Sustainability Journal

October 2012 Issue (files are in PDF format)

AE for City Blocks

Outlines a general purpose design for providing heating, cooling, DHW and some of the electricity for all of the buildings in a city block. The buildings can be any mix of houses, apartments or commercial buildings and there can be from one to 60 such buildings in a block. The buildings use four sources of energy that is seasonally stored in the ground.

FIT for Heat

The United Kingdom is adding renewable heat sources to their FIT program. The proposed rate is 17.3 pence per kWh (about 27 cents Canadian), with the usual administrative caveats. Their objective is to provide very rapid approvals of valid applications, with the quantities being determined from expert system evaluations rather than constant metering. Homeowners could potentially derive revenue from the renewable heat they collect plus the solar power (if they use cooled PV collectors) and they would also save most of the cost of the fuel or electricity for space heating and hot water. By the time the FIT contracts run out those savings are likely to be the dominant factor so over its lifetime an AE for City Blocks installation will be many times more profitable than a conventional microFIT installation. There are also provisions for thermal subsidies in the US, with more on the way.

Canada's Sorry Record

Australia, Canada and the US have by far the worst GHG emission records amongst major nations. That is particularly disturbing in light of the ease with which Canada could eliminate the problem by simple, economical means like that outlined in "AE for City Blocks", and considering Canada's immense hydro electric generation capacity. The rationalizations put forward as excuses are simply not true:

* the world is running out of energy - False

* renewable energy is too expensive - False

* we can continue to use fossil fuels if we focus on energy efficiency - False

* we need to adopt every available means of reducing consumption - False

* our needs for heat in a cold country explain our high fuel consumption - False


One of the nightmares of modern society is that the power grid will fail for a protracted period at a dangerous time like during a cold winter spell. AE City Blocks are largely immune to such failures.