Earth Hour is quickly approaching and this year when the lights are off at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 19th, WWF is asking Canadians to think about all the ways the world is changing to deal with climate change and to reflect on how quickly the change is coming.
Earlier this month, Canadian leaders met to discuss strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep global temperatures below a 1.5°C increase. Then Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with U.S. President Barack Obama and they agreed to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas methane and support renewable energy projects.
With these promising discussions on their way, we wanted to take the time to shine a light on other exciting renewable energy projects that are beating the odds and showing the way for a habitat-friendly low-carbon future.
Here’s proof that we don’t need to look too far for climate inspiration:
Raglan Mine – Nunavik, Northern Quebec
This large (3 MW) wind turbine withstands gusting and inconsistent winds and extreme temperatures (-40C) to reduce the use of diesel for power generation. The wind turbine has been in operation for 18 months and despite regularly shifting wind conditions, Tugliq Energy Co. have managed to consistently capture energy resulting in a decrease of diesel fuel use by 3.3 million litres. That’s equivalent to 9,300 tonnes of CO2 or taking 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
In stream tidal energy – Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia
There is enormous potential for tidal energy in Nova Scotia, so much that the province has plans to develop its tidal energy capacity to power up to 100,000 homes across the province. With some of the highest tides in the world, the Bay of Fundy has more water flowing in and out of it with each tidal cycle than the output of all the world’s freshwater rivers combined.
Lutselk’e community, N.W.T.
In 2015, the first-nation community of Lutselk’e has become a northern energy producer, all based on their community-owned 35 KW solar installation (35KW). This project demonstrated the possibility of renewable energy in the north and set the stage for larger investments and projects in the region.
Northwest Territories Power Corp – Great Slave Lake, N.W.T.
Experiencing lower than normal water levels due to climate change, the communities in the Great Slave region have increasingly turned from hydro to diesel fuel for power generation needs. To counteract this, NWT Power Corp has put out a call for proposals to develop wind or solar projects in the region, citing the decreasing costs of renewable technologies making this action a good investment.
These projects are demonstrating that renewable energy is possible in the most remote and extreme situations. If habitat-friendly solar, wind and tidal can be so reliable and effective places like the Arctic and Bay of Fundy, then it can work in many other places across the country.
When WWF launched Earth Hour in 2007, there was corporate and political resistance to acting on climate change and we needed a way to demonstrate the massive public demand for action. Now, nine years later, we‘re turning off the lights to show our support for action that is underway.
And when the lights come back on at 9:30 p.m. on March 19, let’s keep our focus on solutions that will help us change climate change for good.