Coordination between environmental policy makers and engineers is essential, for real

Who could imagine that smart energy infrastructure could bring waste while it is supposed to save natural resources and eventually deliver certain monetary value to the state economy? Turns out when handled badly, the cure only leads to pain. According to the latest statistics provided by the fair-minded community of local engineers known as the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, clean electricity in the amount worth of $1 billion was wasted in Ontario last year, which represents a major loss. The problem occurred due to many factors, mostly related to the technology applied and the bodies responsible for corresponding decision making.

Until now, the province’s generators have been working by the ‘curtailment’ principle, meaning that the moment excessive energy is produced, in other words, not used in any way (consumed by province citizens, exported), it should be dumped by halting the whole hydro system: dams stop water redirection, wind turbines make no moves, nuclear generators produce no steam to be processed and condensed.  The process seems to be quite easy to maintain if the authorities in charge make timely decisions. Otherwise, the cleanest generator of power in Ontario will literally waste sources, which has already taken place for several years in a row. In 2015, 4.8 terawatt hours of clean energy got misused in Ontario, in 2016 the waste amount increased by 58%. In this regard, the importance of mvning business online increases. It is easier in entertainment industry – in Canada, for instance, such places as casinos can operate effectively even in web – NBSO online casino listing website proves that point (vous trouverez également une version française de la page web sur les fonctionnalités du casino en ligne).

Currently, all the tech decisions connected to Ontario hydro system are made by the local political authorities, who only involve engineers during the project implementation and not at the stage of the project assessment or decision making, which turns out to be late for issues prevention.

Todd Smith, one of the leading Conservative energy critics, made a point about long time ignorance of the expert opinion by the government, going further about the Green Energy Act introduced in Ontario in 2009, a highly controversial piece of legislation related to the production of renewable energy. The politician is convinced that engineers should get more involved in energy infrastructure maintenance and have more influence on the corresponding decisions and policy making. In addition, Smith shared the Tories’ plan to focus on the hydro system issues already at the end of 2017.

In response to the opposing claim, a spokesman for Canadian Minister of energy Colin Nekolaichuk noted the rejection of the government plan about the 25% hydro rate contraction by Tories, who did not suggest any alternative. He also added that Canadian government has always been in close cooperation with different stakeholders and organizations engaged in the important economy and ecology decisions.

While the government forces discuss political issues and share responsibilities, the clean energy goes down the drain. In 2016, Ontario lost 7.6 terawatt-hours of clean hydro, which could be used to power 760,000 homes. Furthermore, Ontario province exports huge volumes of energy to the neighboring districts at a price lower than the production costs, which results in another item of expenditure. The amount of irrationally exported energy equals to the sources enough to power over 2 million homes. Obviously, for now the hydro generator system brings more wastes than benefits to the local economy.

Advancement of Environment Assessment processes in Canada – have your say!

While the latest version of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) dating back to 2012 has proved to be inefficient so far, a panel of experts in ecology launched a high-level public review session in order to analyze the current state of the assessment processes in Canada and suggest some ways of optimization to turn Environmental Assessment into a truly powerful decision making tool. Unfortunately, now this system does not achieve its initial goals to bring value to the Canadian economy, society and, what’s more, environment itself due to the lack of practical information to be used during creation of state policies and programs that somehow deal with ecology (e.g. pipeline approvals).

According to the Government of Canada, the EA review results will help to build new processes based on such essential parameters as scientific research, respectful relations with the Indigenous peoples and the action items related to environmental protection. Not only will this lead to priceless ecological benefits, but will eventually influence the rate of economic growth through smart resources’ mining and safe infrastructure establishment. The idea is to replace CEAA with a new environmental law covering the items of sustainable development. In addition, the advanced assessment processes are to become more democratic due to the involvement of citizens who will get an opportunity to express their individual opinions on the matter and directly send corresponding suggestions instead of gathering at the street meetings and going to court. In the end, the ongoing environmental reforms are to bring such values as free public participation in law discussions, transparent and easily available information, equality in decision-making and sustainability.

Preparation for the wide-scale review of Environment Assessment processes started in May 2016 when the experts from all over Canada met at the Federal EA Reform Summit in Ottawa. The review itself was launched in September 2016 and guided by the 4-person Expert Panel led by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, which organized a special tour across Canada held in forms of various workshops and public gatherings, including meetings with Indigenous groups. People were granted numerous opportunities to express their views both in person and online.All in all, the Experts visited 21 cities, reviewed more than 500 online suggestions. In addition, the Panel was advised by a Multi-Interest Advisory Committee, consisting of the representatives from Indigenous organizations and various industrial associations.

By the end of March 2017, the Expert Panel submitted their final review report, also containing some recommendations and practical guidelines to be applied during formation of the new law. Canadians were welcome to submit their comments and suggestions that will be considered alongside the report results by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

What is happening now?

Until August 28thCanadians are welcome to read the discussion paper that summarizes some action items suggested by the government in terms of environmental assessment processes and new legislation.  Here you can submit your feedbacks, comments and suggestions that will be then taken into consideration by the Government of Canada and CEAA, still supporting the whole optimization process. Do not stay out of the process, express your thoughts and participate in the creation of the sustainable future for Canada!