

The funding allows Smarter Alloys™ to apply its revolutionary Multiple Memory Material™ technology to produce smart and adaptive automotive parts. The Waterloo-based company’s proprietary innovation uses high-powered lasers to program metals at the atomic level, enabling them to shift from one defined shape to another. Components created from these “smart” alloys will offer auto-parts manufacturers lightweight and reliable alternatives to the bulky systems used today.

“With Multiple Memory Material™, we can replace heavy, complex electromagnetic actuators with a single wire that functions more reliably, more efficiently and more effectively,” said Smarter Alloys™ CEO Ibraheem Khan.

“These projects illustrate how Canada’s automotive suppliers are at the forefront of designing and building the super-efficient cars of the future — cars that are more energy-efficient and better for the environment,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

ASIP is designed to help businesses develop and commercialize groundbreaking technologies. “We’re proud the federal government sees the potential in our technology,” said Khan. “We’re looking forward to helping build the cars of the future.”

About Smarter Alloys™ 
Smarter Alloys™ is at the forefront of the smart materials revolution. Our unique ability to program shape memory behaviour makes it possible to create complex machine-like function in simple devices. Thanks to Multiple Memory Material™ technology, we are transforming the design and utility of shape memory alloys used in automotive, medical, dental, aerospace and consumer industries. Founded in 2010 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, Smarter Alloys™ is a privately controlled Canadian corporation.

Rand on The Exchange: A Series of Debates w/ Fraser Institute

(listed from latest to earliest) March 21 - pre-budget - talking about how the federal budged might line up behind Canadian cleantech champions and enable Canada to take larger market share of the fast-growing $1 trillion cleantech market.

 

 

Feb 8 - Talking about National Energy Boards projections and how Canada has a lot to learn from little Uruguay.

Nov 16 - is cleantech growth a silver lining in our lackluster climate efforts?

Nov 2 - in which Fraser Institute makes the (indefensible and unsubstantiated claim) that adaptation is not only cheaper than mitigation, it's really the only response to climate.

Sept 21 - Is Canada too reliant on oil?

Aug 28 - On Obama's new clean air initiatives

July 27th - $180 B of energy reduction projects announced by US Corp giants (Apple, GE, Goldman, etc) ... Fraser Institute talks "crony capitalist" nonsense. That and the Tim's controversy ...

June 30 - Talking hydrogen-powered vehicles ...

June 16 - Talking oil sands moratorium. "The math doesn't work ..."

May 4 - On Tesla Energy's new Powerwall energy storage solution. "Teaching old dogs new tricks" (starts @ 28:00)

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April 20 - On Environment Canada's latest report that (no surprise!) we'll miss our 2020 emissions targets. (starts @28:00)

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Feb 23 - On SaskPower's Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) project: While unlikely to scale, CCS deserves exploration as we might wish we had it in coming years.  ...

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Feb 9 - On Trudeau's climate proposal... and why Canada's little 2% of global emissions really does matter.

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Jan 26 - On 2014 being the hottest year on record ... on the central role played by the oceans ... first 20% cuts are easy (see BC), but beyond that it will be difficult.

Subtitle:"Why not try, Ken?"

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 4.29.03 PM
Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 4.29.03 PM

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These next three - the first in the series - were spent largely establishing the core premise of any discussion on climate: the place to start is peer-reviewed expert consensus (pick your favourite - IPCC, International Energy Agency, National Academy of Science, etc). Without that premise, the show cannot provide smart contextual discussion to the Canadian business community. Disagreements about solutions are interesting, disagreements about the science are a futile distraction. Because that premise is difficult for the Fraser Institute to accept (in my view for ideological reasons) it can get a bit testy.

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Dec 1: On latest IPCC climate negotiations in Lima - Challenging the Fraser Institute (and The Exchange) on being data-driven if they can't accept the IPCC as the gold standard on climate mitigation. Adaptation vs mitigation: avoid the car crash, or just fix broken limbs?

Subtitle: "I just want a price on carbon" - see my blog response here.

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Nov 17 - On China/US agreement to work together on carbon reductions - also discussed: Canada's EcoFiscal Commission.

Subtitle:"Willful Ignorance" - see my blog response here.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.09.28 AM
Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.09.28 AM

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Nov 3 - A testy exchange about the latest dire warnings from the IPPC. We listen to the Canadian Medical Association on health risks (not our chain-smoking uncle). Wrt climate risk, we do well to start with the CMA equivalent (IPCC, IEA, National Academy of Science, etc) - who are very clear on climate risk: severe, irreversible, systemic.

Subtitle: "Listen to your doctor!"

 

Managing Partner Tom Rand is a regular contributor on The Exchange with Amanda Lang: e-Squared - an on-going debate with Kenneth Green of the Fraser Institute.

Op-Ed (G&M), An arm's-length green bank would accelerate Canada's climate transition

Op-Ed (G&M), An arm's-length green bank would accelerate Canada's climate transition

In order to accelerate Canada's transition to a low-carbon economy, and unlock private sector creativity in so doing, Rand proposes Canada/Ontario set up an arm's length 'green bank'. With a clear mandate, and free to be sensitive to the dynamics of market signals, such an institution would be far more effective in disbursing climate-related funds than a government ministry. Read it here:

An arm’s-length green bank would accelerate Canada’s climate transition

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Media coverage of Hydrostor's Toronto Hydro Launch

Media coverage of Hydrostor's Toronto Hydro Launch

Woodland Biofuels on BNN

Woodland Biofuels on BNN

CEO Greg Nuttall interviewed on BNN's Power Shift - speaking to Ontario's potential as a "biomass superpower" and Woodland as the "world's lowest cost automotive fuel supplier".

Woodland's highly-efficient proprietary process to convert cellulosic biomass is strictly thermo-chemical - three catalytic conversions; no enzymes, fermentation, etc.

Trade Energy East for hard cap in Alberta? (G&M op-ed)

Trade Energy East for hard cap in Alberta? (G&M op-ed)

Tom Rand's latest op-ed in the Globe and Mail: Premiers musn't let spilled oil become a red herring -  in which he argues Premiers Kathleen Wynne and Rachel Notley have an historic opportunity: trade Ontario's approval of TransCanada's Energy East pipeline for hard emission cap (and coal phaseout) in Alberta. Like all good compromises, everyone loses something.  

(text is below for those outside paywall)

 

This week’s Nexen Energy pipeline leak may throw a wrench into provincial leaders’ ability to reach consensus and wrest control of climate policy from Ottawa.

The premiers have been gaining momentum with their pragmatic “subnational” approach to creating a new, low-carbon economy. At their summit in St. John’s, the provincial leaders addressed fast-tracking decisions on the pipelines needed to expand high-carbon oil production in Saskatchewan and Alberta – an agenda they also hope to wrest away from Ottawa.

Pipelines are where climate promises meet pragmatic action and national targets bump against provincial ambitions. Leaks and spills make it more difficult to find compromise. This latest one has naturally outraged many Canadians, who are concerned about the environmental damage. My concern is that it will prove to be a red herring that distracts the country from a bigger opportunity on climate change: a coherent national climate strategy built with regional consensus.

It seems impossible to square such disparate provincial climate goals with a coherent national strategy. Alberta’s emissions targets have been, and remain, Alberta’s own business. If they grow as planned, Canada has no chance of meeting even the most modest of emission-reduction targets. That’s the hard truth both Ottawa and the premiers have been dancing around for years.

The status quo in Alberta has been to avoid any talk of absolute cuts in emissions, focusing instead on fuzzy intensity targets. All that changed in Alberta’s recent election. Oil executives might not be on board, but voters clearly want a new conversation. And that’s where Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and newly elected Alberta Premier Rachel Notley have the opportunity of a lifetime – if the recent pipeline leak doesn’t spill into provincial goodwill.

For Ms. Notley, the spill underscores her decision not to support the more contentious pipelines, Northern Gateway and Keystone XL. But on Friday, she argued (correctly) that pipelines remain the safest way to transport Alberta’s bitumen, and is a proponent of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline, capable of carrying about a million barrels a day from Alberta and Saskatchewan, through Ontario and Quebec, to refineries in Eastern Canada.

For Ms. Wynne, the spill is doubly challenging. Even prior to Nexen’s fumble, any show of support for Energy East would strain her hard-earned credibility on the climate file. She’s already stated that greenhouse-gas emissions will be part of Ontario’s approval criteria. Now she’s got pictures of oil spills to deal with.

According to Pembina, Energy East will enable upstream emissions – which come from producing the oil in the pipeline, not burning it – of more than 30 million tonnes of CO2 per year. That’s equivalent to doubling the number of cars on Ontario’s roads, or reopening Ontario’s coal plants. Worse, the proposed cap-and-trade legislation asks Ontario industries and citizens to bear the burden of significant emissions reduction – targeting an ambitious 80-per-cent reduction by 2050. Ontarians will not want an energy project in their backyard that cancels that effort.

Ms. Wynne could simply refuse Energy East. Fast-tracking a decision doesn’t mean automatic approval, and an early and clear signal is better than the fog of uncertainty that exists now. But that puts pressure to put more bitumen on rail, a far more dangerous option, or to open a pipeline to the fast-melting North.

There is another choice.

If Ms. Wynne demands from Alberta, in return for Energy East approval, a hard and legally binding limit on tar-sands production levels and a coal phaseout to match Ontario, she will have accomplished something no other politician – federal or provincial – has been able to do. She will also provide Ms. Notley with political cover to push through the most aggressive climate strategy ever proposed in Alberta. The limit on production can be set to today’s level, plus Energy East capacity, less today’s rail transport. The net result increases production by 750,000 barrels a day – about a third over today’s levels, but much less than what Alberta wants.

A good compromise hurts everyone. Climate hawks like me hate to see any increase in tar-sands production. But there are multiple wins: Producers get cheap access to markets; Eastern Canada gets new refining jobs; no more bitumen goes by rail; Alberta’s entrepreneurs can apply their entrepreneurial talent and capital to clean-energy technology; Canadians get a coherent climate strategy.

And Ms. Wynne and Ms. Notley keep the lead from Prime Minister Stephen Harper – on climate, on pipelines, on energy and on the emerging global clean economy. That is, if we don’t get distracted by spilled oil.

 

Four Op-eds; Waking the Frog

Four Op-eds; Waking the Frog

The National Observer published a series of four op-eds, summarizing the main themes in Rand's recent best-seller Waking the Frog: Solutions to our Climate Change Paralysis.  

Climate Denial's Siren Song - a discussion of why belief in climate disruption is so difficult for humans to take on board cultural norms embedded in unconscious world-views; distinguishing passive from active denial; strategies to get around our cognitive defences.

Myth of the Free Market vs Creative Complexity - historical analysis of the priority of 'free' over 'market' reveals limits of out-of-date-math in describing the modern global economy; modern dynamical systems theory as a more useful tool in understanding how to make the market work for and not against climate action; pricing carbon as the single most effective tool in our arsenal - unique in its ability to both harness and unleash market forces to solve our climate problem.

The Dismal Science - (with apologies to my economist friends) a discussion of the limits of quantitive analysis of climate risk; climate uncertainties as where the 'monsters lie'; a new language of folk psychology as a means to capture truth conditions of climate risks.

The Fossil Fuel Party is Over - So What's the Good News? - clean energy as increasingly competitive; why that's not enough to solve our problem; how to turbo-charge solutions; why costs of climate action are easy to bear.