TABLE OF CONTENTS

ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

THE WAY WE GREEN GOAL: Edmonton's sources and uses of energy are sustainable.

THE WAY WE GREEN GOAL: Edmonton is a carbon-neutral city.

THE WAY WE GREEN GOAL: Edmonton is resilient to disturbances from climate change.

ENERGY USED PER PERSON IN EDMONTON

The total amount of energy used per capita within the boundary of the City of Edmonton is a measure of the efficiency of energy used. This measure includes vehicle fuel, natural gas and electricity. Energy used per person in Edmonton has fluctuated minimally since 2008. Energy used per person in Edmonton decreased in 2015. The main areas of decrease was natural gas for heating homes (possibly due to the warm winter) and a reduction in diesel fuel sold in Edmonton.

SOLAR ELECTRICITY

The amount of solar photovoltaic (PV) installed provides an indication of the amount of low carbon and local electricity that is being added to the Edmonton area annually. Increasing solar energy generation is a goal of The Way We Green and Edmonton's Community Energy Transition Policy. It can also be an indicator of the increasing diversity of our energy system. As solar PV becomes more affordable, installations are increasing at an accelerated rate.

ECOCITY EDMONTON AT HILLVIEW SCHOOL

EcoCity Edmonton is a grant program designed to support community sustainability projects within our city. This year Hillview School partnered with NAIT's Alternative Energy Program to take advantage of the EcoCity Edmonton grant to pilot a solar panel and environmental education project in the school. Staff and students from NAIT designed a solar photovoltaic (PV) array that they then installed on the roof of Hillview School. The solar system captures solar energy that is used to power the school. Twelve solar modules were installed and are capable of producing up to 60% of the power an average homeowner uses in a year. The collaboration between NAIT Alternative Energy Program and Hillview School is an excellent use of the EcoCity grant as it was designed to inspire community organizations to get environmental programs off the ground. This project provides Hillview School with an alternative source of energy, reduces their greenhouse gas emissions while also educating their students about renewable energy solutions.

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SITES

Micro-generation sites are sites that generate less than 1 megawatt (MW) of electricity, and produces this electricity using renewable energy sources. This can include solar panels, wind, biomass, or fuel cells. Micro-generation sites can also be an indicator of the increasing diversity of our energy system, contributing to the goals in Edmonton's Community Energy Transition Policy.

VIDEO: Building Capacity: Renewable Energy Potential in Edmonton

Click here to WATCH Gordon Howell of Howell-Mayhew Engineering inc. discuss how to increase the potential for renewable energy in our city.

TOTAL ANNUAL ENERGY USED IN CITY OPERATIONS PER CAPITA

The total amount of energy used by City of Edmonton operations provides information on the relative contribution of City operations to the overall energy footprint of our community. This includes vehicle fuels (gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas), natural gas heating for buildings, electricity use for buildings, street lighting and transportation. This value does not include the fuel consumption for anything related to transit vehicles, transit buildings or police vehicles. Energy use in City operations has increased in response to the exceptional growth the city has seen in recent years.

LED STREET LIGHTING PROGRAM 

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) light bulbs are more energy efficient than other types of light bulbs, designed to have a longer lifespan, lower maintenance costs, and recognized energy savings. Conversion from the conventional street lighting to LED technology will result in power consumption reductions, contributing to the goals identified in Edmonton's Community Energy Transition Strategy. In 2015, 29,915 alley and street lights were converted to LEDs.

GREEN POWER PURCHASE

Annual purchases of green power (from renewable energy sources) will assist the City of Edmonton in achieving a 50% reduction in its greenhouse gases, a target set out in the City Operations Greenhouse Gas Management Plan (approved in June 2012). Although renewable energy credits (REC's) were available for purchase in 2015, a delay occurred as opportunities to invent local renewable energy investments and corresponding purchase of local REC's were explored. The funding for this purchase in 2015 was carried over, as the exploration of local REC purchasing opportunities is conducted.

GREEN BUILDING RATING SYSTEMS

There are a number of green building rating systems currently being used in Edmonton including LEED, BuiltGreen Canada and EnerGuide. These systems are signs of a shift to a greener building stock. We are seeing increased market uptake of third party rating systems. This shows that people are valuing measurable sustainability improvements in the residential and commercial markets.

COMMUNITY GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

WHAT ARE GREENHOUSE GASES (GHGs)?

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are gases that absorb and trap heat in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main naturally-occurring GHG. The most common human-produced GHGs are CO2, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). GHG emissions result from the burning of fossil fuels for residential and industrial purposes (producing mainly CO2), from agricultural and oilfield activities (mainly CH4) and from vehicle emissions (mainly CO2 and N2O). GHGs are also emitted from natural sources such as volcanoes and forest fires. Water vapour is another important GHG. All GHGs released to the atmosphere contribute to the greenhouse effect, regardless of where in the world they are emitted.

The City monitors greenhouse gas trends to know Edmonton's relative contribution to climate change. Climate change is currently largely being driven by human emissions of CO2 and other gases that contribute to the atmospheric greenhouse effect. The total amount of greenhouse gas emissions is derived from the emissions of landfills and the use of fossil fuels (natural gas, grid electricity and vehicle fuels) within the City of Edmonton boundary. Edmonton continues to grow, and without lifestyle and infrastructure changes, so do the greenhouse gas emissions emitted within city boundaries.

VIDEO: The Science Behind Climate Change

CITY OPERATIONS GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

The amount of greenhouse gases that are produced as a result of City of Edmonton operations from every department show the City's relative contribution in Edmonton's overall carbon footprint. This includes emissions generated from the use of vehicle fuels, city owned landfills, natural gas and electricity. The continued development of the city has required an increased level of City services in urban growth areas, however due to Green Power Purchase offsets, greenhouse gas emissions for City operations have been variable since 2013, when renewable energy certificate purchasing began. City operations produced approximately 2% of total community greenhouse gas emissions in 2015.

In response to the climate change challenge, Edmonton will require significant reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions. The ultimate goal is to become carbon neutral and resilient to climate change disturbances. In particular, Edmonton aims to reduce approximately 50% of 2008 GHG levels from City Operations by 2020 and achieve an 80% reduction by 2050.

QUEEN ELIZABETH OUTDOOR POOL SOLAR PANEL PROJECT

Edmonton has one of the highest rates of solar potential in Canada; therefore, more and more businesses and homes are taking advantage of solar power as a renewable resource. Solar PV systems are an excellent investment to reduce reliance on traditional energy sources while saving energy costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With that knowledge in mind, the team at the Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Pool saw an opportunity to take a step towards sustainability. This year 200 solar panels were installed on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Building. The panels generate about 50,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, which is about 40% of the energy that the pool uses annually. A separate set of solar panels was installed to heat the water in the pool. These solar PV systems avoid, on average, 34 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year! By taking advantage of Edmonton's solar potential, the Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Pool is setting an example for all City of Edmonton operations and beyond. The data collected from the solar PV system throughout the year will provide the City valuable insight regarding the installation and maintenance of solar PV systems on other City buildings in the future.