Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emission

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Introduction

Ontario is generating electricity through hydro, nuclear, gas/oil, wind, and biomass. Around 73 percent of electricity is generated through non-renewable resources like nuclear, gas/oil, and biomass, which have a significant environmental impact and Greenhouse gas emission [1].

Power Generation

As of Monday, October 7th, 2019. 11:00 AM EST, Ontario power generation from non-renewable sources is:

A. Nuclear: 10,673 MW of Nuclear Energy is generated, which is non-renewable, requires large quantities of water for cooling, and produces nuclear/radioactive waste [2]. Exposure to high levels of radiation, can cause health effects such as skin burns and radiation sickness and also results in long term issues such as cancer and cardiovascular disease [3].

B. Gas/Oil: 621 MW of Energy is generated, which is non-renewable, requires water, air pollution, and leaves corban footprint [2]. The increase in carbon footprints can harm our health. Malnutrition is the causal factor of most of the deaths as a result of the effect of climate change on food crops, such as drought [4].

C. Biofuel: 35 MW of Energy is generated, which is renewable but based on biomass used air pollution, and the carbon footprint varies [2].

Ontario produces an average of 170 kilograms of carbon dioxide and smog for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) power generated [1].

Power Consumption

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A. Ontario Power Consumption

With a consumption of 10 MWh per capita, Ontario ranks 11th in Canada for electricity consumption and has consumed 33% less than the national average, and total energy demand is the second largest in Canada. The demand for electricity has increased by 3% in Ontario. Energy consumption by each sector (in TWh): the commercial sector is 46.2, the residential sector is 45.7, and the industrial sector is 42.5 [5].

B. Windsor Power Consumption

The energy utilized per person by the community of Windsor in the year of 2014 is 38 million GJ OR 182 GJ. The highest energy is utilized by the city center, East Windsor, Forest Glade. Due to Detached homes, heavy commercials around Devonshire mall and industries in the East Windsor are using the high density of power consumption. The neighborhoods of Riverside, Walkersville, and the University are using moderate to high power consumption. On the other side, the moderate to low energy consumption is utilized by Ojibway, South Windsor, Remington, South Walkersville. Energy consumption by each sector: The amount of energy used by the residential sector is 24%, commercial sector 25%, industrial is 24% and Transportation 26% [6].

Why Energy Generation and Consumption Matters

As per the United Nations, greenhouse gases are gases that help maintain heat in the earth’s atmosphere and making earth livable. Although these gases occur naturally, human activities are the primary reason for vast amount of greenhouse gas emissions. About 70 percent of these emissions are due to burning non-renewable resources and fossil fuels, heating our homes, and using electricity. We are the primary reason for the generation of greenhouse gases; there has been a rise in emissions since industrialization, which is directly linked to raising of global average temperature [7].

Solution Overview

There is a growing need for non-conventional sources of energy to decrease the harm caused due to the generation of electricity using conventional methods on the planet. Energy harvesting, or the process of acquiring energy from the surrounding environment has been a persistent human endeavor throughout history. These days there is an increasing interest in harvesting energy at much smaller scales for use in embedded systems and LEDs. As for these applications, the power requirements are of a very small scale, and we can harvest energy by the phenomenon of piezoelectric effect from the surroundings. The piezoelectric effect states that when mechanical energy such as frequency or force is applied on a piezo crystal, electricity is produced by this crystal. The inverse of this law is also applicable wherein, when an electric charge is applied across a piezo crystal, a mechanical change is produced by the crystal. This solution will be helpful to meet to the

  1. Global target to keep the temperature rise below 1.5C
  2. To meet targets in 2016 Ontario Climate action plan and
  3. Positioning the Windsor Region as an energy leader by meeting the best practices of today by 2041 [6].

References:

  1. Corporate Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. [Online]. Available: https://www.citywindsor.ca/residents/environment/Environmental-Master-Plan/Goal-D-Use-Resources-Efficiently/Pages/Corporate-Energy-Consumption-and-Greenhouse-Gas-Emissions.aspx. Accessed: October 7th 2019.
  2. Independent Electricity System Operator, Government of Ontario, Canada. [Online]. Available: http://www.ieso.ca/en/Power-Data. Accessed: October 7th 2019.
  3. Official Website of the United States Government. Environmental Protection Agency. [Online]. Available: https://www.epa.gov/radiation/radiation-health-effects. Accessed: October 7th 2019.
  4. Parul Sundha and Uma Melkania, International Journal of Agriculture, Environment and Biotechnology, 2016. [Online]. Available: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/899e/26bbf83c9a005655b145fb75796e46e5569f.pdf. Accessed: October 7th, 2019.
  5. Canada Energy Regulator, Calgary, Alberta. [online]. Available: https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/nrg/ntgrtd/mrkt/nrgsstmprfls/on-eng.html. Accessed: October 7th, 2019.
  6. Approved Community Energy Plan by the City Council of Windsor on July 17th, 2017. [Online]. Available:https://www.citywindsor.ca/residents/environment/climate-change mitigation/community-energy-plan/Pages/windsor-energy-usage.aspx. Accessed: October 7th, 2019.
  7. United Nations, Global Issues, Climate Change. [Online]. Available: https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/climate-change/. Accessed: October 7th, 2019.
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