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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

'I'm sorry': Calgary parents plead guilty to neglect of disabled adult son

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CALGARY — A Calgary mother broke into tears Friday after she and her husband pleaded guilty to failing to provide the necessaries of life for their severely disabled adult son.

Malinda Phillips and Jonathon Grunewald entered their pleas in Calgary’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

In an agreed statement of facts, court heard that the 29-year-old man was mostly confined to his bedroom over five years. He had been diagnosed at birth with severe cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder and brain damage.

He was rushed to hospital in October 2020 when he was found unresponsive in the family’s home.

“He was admitted in critical condition, in a state of shock, and displaying the profound effects of hypothermia, sepsis and weighing only 43 pounds,” said Crown prosecutor Janice Walsh.

Hospital officials alerted Calgary police and officers charged the couple last year.

“I’m sorry,” sobbed Phillips before entering her guilty plea.

A sentencing hearing is be scheduled April 8. Court heard lawyers expect to present a joint recommendation for the sentences.

Walsh told court that Phillips and Grunewald admitted that their son hadn’t used a wheelchair for three years and “was essentially bedridden, except for special occasions including family dinners and outings.”

They were offered help for their son and in 2015 they began receiving $1,768 a month from Alberta’s Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped program.

Walsh said Phillips didn’t trust the medical community.

“(Phillips) acknowledged she had been offered home care assistance but turned it down as she did not believe it would be beneficial,” Walsh said.

The mother also admitted to withholding food from the son four to five days a week.

“She acknowledged that this has been going on for the past four to five years and she noticed his medical condition declining about three years ago but did not take him to the doctor,” said Walsh.

Court heard that Phillips was in a car accident in 2015 and suffered from depression and back pain. She would put her headphones on and “zone out,” taking three- to four-hour naps during the day.

Grunewald, who worked during the day, took over caring for his son in the evenings, said Walsh.

“He was aware that Malinda was not caring for him during the days but did not want to ‘pick a fight over it,'” Walsh said.

She added the son was not given any liquids until his father gave them to him at dinner.

Grunewald admitted the family had been offered fully funded, in-home medical assistance five days a week. He knew his wife had refused the service and “did not press the issue,” said Walsh.

The son now lives in a care home. Walsh said he has gained weight, increased his mobility and can sit in a wheelchair.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta RCMP investigating after child found wandering on highway near St. Paul

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ST. PAUL, ALBERTA — Alberta RCMP say they are investigating after a child was found wandering on a highway near a town northeast of Edmonton earlier this week.

Police in St. Paul say in a news release that they received a report about the child at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

They say a concerned motorist found the child on Highway 881 near Township Road 582 and brought the child to the RCMP detachment.

Police say they have started an investigation and are looking for dashcam footage from the area on Tuesday morning.

Earlier this week, St. Paul Education issued a statement on its website saying it was investigating after kindergarten student remained on a bus after it was returned to the driver’s yard following morning drop off.

They say the child left the bus and found their way to a road in a rural area, where a concerned citizen intervened and took the child to the RCMP.

“Drivers are trained to do a mandatory walk through of their bus to ensure it is empty before leaving it,” said the statement from board chairwoman Heather Starosielski and Glen Brodziak, superintendent of schools. “Our initial review indicates this was not done.”

They said the driver has been removed from his duties pending an investigation.

The statement said schools also typically call home to confirm any student absences.

“Our normal procedure is for schools to start to make in-person phone calls at 8:45 a.m. each day beginning with the youngest children first,” it said. “The delay in noting the absence was in part due to the large number of absences that day in the school as a result of several buses not running due to varying road conditions.”

The statement said the school division is reviewing its transportation practices as well as its student absence reporting process.

“We will also fully co-operate should there be an RCMP investigation,” it added.

They said they are thankful for the safe return of the child and the quick response from the concerned citizen.

Environment Canada shows the temperatures in the area hovered around -24 C on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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