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Sopinka A.,Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions | Pitt L.,UVics Institute for Integrated Energy Systems IESVic
Electricity Journal | Year: 2013

The growth in variable energy capacity within the Western Interconnect is altering the way that system operators balance the grid. To maintain grid reliability with high levels of variable energy resources, new markets are required across the sub-hourly, hourly, and multi-hour time frames. The price of these services is an indication of the integration cost of variable technologies. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Sopinka A.,Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions | Pitt L.,University of Alberta | Pitt L.,University of Victoria
Electricity Journal | Year: 2014

What is the comparative cost of achieving carbon emissions reductions in the Western Interconnect via growth in variable energy resources versus meeting incremental demand by either coal-fired or natural gas-fired generation? An analysis suggests that more emissions are mitigated with the use of VERs, but the cost of achieving those reductions is significantly higher. © 2014 Published by Elsevier Inc.

News Article | December 27, 2015
Site: cleantechnica.com

Closing out the wonderful, unique Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum, the session below captures a number of the highlights of the forum. It’s a good synopsis if you want to get a general take on what made this forum so special and what we could do at other conferences and events to stimulate more change. After introductory statements, Tom Pedersen, Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, and Margery Moore, Director of Strategic Environmental Alliances at Bloomberg BNA, each provided their own views on how the forum went and what its highlights were. There was also an extended period of feedback from the audience, teasing out takeaways from participants from different sectors. There were many great summary statements — and, happily, my opening night presentation was referenced a couple of times. There was also a dialogue about the next steps forward, between Andrea Reimer, Deputy Mayor of the City of Vancouver, and David Cadman, past President of ICLEI. Shauna Sylvester, Director of the SFU Centre for Dialogue, closed out the closing plenary and thus the entire forum. She was the gem who had the seed idea for this forum, and spent years putting it together, along with several other core organizers. We aren’t going the exact same route, but the Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum was largely the inspiration for my idea for a big series of solar and electric vehicle events around the US and Europe (and maybe more broadly). These CleanTechnica events will also provide a mixture of inspirational presentations, general market updates, and practically oriented presentations, discussions, and workshops aimed at helping people to bring more solar, EV, and energy efficiency solutions to their homes, neighborhoods, and cities. Read more of our extensive Renewable Cities coverage.    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.   Zachary Shahan is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of EV Obsession, Gas2, Solar Love, Planetsave, or Bikocity; or as president of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media: ZacharyShahan.com, .

In a large forest land in British Columbia is a growing miracle: clusters of large trees that have grown as an effect of climate change. Between the 1990s and 2005, as the temperatures became warmer, mountain pine beetles swarmed and infested about 18 million acres of lush forests, turning the area into red as the insects moved toward the Rocky Mountains. Not only did they cause the death of thousands of trees, but they also destroyed a significant carbon sink. Basic ecology teaches us that while humans take in oxygen, the plants consume carbon dioxide – a great example of symbiosis. Further, as global carbon dioxide emissions and heat in the atmosphere have increased rapidly over the last few decades, the plant absorption has somehow helped reduce the gas's presence. When the beetles attacked, leaving rotten trees along their path, what was once a carbon sink became a carbon source as a huge amount of such gas went back to the atmosphere. However, the increased presence of carbon dioxide may have been the saving grace of the BC forests, said a research by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions of University of Columbia. "What we have found is the forests in B.C. are growing much faster than in the past due to climate change and increases in carbon dioxide," explained Vivek Arora, the study's lead researcher and an expert of climate modeling. As the outbreak began to taper and the amount of carbon dioxide increased in the atmosphere, the forests had more to take in, which may have allowed them to grow more trees and branches by 3 percent in size in less than five years. The researchers even believe that if this occurrence in the forests will continue over the next 40 years, "we will more than compensate for the losses associated with the pine beetle," stressed Arora. Although the researchers want to make it clear that the forests would not be anywhere near Amazon levels, the forests are expected to hold tons of carbon dioxide between the outbreak and 2020, which is unusual for trees found in colder temperatures such as in Canada. Of course, the presence of new trees can still be threatened by the mountain pine beetles, but right now, we can all relish this hope for the BC forests. The study is now available in Geophysical Research Letters. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Sopinka A.,Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions | Pitt L.,University of Alberta | Pitt L.,University of Victoria
Electricity Journal | Year: 2014

The Columbia River Treaty requires coordinated water flows between Canada and the U.S. to improve power generation and provide flood control. In September 2014 either country can announce their desire to terminate participation in the Treaty. Already there appears to be a significant chasm between the entities with respect to how they will allocate the costs and benefits associated with future coordinated operations. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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