Post 2010 Games, Vancouver and BC are eager partners in hoping to turn the green business sector into a potent multi-billion dollar industry.
The west coast of Canada with its beautiful scenery, gentle and harmonious cities and…mountain pine beetles-infected forests is very much into promoting the use of eco-friendly technology and hopes to attract investments to the region. Hey, don’t laugh at all those deadwoods, they can still be a great source of clean energy production and if harvested in time, the woods are still rigid and stable enough to support large buildings.
Vancouver, the birthplace of Greenpeace, has always been proud of its own history in environmental protection. With the 2010 Games, the city has taken another giant step in that direction. The Vancouver Games is widely perceived as the greenest Olympics in the history of the Games.
The 30-ft tall 2010 Olympic rings that floated in Vancouver’s Coal Harbor were powered by a “made-in-Canada” hydrogen fuel cell technology. Fuel cells are a leading-edge clean power source. When hydrogen is fed into fuel cells, the only emission is water (H2O) vapor.Speaking of H2O, actually, the BC Hydrogen Highway branded its hydrogen fuel cell technology as H2i.
Hydrogen fuel cells are not only clean, they can also be used in remote locations as a source of safe, reliable and quiet electrical power. Those attributes provided a perfect way to make the iconic Olympic rings glow at night out in the ocean at Vancouver’s world famous Stanley Park.
BC is a leader in fuel cell technology and the province intends to apply hydrogen power to public transportation. There is a demonstration of sorts for a hydrogen fuel cell transit bus at the BC Pavilion during the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Games.
Ford, Chevy, Mercedes-Benz etc. all have automobile designs that use hydrogen fuel cells. Though they are not ready for prime time yet. The hydrogen fuel cell technology is still too expensive for cars and refueling stations (or infrastructures) are not yet in place.
But that didn’t stop the car-makers from lending help to VANOC, the Vancouver organizers, for use in its daily operation. GM supplied eight hydrogen fuel cells cars for use during the 2010 Games. The company hopes to commercialize the cars in five years time.
Although even by 2015, the only vehicles available would likely be government and commercial fleets with their own refueling infrastructures.
There are also twenty hydrogen fuel cell buses in use in Whistler. They reduce greenhouse gases by more than 60% compared to diesel buses.
Large companies like Walmart & Coca-Cola are using hydrogen powered forklift trucks for their distribution centers.
With broad industry support and an agreeable provincial government, the city of Vancouver may just have the potential to fulfill its role as a major player in the world’s green economy future.