Nuclear fusion could solve our energy and environmental problems

Nuclear fusion could generate millions of jobs globally

Nuclear fusion could solve our energy and environmental problemsNuclear fusion has been a science-fiction fantasy for a long time, the holy grail of energy production. But it’s rapidly moving closer to reality. The process involves combining multiple atomic nuclei to generate energy, just as the sun does. That’s the opposite of nuclear fission, in which atoms are split. Canadian and British innovators are…

Geothermal research could lead to Alberta solutions to reducing CO2

Engineers, geothermal company partnering to produce clean energy using captured carbon

Geothermal research could lead to Alberta solutions to reducing CO2Developing an ultra-clean source of energy by using carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of water to pump geothermal heat up from deep below the Earth’s surface is one of a list of possibilities behind a new partnership between a team of University of Alberta carbon sequestration engineers and a burgeoning geothermal startup. Alberta No. 1, Alberta’s…

Abandoning fossil fuels plunging many Europeans into darkness

Natural gas in Europe rising to five times what it was in early 2021

Abandoning fossil fuels plunging many Europeans into darknessBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre With the recent rise in the price of natural gas in Europe to five times where it was in early 2021, expect to see many more Europeans and those in the United Kingdom plunged into what’s known as energy poverty. From Greece to Great Britain, the…

Climate summit forced to confront inconvenient truths

Movement to reduce global emissions toward net-zero is still too slow

Climate summit forced to confront inconvenient truthsWith the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow scheduled to open on Oct. 31, global powerhouses are coming up with their annual energy outlooks earlier than the customary November. With climate issues coming to the forefront at the COP26 summit, most of these reports and analyses are meant to help world leaders make decisions. But…

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thought

If aspirations and reality collide, always bet on reality

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thoughtIf you’ve been following international news lately, you’ll have noticed a new development. Europe and Asia are suddenly worried about energy. With winter coming, costs are soaring and there’s even concern about shortages that might trigger industrial shutdowns and endanger people’s ability to heat their homes. From an object of loathing and scorn, fossil fuels…

What the future of energy looks like

Underpinning it all, like the safety net to a secure supply, will be fossil fuels

What the future of energy looks likeThe kingdom of Queen Elizabeth I was humming along quite nicely when, around the mid-1500s, Her Majesty caught wind of an environmental crisis in the offing. The forests were disappearing. Wood was the first energy source and had been so for millenniums. But kilns of industry and hearths of homes had been eating up the…

Why wind and solar energy aren’t the answer to reducing global emissions

Wind and solar farms replacing the 84% of global energy from fossil fuels is technically impossible

Why wind and solar energy aren’t the answer to reducing global emissionsIn a previous column I pointed out that since switching coal-fuelled power plants to natural gas cuts CO2 emissions in half, exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to displace coal benefits our economy and reduces global emissions. And that since converting gasoline and diesel-fuelled vehicles and ships to natural gas cuts emissions by 25 per cent,…

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sector

Alberta program builds skills to take sustainable energy projects from concept to completion

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sectorA new certificate the University of Alberta started offering this fall will help fast-track workers into the province’s rapidly growing renewable energy sector. The Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) Certificate is the first of its kind in Alberta to offer learners the flexibility of online, part-time classes, without admission barriers. It can be completed in as little as…

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heat

New materials could harness energy from cellphones or body heat, and improve solar power, geothermal

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heatExtra heat is generated from any form of energy conversion – even with something as green as solar panels. But with up to 72 per cent of it left unused, there’s also great potential to harvest electricity from that waste. A University of Alberta researcher has successfully developed a way to figure out the chemistry…

Renewable energy myths busted

‘Wind and solar are cost competitive, or cheaper, than any of the conventional energy carriers'

Renewable energy myths bustedThe interest in renewable energy may be growing, but there are still many misconceptions out there. Pierre Mertiny, ’05 PhD, comes across these myths all the time. He’s a mechanical engineer and principal investigator with the University of Alberta’s Future Energy Systems. He’s here to share some facts. Myth 1: The technology isn’t fully developed.…
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