Press release from Environmental Defence:
December 5, 2008 – At Queen’s Park today, during the critically important global climate change conference in Poznan, Poland, the Green Energy Act Alliance released its expectations for the upcoming Ontario Green Energy Act. The Alliance recommendations for the Act will help bring economic prosperity and new ‘green’ jobs to Ontario, reduce Ontario greenhouse gas emissions, and allow individuals, communities and companies to become energy producers and conservers.
Developed by an array of experts, including environmental, agricultural and First Nations organizations, the document outlines what the purpose, results and core components of the Green Energy Act should be. Targets in the Alliance’s recommendations include: 6,000 MW of conservation by 2010 with an annual reduction from 2011-2027; 10,000 MW of new renewable energy by 2015; and, 25,000 MW of renewable energy by 2025. Recommendations in the plan will also result in locally owned and developed renewable energy by First Nations, farmers, public sector institutions, community organizations and co-operatives, while attracting domestic and international investment to the province.
“We have high hopes for this new law,” said Deb Doncaster, Executive Director, Community Power Fund. “Premier McGuinty and Minister Smitherman have both shown an interest in building on the German and French models that have worked so well in those countries, and we are confident that a bold, new Green Energy Act will help Ontario leap forward on the global green energy stage.”
“The Green Energy Act proposed by the Ontario Green Energy Act Alliance will put Ontario in a leadership position on par with Germany,” said Herman Scheer, Member of the German Bundestag (Federal Assembly of Germany) and General Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy. “The proposed tariff system will no doubt result in 25,000 MW of renewable energy installed in Ontario by 2025. Ontario, indeed Canada as a whole, has huge potential for renewables and conservation, equal to or better than Germany’s; all you need is a Green Energy Act like we have in Germany to make Ontario the leading jurisdiction in North America.”
Across Europe, governments are using ‘Feed-in Tariff’ systems that guarantee a price for green energy, securing different prices for different technologies depending on cost, and giving priority access to the electricity grid to renewable energy producers, large and small. These policies have resulted in the growth of new industries and jobs (a combined 400,000 related jobs in Germany and Spain alone) and a dramatic increase in the amount of renewable energy in their systems.
“Green energy brings the promise of a future without worsening climate change; green manufacturing renews Ontario’s promise to provide good jobs, social equality and integration for its working people,” said Andy King, National Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator for the United Steelworkers Union. “The Steelworkers Union is committed to a future where good green jobs are generated and sustained through investment in green energy and green manufacturing.”
“Ontario farmers are already leaders in energy conservation and environmental stewardship,” said Don McCabe, Vice-President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. “Now farmers are positioning themselves and eager to provide both on-farm energy sources and feedstocks to the province, ensuring sustainable power for Ontarians.”
Also made public was a new Green Energy Act advertisement that will begin airing today at TTC stations across Toronto. The electronic transit ad focuses on the benefits of a strong green energy policy, including reducing our contributions to climate change and creating new “green jobs” for Ontario. The ads will run for the next few weeks leading up to the winter holidays. The ad can be viewed at www.greenenergyact.ca.
About the Green Energy Act Alliance: The Alliance’s vision is to make Ontario a global leader in green energy development through the use of renewable energy, distributed energy and conservation, creating thousands of jobs, economic prosperity, energy security, while ensuring climate protection. Founding groups include: the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Community Power Fund, the David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, the First Nations Energy Alliance, the Ivey Foundation, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Pembina Institute. www.greenenergyact.ca
For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)
Deborah Doncaster, Community Power Fund, (416) 824-4866 (cell)
Don McCabe, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, (519) 331-6175 (cell)
2 thoughts on “Green Energy, Green Jobs – A New Energy Future for Ontario”
The Future of Alternative Energies and the future of America
I was driving home from work last week and noticed the latest gas price of $ 1.66, seems like we were just recently at over $ 4 per gallon. Oil is now $ 45 per barrel, commodities like steel are down, our national debt is skyrocketing, and all the once high flying Solar energy stocks and green eco funds have plummeted along with the global markets. They say we are in a severe recession, that demand will fall for energy and that gas could fall to $ 1 per gallon as unemployment hits multi-decade highs. Seems like we were just being shocked by $ 145 per barrel oil and record profits by oil companies, it makes me as an American citizen really feel manipulated and that our government hasn’t had a plan for securing our country’s future. How did we get into this financial crisis? Who caused this collapse? Seems to me terrorists couldn’t have implemented a plan this exacting, yet we hear that this was triggered by only four percent of the outstanding US home loans being in question. Now all conversation turns to how many billions of US tax payer dollars will be reactively given to faltering industries to mitigate loss of jobs in America. These are global corporations asking for US bailouts. Will unsecured pension plans, hurt by the recent stock market collapse, be next to default? Where will jobs come from as we rise out of this global recession? Green technology jobs and projects may be now questionable due to falling energy prices. Will America be the country and we be the innovators of this Intellectual property? Can the hundreds of alternative energy startups get the financing they will need to stay alive through this recession and to successfully commercialize their products?
Barack Obama will take office soon and has stated his administration will invest $ 150B over ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future. Let’s hope he isn’t an advocate of ‘clean coal’, which many doubt exists or today’s Ethanol as his green alternatives. Will Q Microbes hold promise for Ethanol production which is in it’s early stages of research at UMASS Amherst? My hope is that he backs strong Solar, Wind, and Natural Gas based ‘distributed hydrogen generation’ projects, the building of Hydrogen distribution fueling stations, and Fuel Cell use in his ten year plan. Just to think, we could have used $ 25B to setup 20,000 hydrogen fueling stations in the US, instead, hundreds of billions will be wasted on reactive spending rather than implementing long-term energy solutions. Will our new president have the discipline and vision to invest in these energies and infrastructures, to create and capture these jobs, or will he drop these pre-presidential energy plan headlines until another day when prices start rising again? Where will all these billions come from, between the Iraq spending, financial crisis bailouts, and proposed alternative energy initiative investments? The more we print new money, the more we risk the value of the US dollar falling to all time lows and the American family’s wealth further disappearing. As we recover from this financial crisis and recession, will India and China’s thirst for oil reinitiate the high demand and prices as new cities continue to be developed in these and other emerging countries? Will inflation drive energy prices back up?
As a citizen and investor interested in the advancement of alternative energies, in America’s future, and in managing these global wealth shifting trends, I sincerely hope we aggressively drive energy science, provide research and development dollars to these early startups, and reduce our dependency on dirty foreign oil and fossil fuels. We need a ‘Hydrogen Manhattan Project’ that integrates Solar, Wind and Natural Gas as a source of power to generate distributed onsite hydrogen coupled with fuel cell use. Focused research and development dollars solve problems through science advancements. Innovation and diversification into green energy is the answer for America and the world. For more information visit and bookmark my website; http://www.go-h2.net
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Well – I would go out on an optimistic limb and say that Barack Obama is on track to act in just the ways you suggest.
A lot of people assumed that the world economic crisis would relegate environmental issues to the background of policy decisions. But with a little more analysis, a silver (green) lining opens up for sure.
The reality is that financial stimulus packages are going to happen no matter what. But what’s crucial at this stage is that we convince politicians to ensure they provide a stimulus toward kickstarting the green revolution.
Why wouldn’t they? It would serve the dual purpose of saving and creating jobs while also making strides toward a greener, renewable energy future. This is exactly what Obama and his advisors are saying right now.
Let’s just hope they follow through with real action. And let’s hope Canada does the same.