Our top climate stories that made us feel optimistic in 2022

Technological advances and building interest from politicians, scientists, and society lead the way for innovative solutions to the climate crisis in 2022.

From energy usage to transport, all areas of our lives are undergoing an evaluation for sustainability or contributions to global warming.

Persistent greenhouse gas emissions, rising global temperatures, and increasingly harsh weather conditions are contributing to deadly drought and heat waves. The speed and severity of these environmental changes have made it clear that scientific innovation will play a role in solving the problem.

See below for a look at The Weather Network’s top climate solution stories from this past year.

A first for Canada: New type of nuclear plant opening by 2028

A joint strategic plan was announced by energy ministers from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick in March to develop small modular reactors (SMRs), an innovative type of nuclear energy.

Historic disasters and the dangers of radioactivity largely contribute to the divisive nature of nuclear energy, but scientists and Canadian politicians are confident in the safety and potential of SMRs.

Since this article has been published, construction has begun for Canada’s first grid-scale SMR at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington nuclear site.

Giant seaweed farm in the middle of the ocean aims to be a global carbon sink

Seafields Solutions, a company founded in England, has a unique carbon capture solution: grow an enormous seaweed farm in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that can sequester a gigatonne of carbon dioxide annually. In addition to selling carbon offset credits, the company aims to use seaweed to create sustainable products like biofuel and bioplastic.

In an interview with The Weather Network, John Auckland, Director and Co-Founder of Seafields Solutions, noted that there are headwinds the company faces as they develop their innovation, but said that the potential for success continues to motivate the company and their investors.

A glass of ocean water: Quebec company wins award for desalination technology

Removing the salt from seawater so that it can be safely consumed by humans is a challenging process that is costly and requires significant levels of energy. Oneka Technologies, a company founded in Quebec, says that its technology provides safe drinking water with its all-in-one desalination system.

The company has spent years developing their desalination systems that are placed on buoys and are powered by the motion of the ocean waves. Oneka Technologies is working with both the Canadian federal government and the U.S. Department of Defense to explore various applications including emergency and disaster relief.

Watch below: Here’s how Oneka’s desalination vessel works

Click here to view the video

Canada could be at an EV tipping point, Google data shows

The microchip shortage, factory closures, and the global energy crisis are some of the major factors that have influenced the minds of auto consumers since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Data from Google Canada confirm that major changes are underway in the Canadian market, so much so that the country has passed an EV tipping point beyond which EV adoption increases exponentially. EV interest was also found to have clear geographic trends – can you guess which province has the strongest interest? Hint: subsidies play a big role.

First and only certified electric plane in the world arrives in Canada

While many would agree that flying in a plane that emits zero carbon emissions seems futuristic, others assert that this concept is just a few months away from becoming reality.

This fall Canada’s first and only type certified electric plane arrived at the Waterloo Region International Airport. The University of Waterloo and Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre are testing the plane in hopes of receiving certification from Transport Canada so it can take its first flight within the country.

The e-plane can seat two people and will be capable of making short-distance flights, such as a journey from Hamilton to Toronto.

This year the Canadian government outlined a plan for the national aviation sector to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and battery-powered planes are expected to become increasingly prominent.

Thumbnail image: Oneka Technologies