Monday, October 4, 2010
For you producers outside Ontario - it may be interesting to compare.
So long for now,
Monday, September 27, 2010
I have new hope since researching today's blog (previously on solar projects in ON and now on research search engines). I found a site that presented research, articles, and other information documents on a broad range of topics.
Try it out at www.highbeam.com/help/membersOptions.hbr
This is a fee for service site, so I am still on the lookout for a similar free site.
So long for now,
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Some are saying that at least it is locked in, so that we will be able to depend on a constant price. So 4-5 times current costs for the next 20 years. Wait a minute...
For more see: www.edmontonjournal.com/technology/Wind+power+expert+urges+incentives+producers/3566426/story.html
So long for now,
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I am having trouble committing to blogging. I've been at it for almost 9 months with very little response. I know my marketing plan is seriously lacking, so in many ways, I'm not surprised at the response. Frequency has also been a challenge. Last but not least I'm targeting producers with an energy conservation/renewable energy focus that read blogs (does that sound like you?). But still the experts have told me "if you blog they will come." So experts I'm going to test your theory.
I hope to appeal to Canadian producers and those who support them. I'll present information, analysis and perspective on conservation and renewable energy - five days per week. My goals are information and experience sharing and network building.
Do you have information on conservation and renewable energy that is of value to others? Please share.
So long for now,
P.S. Looking for links on renewable energy research? Try http://www.biobasednews.come/
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
This producer commented on an article posted by the Canadian Farm Business Management Council on their website. See www.farmcentre.com/Features/ScienceInnovation/ to read more.
So long for now,
Friday, August 27, 2010
This year many parts of the industry have collaborated to demonstrate the potential fit to Ontario agriculture.
I'm also attending to hear some perspective on our solar industry due to the proposed changes to the feed in tariff system as well as wind due to rising community concerns when projects occur locally. Another thing that is on my radar is the potential outcomes of biomass research currently underway...
For more info on the show go to http://www.outdoorfarmshow.com/
So long for now,
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
So OPA's announcement that they are reducing the FIT rate of ground mounted solar energy installations was somewhat comforting. I do feel bad for the 11,000 applicants that are affected by this 27% reduction. So this begs the question - what were they thinking??? I realize they have an objective of taking coal power off-line by 2012 - but at any cost?
What do you think?
Monday, July 26, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The OPA received over 16,000 applications under the first version of the program which categorized roof and solar mounted projects together proposing $.802/kWh.
It seems like a damned if you do damned if you don't situation with overwhelming application response potentially resulting in expensive power for the next 20 years.
I'm glad to see the OPA reposition the program before they get any deeper, but I'll bet the solar industry in Ontario is hopping mad - too bad we couldn't harness that energy to heat and light a few farms. What do you think?
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It takes energy normally wasted during braking and turns it into usable energy by reversing the motor and converting it to a generator during braking and coasting.
Why isn't this the norm in braking systems today?
Friday, June 11, 2010
This comment inspired me to take a little look at the efficiency of trucking versus other forms of freight transport. I found some numbers in Wikipedia from the US Transportation Energy book (for 2004) which gave a breakdown as follows:
Class 1 Rail 341 BTU/short ton mile
Domestic water borne 510 BTU/short ton mile
Heavy trucks 3357 BTU/short ton mile
Air freight (approx) 9600 BTU/short ton mile
Here lies the attitude problem - it is a real leap to embrace renewable fuels when conservation and efficiency have not been a priority.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Consumers love the farm landscape and are willing to pay 10% more for the local experience as a result, according to one study. Does the idea of this beauty include wind turbines and solar panels - not so much is my bet.
What do you think? Will wind turbines and solars farms dampen enthusiam for farmscapes and erode consumer willingness to pay more to buy local?
Friday, June 4, 2010
Why haven't I heard of it before? Lots in the news about biofuels and turbines, hmmm.
Is multi-tasking still over-rated?
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
What really caught my interest was it's potential to improve yields and reduce fertilizer requirements. When buried, biochar captures nutrients that are leached through plants and surrounding soil. It then releases the nutrients back for plant use. This process also saves energy through reduced fertilizer consumption. How much savings is under research.
I'm searching for links and will pass them on in future blogs.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I learned very early on from the experts that conservation is job one before producers consider entering the world of renewable energy production - when you think about it, it makes sense, dollars and cents. To cultivate conservation for an energy producer means more net energy going to the grid and more dollars in your pocket.
Are you on the conservation bandwagon?
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Greenhouse operations would clearly benefit from energy efficient lighting. Other less obvious operations like turkey production also benefit. As an energy savings strategy some turkey producers have employed lighting that increases intensity gradually in morning to simulate dawn and vice versa at sunset. This enhances the turkeys environment and they produce more. It also means significant energy savings.
Sounds like two birds with one stone to me and you have to like that.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Yet 99% of reports on activities related to energy are focused on renewables and it seems government policy points this way as well. Recently applications for support under EcoEnergy, a federal conservation initiative, were unaccepted.
In Ontario the province has purchased thousands of megawatts of renewable power yet there seems to be a gap in programs for conservation.
What do you think, conservation first or fast track to a green energy production emphasis?
Monday, April 12, 2010
On the otherhand, farmers are natually focused on capturing the sun's energy with several that have resources to manage solar energy production as well as crop production enterprises.
Then there is the issue of "visual heritage" or visual assets (as discussed in a previous blog). I literally can't see a view of acres of solar collectors being visually appealing...
It is a complex proposition with many facets - as a start here are some solar energy related resources: Natural Resources Canada: Solar Maps for Canada - www.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca and Clean Air Foundation's Go Solar Website www.gosolarontario.ca and Canadian Solar Industries Association www.cansia.ca and Ontario Power Authority: Feed-In tariff Program www.powerauthority.on.ca/FIT .
On a personal note, I took a short hiatus as I lost a dear friend early last week. It sure took the wind out of my turbine. Today, I am grateful for the sun's energy and power to renew me emotionally. Take care.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Visual heritage is how an area looks traditionally and the related value of that "look". Niagara Falls is an obvious example of the value generated from the look of an area. Rural areas engaged in farming also have value due to the look of the crops growing - people enjoy the view and are attracted because of it.
Considering this - how is this visual asset or heritage affected by wind turbines?
What is your opinion?
Friday, March 26, 2010
What do I think...that perception is the most important thing, making community leadership or at the very least community partnership an upfront requirement for a successful project.
What do you think?
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
You can select a spreadsheet that matches the feedstock you are interested in using, such as waste oils, mechanically crushed soybean oil or mechanically crushed canola oil.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I came across a project that seems to have this all worked out - it is called the Dalhousie Mountain Wind Project located in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. They worked hard to involve the community, NS Power, government and local business to make this a success in short order. I couldn't find a web-site but there is lots of information on Google related to this project if you are interested.
What do you think of wind turbines - would you like one on your farm or in your community?
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
SOBIN are also leading the development of the Centre for Agricultural Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CARES for you acronym lovers) at the Ridgetown campus of the University of Guelph - this is a demonstration centre for on-farm renewable energy technologies.
The amount of activity that is occuring in renewable and sustainable energies and industries can be overwhelming - but also invigorating as agriculture in particular leads the way as a provider of sustainable energy as well as other products that support our lifestyle and the environment.
Do you have an organization that you think is working for future agricultural business opportunities in conservation and renewable energy - please share.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Often what I do hear fits more traditional ways of thinking -which surprised me at first considering renewable energy is an emerging industry. But the reality is that it takes lots of money to fund this research and the organizations that have money are well established and are conducting the research or are a funding partner for research, whatever the case they have considerable influence. The output is often something that supports their current business - which makes perfect sense.
That being said I think that a paradigm shift in R&D is required to develop sustainable solutions that support our society and the environment.
What do you think?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The estimated energy consumption by Ontario Farmers in 2008 -
The experts say that 15% reduction in energy consumption is very doable - and a $66,000,000/year opportunity for Ontario farmers alone! For an energy producer it means savings and more energy to sell.
Friday, March 5, 2010
This year I'm interested in learning more about:
- solar installations
- feed-in-tariff system
- energy efficiency
- conservation business opportunities
- trends and projections
- project financing
for more information see http://www.gtmconference.ca/
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Although that may have changed - I still question whether ethanol is a good potential market for farmers, due to the fact that petroleum producers seem to be leading development. Do they have the motivation to find solutions for sustainable fuels and the environment when much of their business revolves around traditional petroleum production?
What do you think?
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Loans are available to buy and install on-farm renewable energy systems such as geothermal, biogas, wind or solar power.
I have some questions - 1. Are loans available for feasibility studies? 2. What kind of guarantee is FCC looking for? - i.e. Are loans awarded based on farm balance sheet or future income of the energy enterprise...
Whatever the answers may be this is definitely a positive move forward for lenders and farmers.
What are your questions? For more see www.fcc.ca
Monday, February 22, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Stay tuned for more about the big show and feel free to add your two cents...
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Will the Renewable Fuel Standard in the U.S. rectify this? Some think so. This U.S. program is increasing the volume of renewable fuel required to be blended into gasoline to 7.5 billion gallons by 2012.
Do we need a program like this in Canada? Let me know what you think.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Another benefit is awareness - which can only help. What do you think - help or non-starter?
I found the Canadian Canola Grower's Association to be a good source of information at www.ccga.ca
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
See http://news.gc.ca/web/article/-eng.do?m=index&nid=509409 for more.
What is the potential for conservation and renewable energy for Islanders?
Those in the know - please comment!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
They hope to inspire others to do the same. What do you think, will they make it work in Hillsburg? What about other places?
For more about Everpure Biodiesel Coop see http://www.everpurebiod.ca/
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
What I'd really like to know and share is if biodiesel is a viable business opportunity for farmers to increase profits, diversify, lay off risk or participate in more of the value chain i.e. production and refining of the biodiesel.
What's your experience?
I'm going to do some digging and report back.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
The amount of power harnessed from a wind turbine depends on the average annual wind speed - needing a relatively consistent wind flow. Wind systems require an average annual wind speed of 15 kilometers/hour to be viable. 25 km/hr is desireable and 29 km/hr is outstanding especially if you intend to sell the power.
The experts recommend that at least a year's weather data be collected before site selection. Have some wind experience to share - please comment.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Have we progressed i.e. are there more producers entering into renewable energy business opportunities three years later? Let us know by answering our poll - see right
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I found information provided by the Ontario Power Authority easy to scan and get the facts see: http://www.fit.powerauthority.on.ca/
coming soon - another perspective on solar FIT from a potential producer
Thursday, January 7, 2010
I know the information, contacts, and resources we have developed can help Canadian Farmers interested in producing or conserving energy. So now we are working on ways to make that information accessible - a FarmEnergyOnline blog is born.
So thanks to the Council for making this possible - to learn more about The Canadian Farm Business Management Council go to www.farmcentre.com
If you have a great resources that you'd like to share please comment.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Last year the organizers also developed a biogas conference.
See www.gtmconference.ca and www.biogasconference.ca for more information.
The conference starts March 8th and you have until January 30th to take advantage of the early bird registration rates.