Natural Gas Versus Hydro

Blog, Commentary, Energy, Environment, Les Routledge, Manitoba, Regulation, Rural

The energy debate in Manitoba is slowly getting around to looking at a proposition I advanced when I was with the Manitoba Sustainable Energy Association that involves deploying scalable natural gas systems as an alternative to large, long lead time hydro dams.

In my opinion, there is a need to move towards a more distributed model of producing energy in this province.  As I described in 2009, it is possible that moving towards a combination of a distributed energy generation and smart grids could…

  • improve the security of supply of energy across Manitoba;
  • distribute benefits associated with electrical energy production more equitably throughout Manitoba;
  • encourage the adoption of combined heat-and-power energy systems in agricultural, commercial, industrial and institutional settings;
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions and negative environmental impacts associated with energy mega-project development;
  • create a platform to implement demand-side energy management systems and time-of-use rates;
  • more fully utilize existing electrical transmission and distribution assets throughout Manitoba.

Drones Hit New Turf: U.S. Farmland: Agricultural Groups Experiment With Unmanned Vehicles to Monitor Crops and Spray Pesticides

Commentary, Frontier Centre, Information Technology, Rural, Saskatchewan, Worth A Look

Farmers are starting to investigate the use of drones for a decidedly nonmilitary purpose: monitoring crops and spraying pesticides. As the spring growing season unfolds, universities already are working with agricultural groups to experiment with different types of unmanned aircraft outfitted with sensors and other technologies to measure and protect crop health.

What We Can Learn About Open Markets From Wine and Wheat

Agriculture, Commentary, Frontier Centre, Marketing Boards, Rural, Saskatchewan, Trade, Worth A Look

Canadian history is filled with tales of protected industries destined for oblivion because of free trade, foreign threats or lost subsidies. But the worst-case scenario rarely plays out as predicted. Consider two prominent examples from the past quarter-century: the advent of free trade for Ontario’s wine industry and the end of the subsidized freight rates for Western grain farmers. In both cases, disaster was predicted. Yet both sectors adapted and emerged stronger.