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Solar for Nepal: Powering Social Change

Solar for Nepal is a fundraising event to support farmers in rural Nepal hosted by ELSE and SunFarmer. 80% of Nepal’s citizens rely on agriculture for income - yet 8 months of dry climate limit production. With automatic, controlled irrigation via solar water pumps the length of the growing season can be doubled, and increase incomes by 100-200%. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward the down payments for the installation of these solar-powered irrigation systems. 

Tickets ($20) for the February 1, 2017 event can be purchased here, and you can find out more about the event here. If you're interested in the project, but can't make the event, you can learn more about it and make a donation directly to SunFarmer online today!

ELSE's Letter To the Future Canada

To celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary next year and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Compact Network Canada (the Canadian network of the United Nations Global Compact) is welcoming contributions to an enlightening publication for Canada and the world in the form of letters to the next generation of leaders. ELSE National Co-Chairs Julie Guerin and Mike Skirzynski have written a letter to be publised, sharing their visions for the future of Canada as a clean energy superpower, and expounding its potenti

Solar West 2016

The sun is rising in the west. Well, not literally, but Alberta is becoming a major player in the solar industry in Canada. On September 14, 2016, the Alberta Government announced a firm target of 30% electricity used in Alberta will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030. On a brisk October day in Edmonton, Minister Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks, doubled down on Alberta's commitment to renewables by announcing that the Alberta Government is setting a goal to power itself with more than 50% renewable energy.

This announcement was welcomed by a rousing audience on the opening day of CanSIA's Solar West Conference. According to John Gorman, CanSIA CEO, the attendance has more than doubled from last year, reaching a record 400 in 2016. The large number is no surprise - as I peered around, many of those in attendance were solar professionals, eager to get started with the transformation of Canada's Energy Capital.

I was fortunate to be in attendance at Solar West this year; representing the ELSE National Board. The conference was highlighted by the prominence of the speakers present. The day started with a speech from Gianna Manes, President & CEO of ENMAX Corporation who preached a comprehensive approach to transitioning away from carbon-intensive activities. It was followed by several panels that spoke about policy, system, and market dynamics, distribution-connected solar, and utility-scale solar. The panelists were insightful as they spoke with vigor about the rapid new trends and policies that have come in a flurry since the NDP took over power in the province from the 40-year reign of the Progressive Conservatives.

The Great Climate Race

Emerging Leaders for Solar Energy is working in collaboration with the Great Climate Race to raise funds for OrcaLab, a world-renowned, research centre situated on a remote island off the BC coast, near Alert Bay, which has been researching orcas and other whales for more than four decades. In 2013, OrcaLab installed a solar system to reduce dependence on gas generators. They are now taking the project further to meet almost all their energy needs using renewable energy only. The OrcaLab solar project is being organized by ELSE and will serve as an educational opportunity for students involved in solar energy.

“We are excited to be working with ELSE to be helping to fund the transition off diesel power for OrcaLab Not only is this good for the climate but the cost savings for the facility can help do more good work monitoring and learning about the resident orcas we all love” said Great Climate Race co-founder Ben West.

“ELSE is participating because we strongly believe that solar energy is one of the most compelling clean energy resources available to us today” said Julie Guérin co-Chair, National Board of Directors at ELSE. “Solar energy creates meaningful employment; contributes to a healthy environment; and it helps meet electricity demands or helps those who are off the grid, like the OrcaLab. We’re very happy to be supporting the Great Climate Race and working towards achieving our goal of raising an additional $16,000 to complete this project.”

ELSE members outside of Vancouver will join others from around the world in The Great Climate Race — International Virtual Race. “with chapters in four provinces, and a presence at 17 Canadian universities and we’ll have upwards of 1000 participants in the race either locally or virtually across the country” said Guérin.

Please visit the ELSE fundraising page or this OrcaLab blog post for more details.


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