Rethinking Energy in Cities Could Save Billions
significantly by mid-century by applying new, integrated ways of
using energy in Canadian communities, a new study shows.
The Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow (QUEST) study,
released today, looks at how the economy and the environment could
be helped by rethinking the way our communities are designed and
how people travel and commute.
The study, prepared by MK Jaccard and Associates Inc. with input
from some of the leading Canadian energy, land use and
transportation experts, looked together at what would happen by
integrating these solutions, using data from four communities-the
Greater Toronto Area, ON; class=”xn-location”>Winnipeg, MB; Dawson Creek, BC; and Fort
McMurray, AB; and scaled up its findings to the national level.
Instead of increasing greenhouse gas
emissions, Canada’s cities could reduce urban GHGs by between 5 and
12% by 2050, by applying integrated community energy
QUEST then applied “integrated community energy solutions”
(ICES) to each community to see what would happen to the economy
and greenhouse gas emissions if these were put in effect.
These solutions include building more close-knit communities,
adding district heating and cooling systems, improving public
transportation and developing policies that enable people to work
closer to home, cutting commuting.
“The Government of Canada is
pleased to have supported this study together with provincial
partners and private sector organizations. The study provides
useful insights on how incorporating energy in community level
decisions can lead to more efficient management of our energy
resources and stronger communities,” said Christian Paradis,
Minister of Natural Resources class=”xn-location”>Canada.
“Increasing the use of Integrated Community Energy Solutions
could stimulate growth, create jobs and help to preserve our
QUEST found that by applying comprehensive integrated community
energy solutions, Canadians could:
- Reduce Canada’s yearly greenhouse gas emissions by 12 per cent
- Save up to $29 billion by 2050
from reductions in overall direct capital spending, as well as
spending on labour and energy, and
- Reduce spending on energy in households and in the service and
construction sectors by billions more.
“The QUEST study asks an important question: what if we do
things differently?” said Michael
Harcourt, QUEST Chairman. “It recognizes urban areas
contribute up to 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and that
our communities and their infrastructures will all need to be
modernized in the coming decades.”
By looking at four different communities of varying sizes across
Canada, QUEST has provided
valuable insights into how we could benefit by using energy most
efficiently, fostering innovation, and supporting integrated
community energy solutions-both environmentally and in the bottom
Our current sprawling, auto-intensive urban form is GHG and
energy intense, and each year it looks more impractical, notes the
study. It’s a wasteful development pattern which, if it continues,
would lock in emissions and energy use for up to 100 years or more.
Integrated community energy solutions represent a better
The study demonstrates that it is
possible to save money, create jobs, grow the economy and reduce
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions simultaneously through integrated
community energy solutions.
Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow (QUEST) is a
collaborative of key players across class=”xn-location”>Canada from industry, environmental
movement, governments, academia and consulting community that are
encouraging all levels of government, industry and citizens to
support integrated approaches to providing energy services in
The full report is available at: href=”http://www.questcanada.org/publications”