Calgary Knights of the Round Table
GEOTHERMAL POWER: ENERGY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
Presented by: Craig Dunn, P. Geo: Chief Geologist, Borealis GeoPower
August 4, 2015Every Tuesday at noon a group of Calgary men and women meet for lunch, listen to a speech and dialogue with the speaker for 30 to 45 minutes. They are continuing a tradition that has operated without interruption since the Calgary Knights of the Round Table was founded in 1925.
It started as a branch of Round Table International, an American organization with which the local club was affiliated until the late l970s. The founding members were Alex Calhoun, A.B. McKay, Dr. G.D. Stanley, Eric Richardson and George Clarke, all prominent leaders of the community.
Their purpose was to provide a forum for speakers where honestly held opinions could be debated in an atmosphere of tolerance and congeniality.
More than 3,800 speakers have addressed the assembled members on a wide range of subjects that includes politics, history, art, literature, philosophy, science, economics, local and international affairs. The subjects may be mainstream or “far out” but are always topical.
When the speakers have concluded their remarks they are questioned by members. A speaker should not expect to make the presentation, acknowledge the applause and go home. A spirit of free inquiry inspires the debate that follows.
An editor at the Calgary Herald described the Knights as the “best kept secret in the city”.
In the beginning the membership was all male. Women were admitted as members in 1975. All who attend, including guests of members, are encouraged to participate in the discourse and to expand the spirit of intellectual companionship which permits free and open discussion.
There are a few rules other than those of good taste and good manners.
The life of the Table depends on the active contribution of every individual member and the fullest recognition that only by the cooperation of each individual member can the principals upon which the Table was founded be fully realized.
The “Knights”, unlike service clubs, abstain from participation in community undertakings. Members make their own individual choices and for that reason speakers are asked to refrain from solicitations. Membership at the Table adds a valuable dimension to the life of the “Knight”, food for the mind from the knowledge, wit and wisdom of the speakers and the debate. The weekly luncheon is an opportunity to expand one’s consciousness and awareness by opening the mind to the opinion of others.
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Geothermal power plants turn hot water into electricity. Companies drill underground for water or steam similar to the process of drilling for oil. The heat is brought to the surface and used to spin turbines. The water is then returned underground.
ATF Financial Chief economist, Todd Hirsch describes geothermal as “a perfectly green, perfectly renewable source of electricity. He also suggests geothermal could be a boon for the province, where companies have had a knack for developing “marginal resources” such as the oilsands.
Alberta lacking program
While no geothermal electricity is currently produced in Canada, companies are trying to build facilities. Some are proposed in B.C. and Saskatchewan.
Calgary-based Borealis GeoPower would like to have a project in its home province, but instead is pursuing opportunities in neighbouring B.C. The main reason is because B.C. has a geothermal program in place for companies to develop electricity, while Alberta does not.
“That’s a massive hurdle,” said Craig Dunn, head geologist with Borealis GeoPower. “With a lack of a geothermal policy for development in Alberta, it makes a number of developers, including ourselves, apprehensive about approaching that market.”
A geothermal company wanting to secure the rights to a thermal deposit would have to compete with oil and gas companies for the subsurface permit, since there is no separate program for geothermal, says Dunn.
The Alberta government’s Energy Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Borealis GeoPower has geothermal projects under development in Terrace and Kinbasket Lake, B.C.
“I joke it’s a great way to make your kids rich. You are creating the infrastructure for a resource that has no fuel costs,” said Dunn. “I’m developing something that could be around for generations.”
To read the whole article, click here: “Geothermal pitched as Alberta’s next big energy source“.