Breaking the Fossil Fuel Habit

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Breaking the Fossil Fuel Habit

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  • 70%Walk

    Obesity rate

    BikeTransit

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    50

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    0Sep 12010

    Sep 2 Sep 3 Sep 4 Sep 5 Sep 6 Sep 7

    HOURLY ONTARIO ELECTRICITY DEMAND

    Right scale (thousands of MW)

    HOURLY ONTARIO WIND GENERATIONLeft scale (MWh)

    ELECTRIFIED TRANSPORT The Challenge: Shift the transportation system from reliance on oil to green-powered electricity.

    The Vision: Green the baseload power system, utilizes small-scale batteries to switch from internal combustion vehicles to electrified fleets.

    CANADIAN ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

    ONTARIO WIND GENERATION AND ELECTRICITY DEMAND SUPERCABLES

    Storage of energy is highlighted in this chart showing that wind power is often not generated when the power is needed.

    In 2010, nuclear energy constituted 12.8% of global electricity use.

    2010 2035*

    Hydro/Wave/Tidal59% 56%

    Wind1% 6%

    Biomass/Solar/Geothermal2% 6%

    Uranium14% 11%Coal and coke14% 3%

    Coal and CCS**0% 3%

    Oil1% 0.4%

    Natural gas9% 15%

    Thermal insulation (75cm)

    Hydrogen (40cm)

    Superconductor (3.8cm)High-voltage insulation (3cm)

    Electricity would travel nearly resistance-free through pipes made of a superconducting material. Chilled hydrogen flowing inside the conductors would keep their temperature near absolute zero.

    A supercable with two conduits, each about a meter in diameter, could simultaneously transmit five gigawatts of electricity and 10 gigawatts of thermal power.

    GREENING THE BASELOAD

    The Challenge: Reduce emissions from coal and natural gas from the electricity system.

    The Vision: Deployment of advanced, massive batteries to improve the performance of renewable power; develop enhanced geothermal power which draws energy from deep under the earth, and accelerate the development of advanced nuclear reactors.

    OFF GRID POWER

    The Challenge: Provide power to 1.5-billion people in the world living without electricity; connect remote regions, like Canadas North, to clean, affordable sources of power.

    The Vision: Tap micro-finance sources to bring new power technologies, such as photovoltaic and wind power, to remote or impoverished communities.

    SUSTAINABLE URBANTRANSPORT AND OBESITY RATES

    Obesity rates tend to be lower in countries where usage of mass transit, bicycles and walking is higher.

    SMART URBANIZATION

    The Challenge: Reducing emission from rapidly expanding urbanization.

    The Vision: Use advanced communication and information technology, coupled with emerging battery technology, to improve efficiency and scope of urban transportation. Harness powerful new superconductors to increase the efficiency of high-density energy distribution.

    It has been estimated that geothermal generation could reach 1,400 terawatt hours per year representing as much as 3.5 per cent of worldwide electricity within four decades, avoiding almost800 megatonnes of CO2 emissions.

    TONIA COWAN, CARRIE COCKBURN, MATT BAMBACH/THE GLOBE AND MAIL 66 SOURCES: WATERLOO GLOBAL SCIENCE INITIATIVE; NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD; CANADIAN ELECTRICITY ASSOCIATION; SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

    Dreaming in GreenProposals range from massive batteries and super-conducting cables to riding bikes and taking buses.

    NOTE: NEB forecast, not Equinox Blueprints*Assuming normal activity forecast**carbon capture and storage

    The total number of people without electric power is about 1.5 billion, or a quarter of the world's population, concentrated mostly in Africa and southern Asia.

    Large-scale storage technologies will be critical to facilitate the integration of renewable energy into the grid.