Renewable energy sector may have 20m new jobs

ABU DHABI — The Renewable energy sector around the world will have some 20 million new job opportunities by 2030, said Helene Pelosse, interim Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), here on Monday.

Addressing a five-day conference on renewable energy, which began on Sunday, -Pelosse said there is significant growth in the jobs in the renewable energy sector worldwide. In 2008, it was 2,332,000, which is expected to reach 20,000,000 additional jobs requirements in the sector by 2030.

According to her, there could be 50 per cent renewable energy in the energy mix by 2050. There were double digit growth rates for photovoltaic and wind over the last years and 60 per cent of new capacity in Europe come from renewable energy. Pelosse said, 85 countries are with policy targets and other 75 countries with feed-in tariffs.

On global green growth, she said, in 2004-2008, there was a fourfold increase in renewable energy investments, while RE investments in 2009 stood at $162 billion. Pelosse said, the renewable energy currently amounts to 18 per cent of the global final energy consumption. A shift in energy potential is required as the coal, oil are on the downturn and how many years left for fossil fuels even if shale gas and oil are increasing reserves, Pelosse said.

She said, there are three main drivers for renewable energy: economic growth, climate change and energy security.

Pembina puts out recommendations for Ontario’s Green Energy Plan 2.0

Leveling the playing field

The New Context: Green Power Exceeding Expectations

Excerpts from

“We may not need any [new coal or new
nuclear], ever… I think baseload capacity
is going to become an anachronism.”
— Jon Wellinghoff, Chair,
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, April 21, 2009.5

Ontario’s ground breaking Green Energy Act has positioned
the province as North America’s leader in renewable power
development. In 2009, Ontario’s 1,000 MW of wind power
produced 2.3 terawatt hours4 of electricity – equivalent to the
power used in over 400,000 houses every year, while the output
from Ontario’s coal plants was down to 8.9 terawatt hours. In
the last six months, the province has contracted for an additional
4,800 MW of new renewable energy generation to be built within
the next five years under the Green Energy Act, which would
generate roughly 11.4 terawatt hours annually. At the same
time, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is proceeding with plans
to convert some of its coal burning units to produce 2 terawatt
hours annually from biomass.
In total, Ontario has already procured more green energy in 2010
than it expected to over the next 17 years.

Thanks in part to the success of the
government’s conservation programs,
electricity demand is now expected
to decrease over the next decade.
Instead of building additional electricity
supply, we can now focus on using
modern green energy options to
replace retiring nuclear stations.

The province has already made commendable progress in building
a green economy. Ontario is on track to phase out its coal stations
by 2014 and replace them with a mix of conservation, green energy,
and cleaner gas generation. Much of this progress, however, will
come to a halt if the government stays the nuclear course.
The Green Energy Plan 2.0, outlined below, presents an affordable
and forward-thinking option. It is less risky than buying a new
nuclear station. The 3,000 MW of capacity in the six reactors at
the Pickering plant currently provide about 15 per cent of Ontario’s
overall electricity when they are operating well. Instead of relying on
new untested nuclear plants, Ontario could replace the contribution
from these aging reactors to the province’s supply with a portfolio
of proven hydro, wind, solar, biomass, Combined Heat and Power
(CHP), conservation and efficiency options.

Ontario’s green energy legislation provides many of the right
conditions for conservation and renewable energy to thrive.
But if green energy is ever to reach its full potential, the
government must revise its 2006 commitment to maintaining
nuclear at 50 per cent of supply. Otherwise, the government
will cause clean energy to remain a marginal source of power
in Ontario, despite the innovative Green Energy Act.

A Green Energy Plan 2.0 would allow Ontario’s green workforce to continue growing and diversifying the province’s economy.

Ontario is already seeing progress being made on creating a
“green collar” workforce.

The growth in the green jobs sector can and should continue.
A recent study by Blue Green Alliance, a coalition of environmental
and labour groups, estimated that 90,000 jobs could be created
with green energy over the next decade  by replacing aging
nuclear stations with green energy as they retire.

The province’s domestic content requirements, for example, require
at least 25 per cent of wind project costs and 50 per cent of large
solar project costs to come from Ontario goods and labour. Along
with guarantees in prices for energy generated from renewable
sources, companies will have the confidence to invest in Ontario,
hire workers, and produce and sell green energy.

One of the major benefits of the Green Energy Act is that it allows
renewable energy producers across the province to connect to
the grid — not just those working in a nuclear facility. Aboriginal
communities, homeowners, farmers, schools, factories, co-ops, as
well as large-scale commercial generators will be able to boost local
economies and create jobs by selling green energy to the province’s
electricity grid. In the green energy future, everybody wins.

Unlike jobs in the nuclear industry, an upgraded green energy
plan will bring more diverse jobs to all corners of Ontario. The
province can expect to see jobs in wide-ranging sectors such
as manufacturing, industrial efficiency, clean generation, home
retrofitting, and offshore developments.

Building a 21st century energy system means that Ontario must
learn from its 20th century mistakes with nuclear power. Clean
energy sources must be given room to grow in order to realize
their potential. The Ontario government’s role is to provide
direction and guidance to encourage the province’s transition
to a green energy future.

In 2008, then-Minister of Energy and Infrastructure George
Smitherman stopped the Ontario Energy Board’s review of the
Ontario Power Authority’s 2007 long-term electricity plan and
instructed it to review and “enhance” its long-term targets for
renewables, conservation, and decentralized energy within six
months. At the time, the Minister insisted nuclear would still
remain at 50 per cent of supply, inadvertently limiting significant
enhancements to green targets.

Since that time, it has become clear that green energy can play
a more significant role in in Ontario’s energy plan.

Adopting a portfolio of renewable energy sources has numerous benefits:

Doable — All the energy options in the portfolio are proven to
work and can easily meet and surpass the green targets
established in 2006.

Diverse — Instead of risking billions of dollars on an untested
reactor, this green portfolio would provide power diversity from
proven sources: onshore and offshore wind; local, residential,
and industrial power stations; and efficiency programs.

Disperse — Combined Heat and Power (CHP) stations could provide
efficient baseload power to hospitals, schools, and industrial facilities
across Ontario instead of being centralized in a distant location.
Conservative — The OPA already intends to surpass its original
targets for wind power for 2014. The additional wind capacity
proposed here is less the OPA’s own deployment estimates for 2014.25
Cost effective — Feed-In Tariff rates are scheduled to be reviewed
and likely decline over time for new projects, while projects that are
already approved will remain fixed for 20 years. Meanwhile, nuclear
power costs have continued to escalate.

Highlights of Ontario’s

Green Energy Plan 2.0

1. Direct the Ontario Power Authority to replace the Pickering
reactors by increasing its mid-term baseline targets (between
the years 2015 and 2020) for renewables, conservation, and
Combined Heat and Power.

2. Forgo or delay  buying new reactors.

3. Follow through on commitments to establish a Feed-In-Tariff for
Combined Heat and Power generation in order to enable the
development of diversified baseload generation.

4. Instruct the Ontario Power Authority that aging nuclear facilities
can be replaced by cost effective green energy options.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ end of excerpts from the Report ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

< …and lets all get together and figure this out.. because the future of this Country and this Province really depends on what we do today>

If you have recommendations as to what we should be putting forth as the sustainable directions for future prosperity, security and well-being in all matters pertaining to energy, conservation, technology, food, shelter, transportation, environment and our overall economy please add your comments below. Recommendations only. The debate is being held elsewhere. Thank you all.

2010 Renewables Global Status Report

Global Renewable Capacity Continues to Grow in 2009 Fueled by Policy and Ongoing Investment

REN21 is pleased to release its annual publication – the Renewables 2010 Global Status Report together with its twin report, UNEP’s annual Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2010 report.

The year 2009 was unprecedented in the history of renewable energy, despite the headwinds posed by the global financial crisis, lower oil prices, and slow progress with climate policy. Indeed, as other economic sectors declined around the world, existing renewable capacity continued to grow at rates close to those in previous years, including grid-connected solar PV (53 %), wind power (32 %), solar hot water/heating (21 %), geothermal power (4 %), and hydropower (3 %). Annual production of ethanol and biodiesel increased 10 % and 9 %, respectively, despite layoffs and ethanol plant closures in the United States and Brazil.

Highlights of 2009 include:

* For the second year in a row, in both the United States and Europe, more renewable power capacity was added than conventional power capacity (coal, gas, nuclear). Renewables accounted for 60 % of newly installed power capacity in Europe in 2009, and nearly 20 % of annual power production.

* China added 37 GW of renewable power capacity, more than any other country in the world, to reach 226 GW of total renewables capacity. Globally, nearly 80 GW of renewable capacity was added, including 31 GW of hydro and 48 GW of non-hydro capacity.

* Wind power additions reached a record high of 38 GW. China was the top market, with 13.8 GW added, representing more than one-third of the world market — up from just a 2 % market share in 2004. The United States was second, with 10 GW added. The share of wind power generation in several countries reached record highs, including 6.5 % in Germany and 14 % in Spain.

* Solar PV additions reached a record high of 7 GW. Germany was the top market, with 3.8 GW added, or more than half the global market. Other large markets were Italy, Japan, the United States, Czech Republic, and Belgium. Spain, the world leader in 2008, saw installations plunge to a low level in 2009 after a policy cap was exceeded.

* Many countries saw record biomass use. Notable was Sweden, where biomass accounted for a larger share of energy supply than oil for the first time.

* Biofuels production contributed the energy equivalent of 5 % of world gasoline output.

* Almost all renewable energy industries experienced manufacturing growth in 2009, despite the continuing global economic crisis, although many capital expansion plans were scaled back or postponed. Impaired access to equity markets, difficulty in obtaining finance, and industry consolidations negatively affected almost all companies.

* Nearly 11 GW of solar PV was produced, a 50 % increase over 2008. First Solar (USA) became the first firm ever to produce over 1 GW in a single year. Major crystalline module price declines took place, by 50–60 % by some estimates, from highs of $3.50 per watt in 2008 to lows approaching $2 per watt.

* Wind power received more than 60 % of utility-scale renewables investment in 2009 (excluding small projects), due mostly to rapid expansion in China.

* Investment totals in utility-scale solar PV declined relative to 2008, partly an artifact of large drops in the costs of solar PV. However, this decline was offset by record investment in small-scale (rooftop) solar PV projects.

* Investment in new biofuels plants declined from 2008 rates, as corn ethanol production capacity was not fully utilized in the United States and several firms went bankrupt. The Brazilian sugar ethanol industry likewise faced economic troubles, with no growth despite ongoing expansion plans. Europe faced similar softening in biodiesel, with low production capacity utilization.

* “Green stimulus” efforts since late-2008 by many of the world’s major economies totaled close to $200 billion, although most stimulus was slow to start and less than 10 % of green stimulus funds was spent during 2009.

* By 2009, over 85 countries had some type of policy target, up from 45 countries in 2005. Many national targets are for shares of electricity production, typically 5–30 percent, but range as high as 90 percent. Other targets are for shares of total primary or final energy supply (typically 10–20 percent), specific installed capacities of various technologies, or total amounts of energy production from renewables. Most recent targets aim for 2020 and beyond. Many targets also exist at the state, provincial, and local levels.

* At least 83 countries have some type of policy to promote renewable power generation. The most common policy is the feed-in tariff, which has been enacted in many new countries and regions in recent years. By early 2010, at least 50 countries and 25 states/provinces had feed-in tariffs, more than half of these adopted only since 2005. Strong momentum for feed-in tariffs continues around the world as countries continue to establish or revise policies. States and provinces have been adopting feed-in tariffs in increasing numbers as well.

* Renewable energy has an important role in providing modern energy access to the billions of people in developing countries that continue to depend on more traditional sources of energy, both for households and small industries. The number of rural households served by renewable energy is difficult to estimate, but runs into the tens of millions considering all forms of renewables. Micro-hydro configured into village-scale or county-scale mini-grids serves many of these. More than 30 million households get lighting and cooking from biogas made in household-scale digesters. An estimated 3 million households get power from small solar PV systems. Biomass cookstoves are used by 40 percent of the world’s population.

WWEA2010 Volker Thomsen

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Like most of our World Wind Energy Conferences the WWEC2010 did showcase our unique position and our role of integrating all countries into our mandate to promote wind power generation and to cooperate with all technologies in a “Symphony of the Renewables” and in a close partnership with IRENA. There were many highlights and even some historical moments we need to celebrate and acknowledge.
First of all a warm thank to our host country Turkey and Istanbul the fascinating gate between the Orient and the Occident. Tanay and his team was a great host that together with a great leadership from Stefan Gsaenger in a very charming way lead us through a labyrinth of impressions in this great conference in one of the worlds most historic places and Europe’s biggest city with a vibrant population of 20 million.I expected a chaotic big city with lots of challenges and was pleasantly surprised how well the trafic and how resaonable well the events were flowing.
There were many highlights of which I want to mention a few of the most significant:
Giving IRENA  the 2010 World Wind Energy Award. IRENA was represented by the DG Helene Pelosse who has showcased with her small and dedicated team that they are truly committed to their mandate and the ambitious task to integrate the entire world including all small, medium and big size countries on the transition into sustainable future of RE of all kinds everywhere.
Together we identified some exiting joint areas of activities between IRENA and the WWEA. This is not the right place and moment to get involved in details, but one of the most pressing and rewarding areas where IRENA and WWEA can support each other and where IRENA even at the beginning of their journey can be active and become successful right away is to help prepare and train a global workforce and introduce standards for a never ending demand for skilled labour in the field. Windenergy generation installed capacity will grow from 200,000 MW in 2010 to 2,000,000 MW in 2020. In order to make this an economical, social and cultural lasting success it is crucial that the production, erection, operation and maintenance is efficient and reliable by developing and securing a first class trained workforce within this relatively new industry.  It makes me very happy and confident that this and other concrete tasks where identified for our joint effort all of them projects that meet an immediate global need.
It is crucial that IRENA’s first projects are going to be successful. It is therefore great that we have identified several areas where our mutual support will benefit all of us. IRENA is like a young delicate flower that is challenged by many interest of many colours and forms. WWEA members placed everywhere in the world have a unique opportunity to become happy and highly rewarded “gardeners” that will help IRENA to flourish and prosper.
The “Symphony of the Renewables” was another highlight and it became obvious that we together with our colleagues from all technologies are united in our goal to create a world of 100 % clean reliable and sustainable supplies and developments that will ensure prosperity even in the smallest village in the most remote area.
This brand new conference venue at this historic location where sultans used to reside was a great place for this years theme and also a good example of the challenges or better opportunities Wind Energy is facing in many countries including Turkey.
The courages Wind Generation Industry in Turkey has to be commended for their vision and determination. They also deserve a warm thank you for a most wonderful gala dinner in a great university and fascinating location. The delicate food & drink combined with passionate folklore made us all energized and encouraged to move on with our exiting journey.
The evening boat cruise was another memorable event with many big impressions. The dramatic scenery by night moved us back into 1000 and one nights, as well as into the future being right in the gate between the East and the West.
My personal highlight was the honour to speak the laudatio for IRENA getting the 2010 WWEA Award. It also reminds all of us about our unique opportunity together with IRENA and our colleagues from the other RE technologies to make a big difference in a badly suffering world full of wars for oil and oil spills that show us how badly mother Earth is bleeding from its wounds.
My warm regards and best wishes go to all delegates and organisers. To all the members around the world that for one or the other reason were not able to participate you should know that we badly missed you!
I encourage you already now to start planing your participation at the WWEC2011 in Cairo in May 2011 that without any doubt promises to be another exiting event.
Bless you!

World Wind Energy Conference 2010

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The World is in a time of great challenges. From the gushing oil spill in the Gulf to the growing concern over climate change. It is also however, a time of great opportunities. Opportunities abound for the World to come together and embrace renewable energy and a wide field of new sustainable technology solutions.

These solutions include wind power, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, geo-thermal, seasonal energy storage  systems, and many other sustainable systems.

This year in Istanbul, Turkey, The World Wind Energy Association is hosting the World Wind Energy Conference to bring together community advocates, key players, and leaders in the field of wind power and renewables industry.

It is a time for our minds and hearts to meet and integrate our common goals to make this a better and safer and cleaner World, ready to solve the challenges we all face.

We are definitely moving in the right directions when we look toward the community power models that bring all stakeholders to the table, and integrate the best technologies to bring energy to a distributed equity and quality for all people of the globe.

Wind power is one of the best forms of renewable energy, and it lends itself perfectly to the local integration that is necessary around the World where energy availability can mean the difference between poverty and economic equity.

The proliferation of large scale wind operations around the World shows that resources and economic intent is inline with this sustainable technology. The only component that still needs to be detailed is the worldwide development of standardized models that make smaller scale community power available to all corners of the globe.

As was done in Denmark and Germany, the true community power model put the large scale turbine in the hands of the individual farmer. All that was necessary was a cooperative banking structure that understood and supported the technology and the economics, and access to the technology and know-how.

Today we have all the pieces of the puzzle on the table, and the patterns are emerging in great clarity.. Pieces are falling into place with ease, and the hands that can, are more and more willing to move the remaining pieces into place. The time is ripe for the integration of all these options to bring wind power into the new wind renaissance, where it becomes one of the true backbones of distributed energy around the World..

Wind power  is clean, beautiful, and ideal for our new post-industrial technological era that we can clearly see on our civilizations horizon. I can not think of a better solution for the time being, and this is one that will definitely serve us well for hundreds if not thousands of years to come.

Now, for this transition period with its great challenges let us pray for the World, and for our humanity that we may find the strength and unity to bring all conflicts to their ends, and begin an era of peace, prosperity, and global co-operation with which will heal our past and celebrate our future.

Ontario’s Feed-in-Tariff Progress

Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff Program Backgrounder

• Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program for renewable energy generation is a cornerstone of the province’s Green Energy Act. The provincial government launched the program in September 2009, and the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) started accepting applications October 1, 2009. It is North America’s first comprehensive feed-in tariff program for renewable energy.

• The program includes a stream called microFIT which is designed to encourage homeowners, businesses and others to generate renewable energy with projects of 10 kilowatts (kW) or less. MicroFIT is designed to make it simpler and faster to get small-scale renewable projects installed and producing power. The FIT program is designed for larger projects greater than 10 kW.

• Prices paid for renewable energy generation under FIT and microFIT vary by energy source and take into account the capital investment required to get a project up and running:

Renewable Technologies and Pricing

Landfill gas 10.3¢ – 11.1¢/kWh
Biogas 10.4¢ – 19.5¢/kWh
Waterpower 12.2¢ – 13.1¢/kW
Biomass 13.0¢- 13.8¢/kWh
Windpower 13.5¢ – 19¢/kWh
Solar PV 44.3¢ – 80. 2¢/kWh

• Under the program, participants are paid a fixed-price for the electricity they generate. FIT and microFIT contracts are for 20 years, with the exception of waterpower, which has a 40-year contract.

• Domestic content requirements for both FIT and microFIT projects are intended to help support the creation of 50,000 new green jobs in Ontario. MicroFIT projects will help create new local businesses and green jobs as demand grows for technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines, biomass and waterpower generation equipment, and for Ontarians who can design, build, install, operate and maintain these technologies.

microFit Applications

• The first 700 microFIT conditional offers were issued on Dec. 16, 2009.

• As of March 8, 2010, over 180 projects were connected to the grid and will be receiving payments for the electricity generated.

• The OPA has received microFIT applications from across the province, from Windsor to Thunder Bay. There are some areas that have had a significant number of applications submitted, including Chatham-Kent, Toronto and Ottawa.

• As of March 8, 2010, the Ontario Power Authority has received over 6000 microFIT applications. Ontario Power Authority is continuing to review and verify these applications.

• Breakdown of microFIT applications received as of March 8, 2010 :
Energy Source
Number of Applications
Capacity (Kw)
Solar Photovoltaic (PV)
Renewable biomass
Landfill Gas
• As of March 8, 2010, the Ontario Power Authority sent almost 2000 conditional offers to microFIT applicants subject to applicants obtaining approval to connect to the electricity grid from their local distribution company (LDC).

• Once the connection offer is obtained from the local distribution company and a contract is signed, the length of time it will take for microFIT applicants to start generating electricity will vary depending on the readiness of individual projects.

• MicroFIT is an ongoing program with applications being accepted on a continual basis. Once the current applications have been processed, the Ontario Power Authority anticipates a 30-day turnaround for microFIT applications.

• The first of the 510 FIT Capacity Allocation Exempt contracts were awarded on March 10, 2010.

• Capacity Allocation Exempt means that they can be developed without significant impact on the transmission or distribution systems, and through an expedited connection process.

• As of Dec. 1, 2009, the Ontario Power Authority received 956 acceptable FIT applications. 510 of these projects were between 10 and 500 kilowatts and are Capacity Allocation Exempt.

• The OPA has estimated that there is approximately 2,500 megawatts of available transmission connection capacity for renewable energy projects over 500 kilowatts. The Ontario Power Authority is continuing to review and verify these applications and will give priority to “shovel-ready” projects.

Ontario clears the way for 700 rooftop solar projects

OPA Feed-in-Tariff

Ontarians get the green light for 700 rooftop solar projects
Popular new program attracts more than 2,200 applications

Toronto, ON, December 16, 2009 – Seven hundred Ontarians from Ottawa to Windsor to Thunder Bay – including a member of the popular band Barenaked Ladies – will be celebrating a green holiday season after being the first to receive offers to generate renewable electricity under the province’s new feed-in tariff program.

The new microFIT program encourages the development of small-scale renewable energy (10 kilowatts or less) from a diverse range of producers, including homeowners, schools, farmers and small businesses. It is part of a broader Ontario feed-in tariff program (FIT), the most comprehensive program of its kind in North America. FIT is also aimed at encouraging community-owned and aboriginal-led projects.

“It’s a thrill to be able to power my own lights while at the same time contributing to my city’s electrical needs,” said Jim Creeggan, bassist for the band Barenaked Ladies. “Now that the microFIT program is up and running, it makes solar a realistic option for more households. With enough homeowners on board, communities will have a greater impact on where our power is coming from. I’m glad solar power is getting out of the fringe and into the mainstream.”

The FIT program, one of the cornerstones of the Green Energy Act, provides stable, guaranteed pricing to renewable energy producers of all sizes. It supports the province’s commitment to eliminate dirty coal-fired generation by the end of 2014 — the single largest climate change initiative in Canada. FIT and other initiatives under the Green Energy Act will support the creation of 50,000 “green collar” jobs.

“The new microFIT program literally brings power to the people,” said Gerry Phillips, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. “It allows homeowners, farmers, schools and Mom and Pop businesses to help power our future and get paid for it, while investing in a new era of ‘green collar’ jobs and expertise.”

“The tremendous initial response to the feed-in tariff signals a strong future for renewable energy in Ontario,” said Ontario Power Authority CEO Colin Andersen. “We’ve cut the red tape and made it simpler for ordinary Ontarians to become electricity producers and they’ve raced to embrace green energy.”

The Ontario Power Authority has received nearly 1,200 microFIT applications since the program began accepting applications on October 1, mostly for residential roof-top solar power systems. These proposed projects have a combined capacity of about 8.6 megawatts (MW), enough to power about 1,000 average homes.

Between October 1 when the program launched and December 1, the Ontario Power Authority also received about 1,000 applications for projects over 10 kilowatts (kW). This large number of applications ensures there will be more than enough high-quality projects to deliver the 2,500 MW of renewable energy earmarked for the first round of the FIT program. These larger scale FIT applications are still being assessed.

The Ontario Power Authority estimates that the first FIT projects will generate in excess of $5 billion in investments in manufacturing, design, construction and engineering and lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs.

The Ontario Power Authority is responsible for ensuring a reliable, sustainable supply of electricity for Ontario. Its four key areas of focus are: planning the power system for the long term, leading and co-ordinating conservation initiatives across the province, ensuring development of needed generation resources, and supporting the continued evolution of the electricity sector.


Media Contact ? Tim Butters, Ontario Power Authority, 416-969-6307 / Toll Free: 1-800-797-9604

What People are Saying about Ontario’s Groundbreaking micro Feed-In Tariff (microFIT) Program

“I’ve had solar panels on my roof for three years. It’s a thrill to be able to power my own lights while at the same time contributing to my city’s electrical needs. Now that the microFIT program is up and running, it makes solar a realistic option for more households. With enough homeowners on board, communities will have a greater impact on where our power is coming from. I’m glad solar power is getting out of the fringe and into the mainstream.”

– Jim Creeggan Toronto homeowner and bassist for the band Barenaked Ladies
For media requests, please call Alison Taylor (310) 776-7645

“Na-Me-Res is a charitable organization with limited funding. We are also an Aboriginal organization with a strong sense of environmental stewardship. Ontario’s new green energy program lets us generate revenue and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time. It’s a phenomenal opportunity that we knew we had to take advantage of.”

– Harvey Manning Executive Director Na-Me-Res, Native Men’s Residence
For media requests, please call (416) 651-6750, ext 2229

“In June 2000, the Toronto District School Board adopted an Environment Policy that sought to align TDSB’s practices with the definition of sustainability as set out in the Bruntland Commission, and to link environmental education goals with facility operational effectiveness. The solar photovoltaic systems funded by the microFIT program are of great assistance in helping us meet our environmental education objectives, as well as providing needed sustainable revenue to the Board.”

– David Percival Manager of Design, Standards, Compliance and Environment Toronto District School Board
For media requests, please call Radmila Malobabic at (416) 395-2721

“The GEA and the FIT program are world class, creative public policy. It’s now up to organizations like TREC to use it. And we are. Our Windshare Exhibition Place wind turbine has been feeding the grid for five years. We have submitted a FIT application for a 20-megawatt co-op owned windfarm in Bervie. We are working on plans for 250 kW rooftop solar co-op in Toronto and we just launched Our Power, our residential rooftop solar program. The future for renewable energy is looking good.”

– Judy Lipp?Executive Director?Toronto Renewable Energy Co-op (TREC)
For media requests, please call Ken Traynor at (416) 977-5093, ext 237

“Local electricity distribution companies are proud to be part of the expansion of renewable energy and supporting the development of sustainable communities in Ontario. Ontario’s electricity distributors, in co-operation with the Ontario Power Authority, are playing a key role in the ongoing implementation of FIT and microFIT programs across the province. As the frontline and trusted face of Ontario’s electricity system, distributors have a primary role to play in providing guidance and assistance to those customers who want to engage in microFIT projects in their communities.”

– Charlie Macaluso President and Chief Executive Officer? Electricity Distributors Association (EDA)
For media requests, please call Christine Hallas at (905) 265-5322 or toll free 1-800-668-9979

“The main vision of the Green Energy Act Alliance is to enable all Ontarians to become green energy generators. The microFIT program does just that. The prices that Ontario will pay are as good as those paid in Europe, where in counties like Germany 50 per cent of all green energy projects are owned by the citizens. We expect the microFIT program will be a huge success in Ontario.”

– Deb Doncaster Chair, Green Energy Act Alliance Executive Director, Community Power Fund
For media requests, please call Jennifer Foulds at (416) 323-9521, ext 232

“The people of the province have long indicated that they are willing, even eager, to do something to address climate change and reduce the sickening summer smog caused by burning coal. The OPA’s microFIT program gives them that opportunity and they are taking it. Local power production means more personal control and profits.”

– Kristopher Stevens Executive Director Ontario Sustainable Energy Association
For media requests, please call Jane Story at (416) 977-4441, ext 222

“The OPA’s microFIT program will be a great boost for small renewable projects and is certain to bring solar to Ontario homes. Residential homes, farmers and small businesses will be able to harness the power of the sun as part of a wave to fight climate change ? and that can only be a positive for the province’s future generations. We hope that Canada’s other provinces will take up the challenge and help renewable energy radiate across the country.”

– Elizabeth McDonald President Canadian Solar Industries Association
For media requests, please call (866) 522-6742

For background information on the FIT and MicroFIT programs click here.

Helene Pelosse Direktor General IRENA

3. december 2009

A Climate for Renewables

There will be many hills to climb before we reach our renewable energy goals.

by Hélène Pelosse, IRENA

London, UK [Renewable Energy World Magazine]

Hiking is one of my favorite outdoor activities. Twenty years ago, my father and I went on a trip to explore several glaciers. It was a special experience for us, and one of my fondest memories. So you can imagine my horror to see recent photos of these very same glaciers that showed how much they had receded. Just 20 years ago, they were majestic examples of the Earth’s natural beauty. Now, they are case studies of a planet in crisis.

Sadly, my story is not an isolated tale. There is no shortage of predictions about what the world will look like in the future if carbon emissions continue to rise. All of them are negative. Glaciers will melt. Species will become extinct. And extreme weather conditions will proliferate.

Yet, despite these grim prognostications, there is reason for hope. As the dangers of climate change become more readily apparent, the international community is joining together to explore the opportunities in this crisis. In fact, the creation of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is just one example of this new spirit of global cooperation.

From my office chair at IRENA’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), I have been fortunate to witness this phenomenon first hand. The fact that IRENA is based in one of the world’s most important oil producing countries sends a powerful message to the world that we can not rely on the energies of the past to power the future.

IRENA is the first intergovernmental organization tasked with providing support and advice to its member states on implementing effective framework conditions for the transition towards a new era of increased renewable energy, and I’m grateful to have a front row seat for the proceedings.

I believe the turn towards renewable energy will be as influential as the Industrial Revolution. I am not the only one who thinks so. This is why so many countries have joined IRENA. Our organization has grown quickly, and the sheer size of our member roster is telling. We launched in January 2009, the initial idea coming from Germany, then Spain and Denmark joined in. Over the year, almost 50 countries got involved in the founding process. By the autumn of 2009, dozens more had signed on, bringing the total number of IRENA member states to 137. The United Nations has 192. It’s difficult to believe that when IRENA first began, some of us thought it would be a success to have 30 countries on board.

It is clear that many countries are ready to embrace renewable energy. Although renewables are only one approach to mitigating the complex challenge of global warming, it is one of the best strategies we have. The spin-off benefits of a renewable powered future are simply too good to ignore. By their very nature, renewable energies are secure, affordable, easily accessible, and clean. And because of these traits, it can preserve the environment and protect our climate. It can boost economic growth and create local jobs that will lead to regional development. It can even increase social cohesion and make the world’s energy supplies more secure.

Renewable energy technology is progressing by leaps and bounds. Research and development in green technology is no longer restricted to European countries such as Germany, Spain, and Denmark. Just last year, for example, China surpassed Japan as the world’s leading producer of photovoltaic cells.

Remember when computers were so rare that only scientific researchers had access to them? Or perhaps you might recall when brick-sized mobile phones were so expensive that they belonged only to Hollywood producers and investment bankers. As with all technology, prices of renewable equipment are bound to come down as these products become more mainstream and manufacturers achieve economies of scale. I would not be surprised if renewable technologies become so common that we are able to purchase small-scale versions for our homes in supermarkets very soon.

Earlier this year, at least 64 countries had policies to promote renewable power generation. India recently announced an ambitious Solar Plan aiming to generate 20 GW from sunlight by 2020, starting from its current 2.12 MW. The EU has set a target of 20% renewable power by 2020 and is currently drafting legislation to support this goal.

With the advances in technology and the plans in place, we are starting to see incredibly ambitious projects take form. South Africa is developing a 100-MW concentrating solar power project. Norway will be opening the world’s first osmotic power plant outside Oslo as REW goes to press. In Bangladesh, as of March 2009, the renewable energy company Grameen Shakti had installed more than 220,000 solar home systems in rural areas that turn houses into small power plants. Morocco and India both have plans to create preferential zones for renewable energy technology production. And in IRENA’s back yard in the oil-producing UAE, the city of Masdar plans to establish a similar renewable energy technology zone.

The world’s renewable energy sector will grow. We have already seen an increase in the production of renewable energy over the last decade. Last year, both the United States and the European Union added more power capacity from renewables than from conventional sources. And consider this: an estimated US$120 billion was invested in renewable energy worldwide in 2008, almost double the $63 billion invested in 2006.

All of these developments are taking place at an important time in world history. Science has shown that we must change the way we produce and consume energy or face a future ravaged by warmer temperatures.

Current methods of energy generation produce negative effects that are rarely shown on our utility bills, but all of society pays for them. What we emit into the atmosphere today will influence the planet for decades to come and possibly far longer, affecting generations to come.

There is an even more pragmatic reason for pursuing a renewable energy future. Renewables could provide an unlimited supply to meet the needs of the estimated 10 billion humans that will inhabit Earth by 2050. Renewable energy’s greatest benefit is perhaps that it is accessible for every country in the world. Most regions of the globe have access to resources such as sun, wind, water, biomass, agricultural residue, or the Earth’s heat. We have begun to harness these resources in new and exciting ways that help countries all around the world help themselves.

We have already seen what happens when creative people design things that take advantage of renewable power. This innovation has resulted in products such as solar home systems in Ethiopia or eco-friendly cooking stoves in India. Many more innovative products are on the way. Around the world, entrepreneurs are hard at work developing clever market-based solutions that deliver safe and affordable energy to the 1.6 billion people without access to electricity, a market estimated at $500 billion.

In addition to helping alleviate conditions of poverty, the renewable energy transformation allows developing countries to avoid making some of the mistakes industrialized nations have made in the past. Developing nations can leap over interim technologies that were adopted and then discarded in favor of more efficient advances. It also allows industrialized countries to produce energy in a sustainable manner, harvesting resources at their doorsteps. Furthermore, renewables will advance technological sectors around the world and create a new class of knowledge worker. The future looks bright for us all.

In many ways, this transition is much like the hiking and climbing I enjoy so much. The journey won’t be easy, and it must be taken one step at a time. There are bound to be innumerable peaks and valleys to pass through. But just as a group of climbers eventually reaches a summit and gets to see the spectacular surroundings from the top, the international community will also get to see a whole new world.

As a mother of three, I want to help create a world I will be proud to pass along to my children. And I know others who are equally passionate about renewable energy. The transition to clean energy is an enormous challenge and an unprecedented opportunity. History shows that humanity is capable of great achievements: climbing to a renewable energy future will be its greatest legacy.

Hélène Pelosse is the interim director general of IRENA

The “Winds of Change” Film Premiere Event

The video of the Winds of Change Film is now online. Click here to watch

“Winds of Change” TV Premiere from the historic Kingston City Hall Council Chambers Nov. 9, 2009 from 2 to 3.30PM
(Created, Produced and Presented by David McCallum, Volker Thomsen and TV COGECO Kingston)

We are presenting the film the “Winds of Change” which was initiated in conjunction with the very successful WWEC World Wind Energy Conference 2008 with 800 delegates from 60 countries at St. Lawrence College. It follows the theme in my book “Canada on Route to Prosperity” and features many prominent community leaders and innovators speaking on the issues of sustainability and green innovation.

Building on the successes like the Ontario Green Energy Act with it’s FIT (Feed in Tariffs) and on the original vision for Wolfe Island wind development (500 million Project implemented and running) we want to open our eyes to the attraction this change is bringing to encourage a strong collaboration between all parties. To continue a sustainable long range changeover, this film wants to help to overcome any hurdles and prepare the ground for more innovative and progressive economic development in all areas and all technologies.

Examples of the “Winds of Change” are Napanee’s $300 million solar farm of which the first 10 MW or $60 million have been implemented and opened last week. Another $250 million solar farm in Eastern Ontario is in the planning. All together we have projects for $ 1.5 billion in the Eastern Ontario region of which half are implemented. Furthermore, a solar film factory for $500 million is planned and announced for Kingston ( I would however, be moderately cautious about the timing on this one). In Cornwall and Brockville innovative PV Production Projects and PV Solar farms are in the planning and will hopefully solidify a very promising revival and redevelopment.
Two particularly innovative technologies are evolving:
>> In Cornwall: Verdant Power free-flow test turbines in St. Lawrence River
>> In Kingston: AE Atmospheric Energy Storage Pilot

The Dynamic Panel around the Council Horseshoe:

John Gerretsen Ontario Minister of the Environment MPP Kingston
Mayor Harvey Rosen Kingston
Anne Prichard Executive Director Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation
Elizabeth Savill Chief Administrative Officer County of Frontenac
Lisa Webb Manager Ban Righ Centre Queens University
Patrick Finucan retired Executive educator and senior Community developer from Cornwall
Jen Mattice Coordinator Carbon Reduction Cornwall
David Beatty International high profile Entrepreneur and Community builder from Brockville
Mary Jean McFall Lawyer, Entrepreneur and President Chamber of Commerce Brockville
Dr. John Plant Retired Principal RMC, Retired Chair St. Lawrence College, Executive Director Engineering Institute of Canada
Dr. Jose Etcheverry Prof. York UNI and long time in Climate Change in the David Suzuki Foundation Toronto and Vancouver
Jens Naumann CEO Green First Technologies Inc Napanee
Patrik Snajdr and Natalia Snajdr RE21 and “Earth Real” Networks
Matthew McTaggert and Courtney Marshall Students Napanee High School
George Knight Educator and inventor Napanee
Bryan Rahn CEO Enerquest Kitchener Ontario
Warren Mabee Director Queens Institute for Energy and Environment Policy

Host and Moderator Volker Thomsen

The “Winds of Change” film and the discussion that follows will first time be shown on COGECO on December 7 from 8.30 to 10 PM in Kingston.

Here is a full listing of the show’s air times on TVCogeco, Cable channel 13:
Monday, Dec. 7 @ 8:30pm-10:00pm
Tuesday, Dec. 8 @ 2:30pm- 4:00pm
Tuesday, Dec. 8 @ 7:30pm-9:00pm
Sunday, Dec. 13 @ 7:00pm-8:30pm
Monday, Dec. 14 @ 3:00pm-4:30pm
The show will be available on VOD (video-on-demand, TVCogeco digital cable #299) early in 2010, details to follow.
On-air promotions are now in full-effect on channel 13.

Brockville,  Smiths Falls. Cornwall, Belleville and Napanee please see  your program Community TV listings.

Some food for thought:

a) The GEA Green Energy Act & FIT Feed in Tariff simplifies and rewards the installation of small electricity generation systems. How can the broader public lose their angst to be trapped in a lot of bureaucratic hurdles if they decide to go for it? If anything what is missing to make this innovate policy the big success it deserves to be?

b) How can we introduce successful financing and insurance models that will enable Ontario farmers, landowners, homeowners and small developers and business? (Example more than 25.000 wind farmers, 5.000 biomass farmers etc where enabled and they created a landscape of thousands of wealthy and well developed rural communities in Northern Europe)

c) Canada is blessed with a lot of hydro electricity, which, if designed as a flexible base load, can accommodate any amount of fluctuating Renewable Energy and enable us in time to go for 100% green and clean energy. How can we overcome our perceptions about not being able to go for 100% clean renewable energy?

d) Other great gifts are our four seasons, with warm summers and cold winters. This combined with bedrock everywhere and heat being injected can store the unlimited summer heat in the ground without any loss for the winter when it is needed. The pilot of this Canadian made technology developed by the physicist Ron Tolmie has been proven to actually reduce the heating and cooling cost for a home by up to 90%. Originally when Minister Cansfield was the Ontario Minister of Energy in 2006 I was encouraged by her people to actively support this simple and brilliant Canadian development. I agreed to do that and tried for many month to convince my public partners in Eastern Ontario to install a public pilot of this promising design in one of the public or commercial institutions. That did not happen, so I took it upon myself to do the pilot at a residential level. Now we have succeeded in developing a system that has the potential to change Ontario and Canada. It enables us to reduce our heating and cooling cost drastically. This technology will help us to reduce our CO2 emissions dramatically, and enable any community to implement a more sustainable space heating system in it’s buildings. The obstacles we went through could fill a book. The question now being, how can we move forward to accommodate new innovations that hold the answers to the future living environments we build around us?

The conversion of the Thomsen House to an almost Zero Emission home, financially carried out of energy cost savings and affordable to the average Canadian family, has been done. Let us do this in every home in Ontario and enable the creation of 125,000 permanent new jobs at little cost to our society in the existing trades in all our communities “Community Power For Local Economies”

e) Eastern Ontario and Kingston is a centre of learning, education and training. It has the highest Canadian level of skilled people. A sleeping beauty! What to do and how to make this human capital the driver of “green” economic development?

Host and Moderator Volker Thomsen

The “Winds of Change” film and the discussion that follows will be shown on COGECO on December 7 from 8.30 to 10 PM in Kingston. Brockville and Smiths Falls. For showtimes in Cornwall, Belleville and Napanee please see back here, or see your program Community TV listings.