The Energy Page: GAS




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New Report by Agency Lowers Estimates of Natural Gas in U.S.

Estimate down by more than 40%WASHINGTON—Just how much natural gas is trapped underground in the United States?

The difficulty and uncertainty in predicting natural gas resources was underscored last week when the Energy Information Administration released a report containing sharply lower estimates.

The agency estimated that there are 482 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the United States, down from the 2011 estimate of 827 trillion cubic feet—a drop of more than 40 percent. The report also said the Marcellus region, a rock formation under parts of New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, contained 141 trillion cubic feet of gas. That represents a 66 percent drop from the 410 trillion cubic feet estimate offered in the agency’s last report.

The Energy Information Administration said the sharp downward revisions to its estimates were informed by more data. “Drilling in the Marcellus accelerated rapidly in 2010 and 2011, so that there is far more information available today than a year ago,” its report said. Jonathan Cogan, a spokesman for the agency, added that Pennsylvania had made far more data available than in previous years. MORE


Obama Pushes Natural-Gas Fracking to Create 600,000 U.S. Jobs

child`s poster: what about my futureJan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama pushed drilling for gas in shale rock and support for cleaner energy sources to boost the economy in his final State of the Union address before facing U.S. voters in November.

Hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to free gas trapped in rock, could create more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade, Obama said yesterday. The process, called fracking, is among a list of energy policies Obama said would fuel economic growth.

“We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years, and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy,” Obama said. MORE



red dotShale Gas a Bridge to More Global Warming

red dotWe'll Frack Alberta's Next Election, Vow Landowners

Drilling accident fuels rebellion demanding halt to hydraulic fracturing.


cartoon: A fracking miracle--gas from the tap



Unlocking the Secrets Behind Hydraulic Fracturing

A “fracking” operation near Big Wells, in which water and chemicals are injected deep underground to extract oil and natural gas. Starting Feb. 1, drilling operators in Texas will have to report many of the chemicals used in the process known as hydraulic fracturing. Environmentalists and landowners are looking forward to learning what acids, hydroxides and other materials have gone into a given well.

But a less-publicized part of the new regulation is what some experts are most interested in: the mandatory disclosure of the amount of water needed to “frack” each well. Experts call this an invaluable tool as they evaluate how fracking affects water supplies in the drought-prone state.

Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into underground shale formations at enormous pressure to extract oil and natural gas. Under the new rule, Texans will be able to check a Web site,, to view the chemical and water disclosures.

“It’s a huge step forward from where we were,” Amy Hardberger, an Environmental Defense Fund lawyer, said of the rule. MORE

Gas-hydrate tests to begin in Alaska

US team will pump waste carbon dioxide into natural-gas well to extract methane.

gas-hydrate test drilling rigThis month, scientists will test a new way to extract methane from beneath the frozen soil of Alaska: they will use waste carbon dioxide from conventional wells to force out the desired natural gas.

The pilot experiment will explore the possibility of ‘mining’ from gas hydrates: cages of water ice that hold molecules of methane. Such hydrates exist under the sea floor and in sandstone deep beneath the Arctic tundra, holding potentially vast reserves of natural gas. But getting the gas out is tricky and expensive.

The test is to be run by the US Department of Energy (DOE), in conjunction with ConocoPhillips, an oil company based in Houston, Texas, and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation. The researchers will pump CO2 down a well in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, into a hydrate deposit. If all goes as planned, the CO2 molecules will exchange with the methane in the hydrates, leaving the water crystals intact and freeing the methane to flow up the well.

Conventional wells in the Prudhoe Bay gas fields contain a very high concentration of carbon dioxide—about 12% of the gas. “You have to find something to do with it,” says Ray Boswell, technology manager for methane hydrates at the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia. One way to dispose of it is to bury the gas underground. Excess carbon dioxide is already pumped down some conventional wells to encourage extraction of the last bits of natural gas; using it to extract methane from hydrates might be a good idea too.MORE

David Suzuki: Northern Gateway is about profits versus environment

northern gateway pipeline constructionThe battle lines are drawn, and Northern B.C.'s pristine wilderness is the latest front. With hearings underway into the proposed $5.5-billion, dual 1,172-kilometre Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project to transport bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to Kitimat and imported condensate to dilute it from the coast back to Alberta, the fossil fuel industry and its supporters have stepped up the rhetoric. Environmentalists and people in towns, rural areas, and First Nations communities in B.C. have lined up in opposition.

It's not just about potential damage from an oil spill along the pipeline route or from a supertanker plying the precarious fiords and waterways along our northern coast—as critical as those concerns are. The larger issues are about our continued reliance on polluting fossil fuels and the economic impact of rapidly exploiting and selling our resources and resource industries.

It's about Canada's national interest. With lax royalty structures and massive subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, not to mention foreign ownership of tar sands operations and lobbying by foreign companies, Canadians are not enjoying the real benefits of our oil industry. In fact, increasing reliance on the tar sands is hurting other sectors of the economy, manufacturing in particular. MORE

Waterless Fracking Method Targets Natural Gas Industry’s Gaze

waterFORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM)®—The debates for and against hydraulic fracturing all center on the world’s most essential natural substance: water.

Environmentalists decry the millions of gallons used each time natural gas-containing shale rock deep inside the earth is split open with it. This is exacerbated, they say, as water becomes more of a commodity during the worst drought in Texas’s history.

Residents and housing associations near drilling sites point to chemical additives in the treated water as the reason why some families can set their tap water aflame.

The natural gas industry, however, rebuffs these complaints, citing a lack of evidence that links hydraulic fracturing with groundwater contamination. Experts tout the process of fracking as a relatively cheap, safe way to harvest natural gas that powers homes across the nation.

But it all goes back to the water: what’s added to it, how much of it is used, where it comes from. Which raises a question.  What if energy companies could allay the concerns of residents, environmentalists and some elected officials by using a completely different substance? MORE

Super fracking goes deeper to pump up production

More aggressive fracking may heighten concerns about the risks associated with shale development.As regulators and environmentalists study whether hydraulic fracturing can damage the environment, industry scientists are studying ways to create longer, deeper cracks in the earth to release more oil and natural gas.

Energy companies are focused on boosting production and lowering costs associated with so-called fracking, a technique that uses high-pressure injections of water, sand and chemicals to break apart petroleum-saturated rock. The more thoroughly the rock is cracked, the more oil and gas will flow from each well.

The world's largest oilfield service providers are leading the search for new technologies, with some companies focused on splintering the rock into a web of tiny fissures, and others seeking to create larger crevices in the richest zones.

“I want to crack the rock across as much of the reservoir as I can,” said David Pursell, a former fracking engineer who's now an analyst at Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. in Houston. “That's the Holy Grail.” MORE


Shale drilling goes global

Oil giants invest in hydraulic fracturing

earthquakes caused by frackingNever mind that hydraulic fracturing was once again linked to an earthquake, this time a 4.0 tremor in Ohio on New Year's Eve, the year 2012 kicked off in impressive fashion for the shale industry, which has been revolutionized by the controversial drilling practice.

Undaunted by the environmental and geological challenges, two oil giants signed shale deals in the United States for a combined $4.5 billion U.S. in one day.

On Jan. 3, France's Total SA bought a 25-per-cent interest in Chesapeake Energy's Utica shale play worth $2.3 billion U.S., while China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, took up a one third interest in Devon Energy's shale projects for $2.2 billion U.S.

It's a trend that's set to continue and go beyond North American borders, says Moody's Investor Services, as majors catch up with independent developers. MORE


red dotFracking Well Shutdown Extended As Researchers Study Link To Earthquakes In Arkansas


Natural-gas plans threaten greenhouse-gas targets

Mark Jaccard—the current Liberal government needs to tell British Columbians its promise of jobs today could threaten future generations.The B.C. Liberals' ambitious jobs plan will run headlong into its environmental goals of greenhouse-gas reduction in 2020, if not before.

Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman has admitted that one of the B.C. government's three proposed liquefied natural gas plants in Kitimat will be powered with greenhouse-gas-emitting natural gas.

He said the development of the natural gas industry in Northern British Columbia is a generational opportunity that comes with some environmental concerns, but the government is looking to minimize the potential harm.

Premier Christy Clark promised to develop three LNG plants by 2020 in her government's Throne Speech last year, and development of the natural-gas industry is a major focus of her jobs plan.

But Simon Fraser University climate scientist Mark Jaccard, a champion of the Liberal government's climate-change fighting agenda under former premier Gordon Campbell, said the current Liberal government needs to tell British Columbians its promise of jobs today could threaten future generations. MORE


4.0 Earthquake Caused by Fracking in Ohio Was Felt in Toronto

fraking damageSince March, a hydraulic fracturing operation near Youngstown, Ohio, has been shaking things up. In the past nine months, 11 earthquakes have originated within two miles of the well. The latest, which struck on Saturday, was also the largest, measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale- strong enough to be felt in Toronto, reported the New York Times.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources asked for a temporary shut down of the operation on December 24, after a 2.4 magnitude quake; D&L Energy Group, which owns the well, complied voluntarily. Officials brought in to investigate the cause of the seismic activity (in a usually calm area) speculate that the water and other liquids pumped thousands of feet into the ground have reduced friction among fault lines, causing them to slip.

There's no word yet on when the well might reopen, or what the ramifications for hydraulic fracturing in the area would be if the earthquakes are definitively linked to the operation. But this is not an isolated incident: fracking caused 50 earthquakes in Oklahoma and two more in England. MORE

Turning Gas Into Energy

biodigesterBrockton wants to convert sewage, landfill run off and organics into electricity. The municipality is seeking out green government grants to upgrade and convert its bio digesters into a bio gas digesters.

Utility Manager Collin Saunders tells Bayshore Broadcasting News they won't tackle the 4.2 million dollar project without government grant assistance.

He says a bio gas digester would allow Brockton to convert landfill leachate, septic sludge and raw sewage into electricity. Saunders says the methane produced from these items can be used to feed the grid.

It would be similar to the bio digester owned by Chatsworth and Georgian Bluffs. MORE


red dotAnaerobic Digestion Comes of Age


Fracking—Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat

Oh, Canada's Become a Home for Record Fracking

Workers on a natural gas drilling rig near Longview, Alberta. Early last year, deep in the forests of northern British Columbia, workers for Apache Corp. performed what the company proclaimed was the biggest hydraulic fracturing operation ever.

The project used 259 million gallons of water and 50,000 tons of sand to frack 16 gas wells side by side. It was "nearly four times larger than any project of its nature in North America," Apache boasted.

The record didn't stand for long. By the end of the year, Apache and its partner, Encana, topped it by half at a neighboring site.

As furious debate over fracking continues in the United States, it is instructive to look at how a similar gas boom is unfolding for our neighbor to the north.

To a large extent, the same themes have emerged as Canada struggles to balance the economic benefits drilling has brought with the reports of water contamination and air pollution that have accompanied them. MORE

Propane fracking slowly gaining attention as Canadian company uses technique in Texas

waterCORPUS CHRISTI—A Canadian company is experimenting in Texas with a drilling technique as a substitute for the enormous amount of water used in the hydraulic fracturing process.

Jadela Oil Corp., a Canadian exploration and production company, fractured its El Indio No. 1 horizontal well in Maverick County near Eagle Pass with more than 5,000 barrels of liquid propane and butane, a process known as gas fracking.

Traditional hydrofracking has created a boom in drilling in shale formations, including the Eagle Ford Shale across South Texas.

But it also has caused environmental concerns because of the amount of water used—a single well requires millions of gallons—and because the water used becomes contaminated and cannot be reused.

The method using a propane and butane jell hopefully will reduce production costs because, unlike water, the gas mixture can be recovered and reused or sold, Jadela CEO Greg Leia said. The secondary benefit, Leia said, is environmental.

"No. 1, there is no water used," he said. "Second, water damages the shale, dampening production. Third, the deeper water goes, the less of it comes back, and what it comes back with is contaminated with the chemicals added to it, plus strontium, a radioactive element." MORE

2050 Energy Roadmap Ignores Major Environmental and Health Risks Associated with Shale Gas, Including Risks to Climate

gas_frackingBrussels—The much-anticipated publication of the European Commission's 2050 Energy Roadmap has identified shale gas and other unconventional gas sources as “potential important new sources of supply in or around Europe” for reducing carbon emissions from the energy sector. However, recent studies reveal that widespread shale gas development may actually worsen global climate change. Food & Water Europe today conveyed disappointment that the Roadmap not only ignored these scientific findings, but also failed to acknowledge the many other environmental and public health risks associated with the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract shale gas. The organization cited examples of problems from fracking in the U.S., where now over 100 state and local governments have passed resolutions to ban the dangerous practice.

“Drilling and fracking for shale gas not only endangers our precious water resources, it also threatens our climate. Inexplicably, the Energy Roadmap fails to acknowledge these threats.”

The group cited the following: Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed that fracking most likely explains widespread groundwater contamination in Pavilion, Wyoming. Overall, more than 1,000 cases of water contamination have been reported near fracking sites in the U.S.; MORE

US Study Casts Pall over BC's Shale Gas Biz

frackingAn extensive study by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that highly toxic and cancer-causing fluids from shale gas drilling most likely contaminated shallow groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming.

The findings, which strengthen the hands of those calling for a public inquiry on B.C.'s shale gas industry, contradict industry claims that hydraulic fracturing "is a proven technology used safely for more than 60 years in more than a million wells."

The controversial technology, now deployed for most oil and gas wells, blasts millions of gallons of water, sand particles and toxic chemicals into both deep and shallow sandstone formations in order to release small amounts of methane or oil over areas as great as 16 square kilometres.

The Liberal government of British Columbia touts shale gas as a "game changer" for the province and now heavily subsidizes the industry with low royalties, infrastructure giveaways, and large volumes of water from hydro dams, rivers, dugouts and aquifers in regions with poor data on baseline water quality.

The highly volatile industry, which wants to export the gas to Asia, now accounts for nearly half of all resource revenue in the province and nearly four per cent of provincial revenue in 2010. MORE


red dotAPNewsBreak: EPA theorizes fracking-pollution link


Learning Too Late of the Perils in Gas Well Leases

gas well drillingAmericans have signed millions of leases allowing companies to drill for oil and natural gas on their land in recent years. But some of these landowners—often in rural areas, and eager for quick payouts—are finding out too late what is, and what is not, in the fine print.

Energy company officials say that standard leases include language that protects landowners. But a review of more than 111,000 leases, addenda and related documents by The New York Times suggests otherwise:

¶ Fewer than half the leases require companies to compensate landowners for water contamination after drilling begins. And only about half the documents have language that lawyers suggest should be included to require payment for damages to livestock or crops. MORE


red dotFracking rules often lag behind industry's growth

Kasich, Koch and Big-Industry Bucks: Why Ohio Is the Next Fracking Frontier



Conservation Council doubts safety of shale gas industry

A series of special op-eds written on the shale gas industry

conservation council of new brunswickAlmost two years ago, the Conservation Council learned the New Brunswick government intended to permit shale gas development across the province. At the time, we assumed that it could be done safely, if we enacted tough regulations and government had the political will and resources to enforce them.

However, since that time we have learned much and have come to the conclusion that shale gas development cannot be done safely.

We learned that shale gas production has high greenhouse gas emissions—something we cannot afford in the desperate race to cut emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change. This is reason enough to leave it locked in the rock.

And we quickly learned that shale gas wells are not our grandfathers' wells of old. Instead, they use a unique combination of technologies: “high-volume, horizontal, slickwater fracturing” on multi-well pads. MORE

Science Lags as Health Problems Emerge Near Natural Gas Fields

HEALTH EFFECTS: The side effects of natural gas drilling remain largely unexplored by scientists. Image: nysenate.govThe health impacts of the aftermath of natural gas production remain largely unexplored

Hydraulic fracturing, along with other processes used to drill wells, generates emissions and millions of gallons of hazardous waste that are dumped into open-air pits. The pits have been shown to leak into groundwater and also give off chemical emissions as the fluids evaporate. Residents' most common complaints are respiratory infections, headaches, neurological impairment, nausea and skin rashes. More rarely, they have reported more serious effects, from miscarriages and tumors to benzene poisoning and cancer MORE


red accentNew Waterless Fracking Method Avoids Pollution Problems, But Drillers Slow to Embrace It

An emerging technology developed in Canada and just making its way to the U.S. does away with the need for water in fracking. Instead, it relies on a thick gel made from propane. And unlike water, the gel does a kind of disappearing act underground. MORE

B.C. should cap gas sector growth, report says

Shale gas production is recklessly getting too big, too fast, CCPA warns

shale gas productionBritish Columbia should cap annual natural gas production as a hedge against economic, environmental and human health risks associated with rapid expansion of the industry, a new report urges.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, along with the Wilderness Committee, is to issue a report today warning that the B.C. government is not keeping pace with accelerating development of B.C.'s natural gas sector, notably a growing dependence on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract gas from shale gas deposits.

The report describes B.C.'s pursuit of shale gas development, including exclusive access to water and lax regulations for greenhouse gas emissions, as "reckless."

The study makes several recommendations, including a cap on annual shale gas production, an end to all government subsidies of the natural gas industry, and a requirement that the industry pay the full cost associated with construction of new electricity supply capacity to support it. MORE


Fracking for shale gas in BC


Report debunks myths about ethanol

ethanolThe Conference Board of Canada has produced a report that blows away some of the long-held objections to ethanol.

Myth 1: Ethanol contains less energy than is required to produce it. The report shows corn- and grain-based ethanol contains from 1.3 to 2.2 times more energy output than input.

Myth 2: Ethanol is a scam run by farmers and refiners to soak up government grants. The report says taxes paid by the industry to date at least equals the subsidies and grants and that's apart from reducing a huge quantity of greenhouse gas. MORE

Fracking and Quaking: They're Linked

And scientists, the military, and frackers themselves have known it for years.

It's a fact that injecting fluid deep into the ground can cause tremors.The next time a Canadian consumer turns up their natural gas furnace or clicks on that gas burner, he or she may have inadvertently triggered an earthquake. Or a swarm of earthquakes.

Although the Canadian Gas Association calls methane a versatile, abundant and safe fuel, its unconventional cousin, shale gas, has been shaking the ground all the way from Lancashire, England to Dallas, Texas.

Shale gas drilling has also been associated with earthquakes in Arkansas, Alberta, and Oklahoma too. And now, even B.C.'s Oil and Gas Commission is investigating 31 tremors with magnitudes as great as 4.3 that have shaken the Horn River shale gas play near Fort Nelson, B.C. since 2009. Three of the quakes occurred during controversial hydraulic fracking operations. MORE


red dotDenmark aims for 100% renewable energy by 2050!

Following on the heels of Germany, Denmark—already the global leader in wind power—has declared its intention to go from 20% to 50% wind power by 2020 and 100% renewable energy generation by 2050. Denmark will also take over the presidency of the European Union on January 1 and plans to push for ambitious climate and energy goals.

Study: Collision Mortality Has No Discernible Effect on Population Trends of North American Birds

wind turbinesABSTRACT: Avian biodiversity is threatened by numerous anthropogenic factors and migratory species are especially at risk.

Migrating birds frequently collide with manmade structures and such losses are believed to represent the majority of anthropogenic mortality for North American birds.

However, estimates of total collision mortality range across several orders of magnitude and effects on population dynamics remain unknown. Herein, we develop a novel method to assess relative vulnerability to anthropogenic threats, which we demonstrate using 243,103 collision records from 188 species of eastern North American landbirds.

After correcting mortality estimates for variation attributable to population size and geographic overlap with potential collision structures, we found that per capita vulnerability to collision with buildings and towers varied over more than four orders of magnitude among species.

Species that migrate long distances or at night were much more likely to be killed by collisions than year-round residents or diurnal migrants. However, there was no correlation between relative collision mortality and long-term population trends for these same species. Thus, although millions of North American birds are killed annually by collisions with manmade structures, this source of mortality has no discernible effect on populations. SOURCE

Turbines and health

Dr. David Colby, MSc., MD, FRCP(C)When Dr. David Colby, the acting medical officer of health for Chatham-Kent, was asked to help make sense of the conflicting information the local council was receiving about the effects of wind turbines on human health, he didn't realize that he would be swept headlong into controversy about harnressing wind in the area.

Nevertheless, after extensive research he found no scientific evidence that wind turbines eroded human health—similar to 10 reviews, including reviews by Ontario's chief medical health officer, the Australian government, the Sierra Club and McMaster University that confirmed that there is no evidence of direct adverse health effects from wind turbines when sited to comply with Ontario's noise regulations. MORE


red accentWind is safe way of producing electricity.

Physicians for the Environment say aim is to get rid of coal

red accentWind Facts by the Numbers: Economic Benefits of Wind Energy


Wind is safe way of producing electricity

Physicians for the Environment say aim is to get rid of coal

Gideon Forman: "We have looked at the science and renewable energy, including wind and solar, are much, much safer than coal," For the first time an organization representing thousands of health professionals is weighing in on the green energy debate.

Physicians for the Environment is an organization of over 5,000 members from across Canada.

"We work on protecting human health by protecting the planet," said Gideon Forman, executive director. The organization has been in existence since 1994.

He said the organization started because there was a growing feeling among doctors that they couldn't just patch up their patients after they were sick.

"The doctors felt they had a responsibility to prevent illness," he said. "One of the leading causes of illness, as we know, is environmental degradation. To fulfill their duty as doctors, they felt they needed to be advocates for the environment."

So, over the last year Physicians for the Environment felt that they needed to be more vocal in terms of protecting people health, particularly respiratory health, and protecting people from the effects of climate change. MORE

ontario environmental registryPosted on the Ontario Environmental Registry, November 30, 2011


Proponent: Gilead Power Corporation
440 Passmore Avenue
Toronto Ontario
Canada M1V 5J8
Instrument Type: Approval for a renewable energy project - EPA s.47.3(1)

This posting is for a proposed Renewable Energy Approval for Gilead Power, proposed to be located in Prince Edward County. This is a Class 4 Wind Facility with a total expected generation capacity of 22.5 megawatts (MW).

The proposed facility is considered to be a Class 4 Wind Facility under Ontario Regulation 359/09 (O. Reg.359/09) Renewable Energy Approvals under Part V.0.1 of the Environmental Protection Act. Applications for Renewable Energy Approvals are required to be submitted in accordance with O.Reg.359/09 for consideration for approval. MORE

Airborne Turbines Revolutionize Wind Power

Makani wind turbineIf you've ever flown a kite, you're familiar with the strength and consistency of wind hundreds of feet off the ground, higher up than most land-based wind turbines. What if that same concept could be applied to harness wind power—could it help solve the intermittency, siting, and cost problems that have put a damper on wind energy?

Enter the Makani Airborne Wind Turbine, an innovative design that combines the concept of kite surfing with wind turbines. Its goal is to achieve the same motion of a turbine without the structure itself. “The difference between a wind turbine and what we're doing is we have a wing that is free-flying and tethered to the ground,” said Corwin Hardham, Makani CEO. “You have this kite flying the same pattern as wind turbine blade, but up higher in the sky.” MORE

Wind energy: safe, cleaner—and jobs

Annoyance at wind turbines is not the same as a health issue

cows grazing with wind turbines in the backgroundWind energy in Canada is now on track to enjoy a record year in 2011 with approximately 1,338 MW of new installed wind energy capacity projected to come online. These new installations represent almost $3.5 billion in investment and have created more than 13,500 person years of employment in addition to providing emissions-free electricity for families and businesses.

Ontario is Canada's leader in wind energy development, and 2011 will also be a record year for wind energy installations in the province, with more than 500 MW projected to be installed by year end.

Hamilton council recently passed a motion calling for a moratorium on wind energy development until further studies are conducted into potential health effects from wind turbines. While it is important to review new and credible information related to wind turbines and human health, the balance of scientific and medical research to date—including a report by the province's own chief medical officer of health—has found that there is nothing unique about the sound produced by wind turbines and that wind turbines do not have a direct impact on human health.

In fact, there are well over 100,000 turbines operating worldwide and hundreds of thousands of people living and working near and around them, the overwhelming majority of whom have productive and positive experiences. While a small percentage of people may be annoyed if wind turbines are in their vicinity, annoyance is a personal experience that can be caused by many things and be influenced by many different factors and stressors in a person's life. If annoyance has a significant impact on an individual's quality of life, they might wish to consult their doctor. MORE


Wind-energy firm Trillium Power sues Ontario

ananometerA company that planned to build a series of huge wind farms in Lake Ontario is suing the provincial government for $2.25-billion, claiming it unfairly cancelled all offshore wind projects earlier this year.

Trillium Power Wind Corp. spent millions of dollars over many years planning its projects, and had dutifully followed the government's application processes, the suit claims, but the rug was pulled from under its feet when the province said it would not consider any offshore development until more scientific studies were done.

The suit alleges that there is all kinds of scientific evidence that wind projects far offshore—such as Trillium's—are safe; even if more studies were needed, that would merely require a temporary moratorium, “rather than a wholesale confiscation and cancellation of all offshore wind sites in Ontario.”

Mr. Kourtoff said in an interview that he is frustrated because offshore wind projects could have generated thousands of spinoff jobs in manufacturing in Ontario, but that will no longer be the case. MORE

2011 a Record Year for New Wind Energy Installations in Canada

wind capacity in Canada

Ontario leads national growth that has created economic benefits across the country

OTTAWA, September 26, 2011 —Wind energy in Canada is now on track to enjoy a record year in 2011 with approximately 1,338 MW of new installed wind energy capacity projected to come on line—compared to 690 MW installed in 2010, according to new projections from the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). These new installations represent almost $3.5 billion in investment and have created more than 13,500 person years of employment in addition to providing emissions-free electricity for families and businesses.

2011 is also a record year for new wind energy installations in Ontario with more than 500 MW projected to be installed by the end of year. While Ontario is Canada's leader for new wind energy installations, it is not alone in pursuing the economic and environmental benefits of wind energy development. New wind farms are being commissioned in seven other Canadian provinces in 2011, including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. MORE

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Energy answer: Blowing in the wind?

MIT researchers have concluded that some of the price problems associated with wind power can be remedied right now, given a couple of changes to the electricity grid.

Cape Wind Energy project"Everyone knows advances in technology are critical for more widespread use of clean energy, but effective operations are also vital for profitability and can help us take advantage of current opportunities," says Jarrod Goentzel, director of the MEng in Logistics (MLOG) program at MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics (CTL), who helped direct the study. "Obviously without good technology we won't get there, but we will get there sooner by operating the technology in a more efficient way."

A key insight of the study is that wind's apparent drawbacks as a power source—it only blows intermittently, and in many places blows harder at night than during the day—could actually be used to the advantage of power companies, with one condition. If power grids were equipped with large storage batteries that are commercially available right now, placed near urban areas, they could accumulate energy via wind power during off-peak night hours, then discharge the saved power during peak afternoon hours (when people have their air-conditioning on during the summer, for instance). That would make economic sense for the power-grid operators, which pay higher rates to generators during peak hours, while keeping consumer prices intact. MORE

ONTARIO: Wind Energy Price vs. Conventionals

green dollarWith electricity prices rising in Ontario, some point fingers and create misconceptions about the price of wind energy compared to other sources of generation.

Under the Ontario government's Feed-in-Tariff program, the price for wind energy in Ontario is set at 13.5 cents per kWh.

New hydro electric projects in Ontario receive a price of 12 cents per kWh.

New natural gas fired electricity costs more than 11 cents per kWh.

Electricity from a new nuclear facility built on budget would cost around 15 cents per kWh. 



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