By turning to the renewable resources of energy, we will make progress towards preserving our environment.
With the aim of meeting Canada’s climate change targets and cutting its greenhouse gas emission, the country has developed a plan on combating climate change by focusing on green buildings. According to the estimates from 2011, among the top emitters of carbon dioxide are Canada, the United States, China, Japan, the European Union, the Russian federation and India. Bearing this in mind, it becomes obvious that every effort made for the purpose of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases is of utmost importance, and that finding innovative approaches to preserving our environment brings us one step closer to the goal.
Canada’s New Plan
Canada aims at reducing its emission of greenhouse gases by 40 percent by relying on a new approach and economy that will not only lead to the environment preservation and a decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, but it will also provide the middle class with new job openings with better salaries in the field of manufacturing, professional services, real estate, trade, construction and telecommunications. Canada hopes to achieve this by powering government buildings with clean energy and by introducing other environmentally friendly strategies. Some of these strategies are based on supporting clean technology, buying sustainable products and investing in infrastructure. The government has allocated 2.1 billion dollars for the expenses of implementing the new plan.
The Question of How
In order to reach its climate change targets and simultaneously boost the growth of sustainable building industry, Canada will attempt to improve energy efficiency and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by applying new measures to existing buildings and implementing the net zero building approach. Canada Green Building Council has announced a report making recommendations on how to achieve Canada’s objectives. These recommendations include:
- Investing in energy efficiency improvements in existing residential, institutional and commercial buildings. These improvements include renewable energy systems, switching fuel sources to renewable ones, recommissioning and deep retrofits.
- Implementing and investing in the net zero building approach and supporting a National Net Zero Building Initiative.
- Adopting and applying green building measures for renovating and constructing federal buildings and leased properties for the purpose of reducing the Government GHG Emissions.
- Developing energy benchmarking, reporting and disclosure initiatives in order to strengthen the buildings performance.
Sources of Renewable Energy
Canada is rich in sources of renewable energy that provide almost 19 percent of its total energy supply. The main renewable sources are wind, biomass, moving water, geothermal, solar and ocean. Approximately 60 percent of Canada’s electrical energy is powered by moving water, which is the country’s most important renewable energy source. Additionally, Canada is the world’s second largest producer of hydroelectricity. Furthermore, wind and solar energy are Canada’s fastest growing electricity sources. Having taken all of this into consideration, we have to make a step towards using energy from natural resources that can be replenished in order to combat pollution and preserve our environment, and Canada has taken that step. It seems that the United States don’t fall behind, since the estimates show that the USA was the world’s largest consumer of renewable energy. However, only about 9.9 percent of the total energy supply of the USA comes from renewable sources, which means that there is still room for improvement.
Means of Financing
In order to achieve the optimal results by implementing the new plan, Canada should find the best option for energy efficiency financing. The solution may be found in focusing on PACE (property-assessed clean energy) financing that has been making progress both in Canada and the United States. The PACE financing process starts with a loan granted to a building owner, which is, later on, invested in applying energy efficiency measures and improvements to the building in order to strengthen the use of renewable energy. You can obtain all necessary information about PACE financing here. Even homeowners can increase their property value with this means of financing.
By turning to the renewable resources of energy, we will make progress towards preserving our environment. This process is slow and requires patience as much as action and dedication, however, step by step we can achieve our objectives.
Zoe Clark, the author of this article, is a proud mom of one baby girl and a miniature schnauzer. When not obsessing about designing perfect homes, Zoe is spending time with her family.
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