Wednesday, June 25, 2008

2008 World Wind Energy Conference - Kingston

2008 World Wind Energy Conference concludes on a positive note

At least so says OSEA - the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. Given the government's announcements over the past few weeks on the expansion of nuclear power and weakening of the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program, it's hard to believe there's not some disingenuousness on the part of George Smitherman and the McGuinty government and its commitment to tackle global warming and clean up the environment. Is there not some truth to the comment in the last post by George Carlin about politicians being in the hands of corporations? Was the government telling participants what they wanted to hear because some disgruntled environmentalists are fed up with plans that are half-measures and were prepared to try and embarrass the government?

Kingston, Ontario, June 27, 2008 – The 2008 World Wind Energy Conference wrapped up yesterday and the overwhelming mood of the 800 conference attendees pointed toward the fact that Ontario should act quickly to institute a Green Energy Act as part of its energy policy.

Kristopher Stevens, Executive Director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) says the 3 day Conference was a great success and provided opportunities for international leaders to share their experiences and ideas.

“I’m delighted with the response we’ve seen here these past couple days. There’s been a real sense of enthusiasm and motivation among attendees and panel speakers that I hope ends up extending beyond this conference and into the communities, workplaces and levels of government here in Ontario.”

On Tuesday, during an appearance as Ontario’s new Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Renewal, George Smitherman made his first public address at the Conference. The Minister said he was open to hearing more about a Green Energy Act, but required more information from interested groups on what they wanted to include in any proposed act.

The Energy Minister’s speech was praised by delegates for showing openness to studying legislation and processes from around the world, particularly in Germany, a country producing 40% of its energy from renewable sources.
So Smitherman's "open to hearing more" new ideas. Certainly praise-worthy but in the end, the proof is in the pudding. Since he's new in the role of Minister of Energy (and other stuff), it's not unreasonable to cut a bit of slack. The RESOP put Ontario on the map - McGuinty et al accepted the praise and then buckled into the nuclear industry who claimed most of the excess future electricity transmission potential. While OSEA is diplomatic in its approach, if you read their document, it's clear that proposed changes advanced in December 2007 were not only ignored, but that the government decided to go the opposite direction. I am less compelled to be diplomatic in saying that without lots of pressure on the government, they will continue to take steps in the wrong direction which in the long run will not only exacerbate the problems, but end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars.

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