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Alberta

Alberta has an opportunity like never before

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As the world’s energy debate continues to grow, with climate change and the economy both sources of large concern to many, there is often a divide both politically and regionally and Canada is no different.

Places like Alberta, with an economy that has been largely centered around the oil and gas sector for decades, is a Canadian province quite often at odds with the Canadian government for its desire to put in place renewable energy policies like carbon taxes and hold off on pipelines.

There are abundant sources of renewable energy in Alberta that could provide jobs and a pathway out of its current situation. Despite being intermittent, Alberta’s wind and solar potential is very apparent. However, to scale it to the level necessary to stop burning massive amounts of coal and natural gas, we will need large battery backups to store power in order to combat the intermittency issues of wind and solar. 

These investments can be made, and I would argue the more the province opens up space on the grid, the more foreign investment we will see. 

But this is also a tough pill to swallow when you have companies built from the ground up for decades, employing hundreds of thousands of people who have been educated and trained in what they do. Alberta as a province enjoyed strong growth for decades, providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the Federal Government to help balance the books and provide health care for millions of Canadians. 

Geothermal is famously used in Iceland and in California at the world’s largest facility, the Geysers Geothermal Complex, which has a 1517 MW capacity. Geothermal energy has limitations for growth due to requiring locations to tap into volcanic aquifers, which it had not been able to overcome until now. Eavor Technologies Inc. uses a completely different method for their production.  They use a closed loop system and do not rely on traditional wells or pumps. They are able to drill two vertical wells, connect them together underground and essentially create a conductive radiator with many parallel lines to cover a large amount of ground without the volcanic aquifers. Their unique IP uses an environmentally safe fluid that circulates using the thermosyphon effect.  As the hot fluid rises through the outlet well, the change in pressure forces the cool fluid to drop through the inlet well, creating continuous circulation without the need for a parasitic pump. The Eavor-Loop completely isolates the fluid from the surrounding environment and produces zero GHG emissions, making the entire process carbon neutral. For extra appeal, this can all be done by the same Alberta drilling rig operators that do not get to work as much as they once did, putting oil and gas companies back to work.

This means Alberta, famous for its oil industry, has the potential to become famous for an entirely renewable grid with a mix of Eavor-Loops, solar, wind and battery storage. It also gives us the ability to grow an Alberta made technology in Eavor loop for export. This unique opportunity for economic diversification and expansion aligns simultaneously with both environmental and economic concerns, presenting a balanced approach to the climate question without compromising on existing Alberta jobs and infrastructure

Brian Scott
Clean Energy Advocate

 

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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Alberta

Seven survivors of Alberta tour bus rollover near Jasper file lawsuit

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EDMONTON — A northern Alberta woman who survived a fatal tour bus crash in Jasper National Park this summer says she is one of the lucky ones, but her recovery will be long and painful. 

Sweta Patel, 27, from High Prairie, Alta., is one of seven people who have filed a lawsuit against operators of the vehicle involved in the rollover.

Three people, including her uncle and a friend, died July 18, when a glacier sightseeing bus rolled off a road on the Columbia Icefield. Fourteen suffered life-threatening injuries.

“Sometimes in your life a quick moment can change everything. For me and my friends, July 18 was that moment,” Patel said Wednesday.

“Though I survived, I am left with devastating mental and physical injuries. I now live a completely dependent life, filled with a series of doctors and legal appointments.”

Brewster Travel Canada Inc., Viad Corp., Glacier Park Inc., Brewster Inc., Brewster Tours, Banff-Jasper Collection Holding Corp., the unidentified driver and an unidentified employee of one of the tour operators are named in the statement of claim.

Patel, who wears a halo head brace for her neck injury, appeared at a news conference in Edmonton with her husband, who was also hurt in the crash.

She said she has a C1 fracture in her neck that is still healing and could be permanent.

“I have over 20 fractures and the pain that I go through every day — it’s not easy,” she said.

“Financially, we are also struggling at a time when there is extra economic uncertainty across the county.”

The seven plaintiffs are from the High Prairie and Whitecourt areas, but have been told to stay in Edmonton for better access to treatment for their injuries.

“Overall, I think the lasting effect is the trouble my clients have had trying to get their treatments covered through this tour bus company,” said Basil Bansal, a lawyer with Diamond and Diamond LLP.

The lawsuit alleges that the operators failed to ensure the bus was safe, failed to provide seatbelts, employed a driver who acted recklessly and unreasonably, failed to carry out proper inspections and failed to properly train their drivers. 

The allegations have not been proven in court.

This is the second legal action against the tour bus operators. In August, an application for a class-action lawsuit was filed by James H. Brown and Associates with the Court of Queen’s Bench in Calgary.

The lead plaintiff in that lawsuit is Devon Ernest, 22, from North Battleford, Sask., who was on the tour with his girlfriend, Dionne Durocher of Canoe Narrows, Sask., and his cousin Winnie Ernest.

Durocher died at the scene.

The class action, which so far includes 10 of the 27 people on the bus, must be approved by a judge if it is to go ahead.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2020.

Daniela Germano, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

‘Small number of kooks:’ Alberta premier condemns apparent racist rally in Edmonton

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SPRUCE GROVE, ALBERTA — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is adding his voice to others condemning an apparent white supremacist rally in Edmonton.

Police broke up what they called a demonstration involving opposing groups on Tuesday night in the city’s northeast.

About 100 people were involved and police say physical confrontations took place between those calling themselves patriots and others calling themselves anti-fascists. 

Kenney says racists and white supremacists are un-Canadian and un-Albertan.

He says Canada, while imperfect, was built on the concepts of human dignity and equality.

Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu has also condemned the demonstration. 

It’s the latest in a series of racial encounters in the province.

Workers at a project near a junior high school in Edmonton were fired recently after swearing and using racist language during an Indigenous smudging ceremony, and clashes have taken place between white supremacist groups and Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

“It’s unfortunate that we’ve got a small number of kooks who go around trying to get attention for a message of hate,” said Kenney. “We condemn racism and racial prejudice.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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