Mount Dennis’ Net-Zero drive has set the media world ablaze (with low-carbon emissions). About 60 people turned up to hear the plans for Toronto’s first EcoNeighbourhood at the open house this Monday.
According to the city, building retrofits (especially to apartments) and more stringent design of new buildings can virtually flatten emissions growth if—a big if—almost everybody participates. Solar power can put another, albeit small, dent in emissions.
Block-scale infrastructure projects have much promise. These are technologies your correspondent is unfamiliar with, such as sewer-heat recovery , district energy systems (DES) and combined heat and power (CHP)plants.
District energy systems are already used elsewhere in Toronto. Instead of each building having heating and air conditioning, production is done centrally. Pollution reduction comes from hooking up to CHP plants, which use waste heat from energy production to warm water and homes.
The city says that 21% savings can be achieved in less than 5 years. Conserving more than half of the energy consumed will take more than 10 years.