Whistler to hop on hydrogen highway | VailDaily.com

Whistler to hop on hydrogen highway

Allen Best

WHISTLER, B.C. – Municipal officials in Whistler are preparing for a hydrogen-based economy. The town had been planning a major pipeline carrying only natural gas. But, in part because natural gas supplies are diminishing, the town is now planning a smaller pipeline outfitted for hydrogen should the day come when hydrogen fuel technology is developed.While hydrogen is already being used as a fuel in places, the problem – and it’s a big problem – is that it takes just as much in fossil fuels to generate energy.If that plan is speculative, the town’s new Sustainable Energy Plan also has ambitious goals for laying a lighter hand on the planet. The town thinks that coils can be laid into the ground to absorb ground heat. While the technology is not common, it is being used increasingly, and is planned for use in Colorado’s Summit County, among other places.The town is also thinking about tapping gas from its landfill to create usable energy, and using solid waste to create biogas. The goal in general is to move Whistler away from dependency on fossil fuels – in keeping with the stated goals of the international Kyoto Treaty on greenhouse gas emissions.Whistler is also talking about doing a public-private partnership to create a new energy utility company.Sharp fences can snag elk and deerBANFF, Alberta – Construction of sharp picket fences may be banned in Banff in an attempt to protect wildlife – particularly, elk and deer – from getting injured. The Rocky Mountain Outlook reports several animals have been injured during the last decade while trying to hop the half-dozen pointy fences found in the town, and in one case an elk was impaled and had to be killed.In some areas of Banff National Park, where the town is located, the national agency has prohibited fences altogether. In the town, however, guidelines only recommend low and rustic fences.Vail, Colorado

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