Ontario: a positive step forward on alternative fuels

QIEEP is pleased to see proposed new regulatory changes in Ontario that would enable the diversion of low carbon fuels from municipal waste streams.

By recognizing the energy value of these materials – which are currently not recycled – the province will simultaneously reduce pressures on landfills while creating a fuel source for energy-intensive sectors such as the cement industry.

Ongoing research at QIEEP, led by Warren Mabee and Andrew Pollard, is examining the life cycle implications of replacing coal and petroleum coke in cement plants with low carbon fuels including construction and demolition waste.  With our partners at Lafarge Cement and the Cement Association of Canada, we are monitoring emissions at the stack associated with using low carbon fuels, and modeling the overall impact of substituting these fuels in the process.  Our initial results suggest that the use of low carbon fuels in these processes is safe and represents a significant life cycle savings in terms of overall GHG emissions.

We support the proposed changes by the Ontario government and would be pleased to provide comment on these changes.

QIEEP’s Bryne Purchase on Governing Ontario … 10 Steps

QP Briefing

In the fall of 2013, QIEEP founding Executive Director, Dr. Bryne Purchase, penned his “Ten Principles of Highly Effective Premiers.”

Originally published in QP Briefing, and addressed to Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne, they outline steps to good governance. They are not, he is careful to note, advice regarding the political marketplace, a realm with its own unique characteristic and challenges

Rather, they confine themselves the the important matters of how to finance and deliver effective government.

Each of the 10 is reproduced at a link below:

 Introduction and … Rule 1: Know Your Business

Rule 2: Minimize Coercion

 Rule 3: Watch Your Language

 Rule 4: Reinvent Ottawa

Rule 5: It’s About Fair Compensation

Rule 6: Beware the Power of Finance

Rule 7: It’s About the Economy

Rule 8: Beware Power Without Responsibility

Rule 9: Resist a Get Me Through the Night Philosophy

Rule 10: Compete and Cooperate

Why give up coal and then support oilsands pipelines?


A new report from the Mowat Centre highlights the critical question; at a time when Ontario is investing significant resources in renewables and seeking an effective climate change path, why should the province be expected to ease the transport and continued sale of high-emissions bitumen?


For a Globe and Mail article on the Mowat Centre report click HERE.


For the original Mowat Centre report click HERE.

Photo Credit: Globe and Mail


Quebec hydro power for Ontario?


According to a  recent Toronto Star editorial, Quebec currently sells renewable hydro-generated electricity for about half the projected cost of electricity from rebuilt nuclear capacity at Darlington. Demand in Ontario is dropping. Demand is also dropping in the American markets that have traditionally been Quebec Hydro’s mainstay customers.

Read the Toronto Star piece HERE.


Diavik Wind Farm 1-Year Anniversary — 17GWh later

The Diavik diamond mine wind farm began operation in late September, 2012

Diavik Wind Gens - trucks Feb 14 2012







Photo Courtesy of The Diavik Diamond Mine

Click Here for link to the company’s website

Wind farm facts


Approximately five million litre reduction in use of diesel per annum

100 fuel tanker truckload equivalent per annum

12,000 tonnes reduction in CO2 per annum

Six per cent reduction in GHG per annum


Four Enercon E70 generators

Gearless direct-drive design operating to -40°C

Total installed and demonstrated capacity: 9.2MW

17GWh annual production

8 year estimated payback


Tower hub height: 64m

Turbine rotor diameter: 71m

Total turbine height: 100m

Review of “Navigating on the Titanic”


How is this story to end?  Not happily says this author.  North Americans will continue to place unrealistic faith in technology and the bounty of our geography to solve this problem.

Writing on the website of the Centre for Urban Energy, former Ontario Minister and former Energy Critic for the Ontario Official Opposition, traces QIEEP Fellow Bryne Purchase’s argument that embedded issues of moral hazard have crippled North Americans’ ability to protect ourselves from the consequences of our collective actions.


For the full review, CLICK HERE

Biomass for Electricity • An Optimal Ontario FIT Rate



QIEEP researchers suggest increased feed-in tariff rates for biomass in Ontario.


For the full report, CLICK HERE.


Determining appropriate feed-in tariff rates to promote biomass-to-electricity generation in Eastern Ontario, Canada

Steven Moore, School of Business/School of Environmental Studies, Queen’s University, Canada Vincent Durant, School of Business, St.Lawrence College/Laurentian University, Canada

Warren E. Mabee, School of Policy Studies/Department of Geography, Queen’s University, Canada



Economic performance of biomass-to-electricity generation in Ontario is assessed.

Feed-in tariffs needed to meet industrial payback and IRR targets are determined.

Existing feed-in tariff rates for biomass must be raised to meet industrial targets.

Incentives that adjust feedstock price might be explored to increase biomass use



On-site data collection, interviews, and financial models were used to determine the feed-in tariff (FIT) rate required to encourage investment in the generation of electricity from currently unused biomass from the Eastern Ontario forest industry. A financial model was adapted and run to determine the net present value, internal rate of return, and payback period associated with a 15 MW biomass-to-electricity facility. The analysis suggests that Ontario should consider a stronger incentive than the recently-offered CDN $0.13 kW-1 h-1 for biomass-to-electricity. If no customer for heat generated from the plant can be found, FIT rates between CDN $0.17–0.22 kW-1 h-1 are necessary to achieve a 15% internal rate of return and a simple payback of approximately 5 yr; achieving a price of CDN $0.013 kW-1 of thermal output still requires elevated FIT rates between CDN $0.15–0.21 kW-1 h-1 to meet economic performance criteria. Other barriers, particularly regulations regarding the use of operating engineers in steam plants, should also be addressed to facilitate development of biomass-to-electricity. Without these changes, it is likely that biomass will be significantly under-used and will not contribute to the renewable energy goals of Ontario.


Kevin Lynch on the New Global Energy Reality

Halifax ChronicleHeral oil pump photo

Former Clerk of the Privy Council and current Vice-Chair of BMO Financial Group, Kevin Lynch argues that a widening prospect of US energy self-sufficiency means Canada must re-examine its capacity for exporting oil, bitumen and natural gas from its east and west coasts.

“Energy markets are global, but energy policies remain stubbornly national.”

He might have added that in Canada they also preserve a stubborn Provincial aspect.

To read the original Halifax Chronicle Herald article, CLICK HERE


Photo credit:  (HASAN JAMALI / AP)