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.

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!

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

Green News: Ontario set for Green Growth

Ontario Makes It Easier, Faster To Grow Green Energy

September 24, 2009 9:51 AM

Ontario has launched a series of bold measures to attract new investment in renewable energy projects and build a green economy that will promote the creation of 50,000 jobs over the next three years. Today’s announcement completes the final four steps of Ontario’s momentous “Ten Steps to Green Energy,” which will create green jobs and open green energy investment opportunities throughout the province.

STEP 7: Ontario has established the Renewable Energy Facilitation Office (REFO), a one-window access point to assist developers, communities and municipalities obtain information on developing renewable energy projects in Ontario, and help them navigate through the regulatory approvals necessary to bring their projects to life.

STEP 8: Establishing minimum setbacks for wind turbine projects, as part of the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process, which became law on Sept. 24, 2009. The REA is designed to ensure that renewable energy projects are developed in a way that is protective of human health, the environment, and Ontario’s cultural and natural heritage.

STEP 9: Ontario develops domestic content requirements which would ensure at least 25 per cent of wind project costs and 50 per cent of large solar project costs come from Ontario goods and labour. Requirements for solar will increase on Jan. 1, 2011 and requirements for wind will increase on Jan. 1, 2012.

STEP 10: The Green Energy Act introduces North America’s first comprehensive feed-in tariff program that guarantees specific rates for energy generated from renewable sources. It is designed to encourage the development of renewable energy projects by a range of generators including Aboriginal communities, homeowners, farmers, schools, stores, factories, co-ops, offices and larger-scale commercial generators.

With certainty in the rules and regulations, guarantees in prices for energy generated from renewable sources and domestic content requirements in support of the growth of new “green collar” jobs, companies will have the confidence to invest in Ontario, hire workers, and produce and sell renewable energy.

Feed-in Tariff Program

The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program offers long-term price guarantees for renewable electricity generators, which will increase investor confidence and make it easier to finance projects. Ontario’s FIT program will encourage billions of dollars in investment to help Ontario’s energy supply mix become one of the cleanest in North America. The FIT has several key features:

  • allows all sizes of generators, from homeowners to large developers to participate;
  • has prices that are intended to cover total project costs and provide a reasonable rate of return over a 20-year contract (40 years for waterpower);
  • is open to various renewable energy technologies: biogas, biomass, landfill gas, solar photovoltaic (PV), wind and waterpower;
  • provides incentives for Aboriginal projects;
  • provides incentives for community-based projects;
  • provides a straightforward way to obtain a contract for renewable electricity generation;
  • has different prices for different technologies and different project sizes; and
  • includes domestic content requirements.

FIT payments can range from 10.3 cents per kilowatt-hour (c/kWh) for landfill gas projects larger than 10 MW to 80.2 c/kWh for residential solar rooftop projects 10 kW or smaller. The FIT also includes a “price adder” for Aboriginal and community projects to encourage participation.

Domestic Content

Developers will be required to have a certain percentage of their project costs come from Ontario goods and labour at the time they reach commercial operation.

For wind, the requirement will start at 25% and increase to 50% on Jan. 1, 2012.

For micro solar PV (10 kW or smaller), the requirement will start at 40% and increase to 60% on Jan. 1, 2011.

For larger solar PV, the requirement will start at 50% and increase to 60% on Jan. 1, 2011.

The domestic content regulations will encourage investment, green manufacturing, construction and installation jobs in Ontario.

The Ontario Power Authority will begin accepting FIT applications on Oct. 1, 2009 and expects to sign the first contracts in early December.

Ontario will direct the OPA that there is to be no ground-mounted solar procurement above 100 kilowatts on class 1 and 2 or Specialty Crop Areas to provide continued protection of such lands. Some ground-mounted solar procurement, up to 500 megawatts, will be allowed on Class 3 lands, allocated on a regional basis.

Renewable Energy Approval (REA)

The Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process becomes law today, Sept. 24, 2009, and is designed to ensure that renewable energy projects are developed in a way that is protective of human health, the environment, and Ontario’s cultural and natural heritage. While the FIT program simplifies the contracts and pricing for new projects, a streamlined approvals process makes it easier to bring renewable energy projects to life.

The REA:

  • Takes a cautious approach to setbacks and noise limits by establishing the largest setback requirements in Canada, the United States and eight European countries — a minimum setback of 550 metres for one to five wind turbines, with setbacks increasing with the number and the sound level rating of turbines
  • Integrates environmental approvals, providing clear provincial rules and requirements, transparent decision-making and certainty for stakeholders and proponents.
  • Integrates the former regulatory approval requirements, including: municipal planning approvals, Environmental Assessments, Certificates of Approval, Permissions to Take Water and other provincial approvals and permits.
  • Establishes consultation processes for municipalities and communities in relation to project site requirements and local infrastructure.
  • Encourages Aboriginal consultation early in the process with communities identified by the Crown.
  • Is coordinated with other provincial approvals to ensure a streamlined approach, providing a six-month service guarantee per project.

Renewable Energy Facilitation Office
The newly created Renewable Energy Facilitation Office (REFO) is a one-window access point for information on renewable energy project requirements, and can connect Ontarians with the appropriate resources to assist them in navigating through the approvals and Feed-in Tariff processes.

The REFO functions as a source of information for renewable energy developers, communities, and municipalities, and can act as a liaison between these parties and Ontario’s ministries and agencies. The REFO can assist in setting up a coordinated orientation meeting to discuss your project’s requirements. This meeting can help clarify various requirements related to your renewable energy project.

As an umbrella body with no regulatory responsibilities, REFO has a unique understanding of the renewable energy regime and serves to educate all its parties based on its understanding.

More information

Read more about Ontario’s Green Energy Act

For details about the Feed-in Tariff Program visit

For details on the new approvals process, visit the Ministry of Environment at

To learn more about renewable energy in Ontario visit

Visit the Renewable Energy Facilitation Office at

Amy Tang, Minister’s Office, 416-327-6747
Eric Pelletier, Communications Branch, 416-325-1810

John Karapita, Minister’s Office, 416-314-6736
Kate Jordan, Ministry of the Environment, 416-314-6666

International Energy Agency announces higher investments in Renewables Needed.

In light of the recently critical global economic situation, the International Energy Agency’s recently published report “The Impact of the Financial and Economic Crisis on Global Energy Investment” states that the  G20 nations must increase the amount invested in low-carbon power technologies during 2009 (including carbon capture and storage) by a factor of four and that such levels of investment must be maintained until 2030 in order for Co2 reduction goals to be kept.
Globally, investments in renewables must be tripled from $60,000 million in 2009 to $180,000 million each year, informs the IEA, while six times more funding than is currently allocated should be earmarked to stimulate these technologies.


St. Lawrence College Entrepreneurial Visionary on the Move July07


Volker Thomsen assumed his duties as President and CEO of St. Lawrence College on October 1, 2000. In September 2004 St. Lawrence College Board of Governors appointed Volker Thomsen for a second five-year term, from 2005 to 2010.


Thomsen has more than 30 years experience as a successful founder, shareholder and CEO of a group of companies in the food, natural health products, pharmaceutical manufacturing and marketing sectors. He has, furthermore, during the same period been involved in renewable energy, particularly in Denmark and Germany. He participated in planning wind parks in conjunction with biomass reactors, enabling rural communities to combine energy in a meaningful way and be independent of outside supplies. 


September 2001, St. Lawrence established its first wind generator at the Cornwall Campus. Presently there are plans for a big wind generator on the Kingston Campus, and the College is engaged in a large-scale community plan for renewable energy.  The solar, heat pump and wind fueled SLC Energy House is demonstrator in partnership with the local school boards. Thomsen is one of the visionaries behind the first                         

$410 million wind park in Ontario that will be launched on Wolfe Island 2008.                                                          

In May of 2006, Thomsen spearheaded the foundation of the World Wind Energy Institute; participants from institutes spanning five continents met on St. Lawrence College’s Kingston campus to activate this global network of educational and renewable energy institutes dedicated to student exchange and learning in the field of renewable and sustainable energies.

Thomsen has also been actively engaged in music and in the arts, both in Europe and in Canada. In this capacity he is also the founder of “Festivals on the St. Lawrence.” This international festival in Northern New York and Eastern Ontario is focused on music, art and heritage on both sides of the river.

Volker Thomsen has worked most of his life in his international businesses located in over 20 countries, including Canada. He was also a leading director of a co-operative bank in his hometown Flensburg, an old Danish city on the German/Danish border, and remained on its supervisory board for fifteen years.

Thomsen’s interest in education, adult learning and training began early in his career. Having experienced apprenticeship training first-hand, Thomsen is a strong advocate for apprenticeship programs, vocational programs and community colleges in Canada. He was a member of the Minister’s Action Table and of the Ontario MTCU (Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities) Training Branch Steering Committee for Reforming Apprenticeships, where he has participated in creating a Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship program, an innovative approach that is expanding rapidly. He was also the driving force behind SLC creating its first three bachelor degrees, and initiating the first two CITO funded applied research projects.

Thomsen has received numerous awards. Latest examples:

ü      In 2003 the Greater Kingston Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Volker Thomsen as “Business Person of the Year”.

ü      In 2006 he received two MTCU (Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities) Apprenticeships awards.

ü      In February 2007 He was honoured with the Kingston Technology Council Champion Award.

ü      March 2007 he was inducted into the “Klaus Woerner Skilled Trades Hall of Fame“ by Skills Canada in Kitchener.

In the future Volker Thomsen is dedicating his energy to lead the World Wind Energy Conference 2008 in Kingston, chairing Thomsen Foundation for a Sustainable Future with the focus on sustainable energy and supporting students in needs with training and education.

At the whole day retirement celebration for his departure in June 2007, students, staff and friends presented commemorations, music and entertainment including a song that is distinctive for his impact at SLC:

Song for Volker

(For the June 21, 2007 celebration of St. Lawrence College)

(To the tune of My Favorite Things Sound of Music/Trapp Family)


Windmills and biomass and big solar panels

Energy management using renewables

Sustainable lifestyles we all need to bring

These are a few of your favourite things.


Red wine and chocolate and fine veggie dinners

Nothing but whole grain to make us all winners

Plenty of exercise, don’t forget to sing

These are a few of your favourite things.


Seven great years at St. Lawrence now ending

You’ve made us proud and best wishes we’re sending

Plenty of memories we’ll not forget

We don’t think we’ve heard the last of you yet….


When enrolment sags

When expenses sting

When our funding is bad

We simply remember your favourite things

And then we don’t feel so sad!


Life is Beautiful and we are Enroute to a Sustainable Prosperous Future

Canada – Enroute to Prosperity

Canada – Enroute to Prosperity

Enroute to Prosperity


This book is dedicated to our political leaders, to encourage the introduction of long overdue changes. The turbulent Canadian political scene creates major challenges but equally tremendous opportunities. Our last year appointed Prime Minister Paul Martin and his minority government can relate to the new power players, like Dalton McGuinty, Jean Charest and others, along with their respective governments, in a co-operative way. Hopefully the opportunity will be utilized. This book is equally dedicated to the opposition members, who under the leadership of Steven Harper, Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton have a historic opportunity to inspire and support change, whether as the official opposition, a coalition, or a supporting partner or future government. Once the political waters after the upcoming election have calmed somewhat, it may even induce some of the parties to get on board on this exciting voyage to an overdue political renewal and to new economic, social and cultural horizons. Ralph Klein’s Alberta government is in spite of their oil sand environmental dilemma leading on the renewable energy front, and its commitment to purchase 90 percent of its power needs in the form of renewable energy should be an inspiration to other premiers and particularly to the new future federal government.

Canada - Enroute to Prosperity

Since the publishing of this book a year ago some very positive changes were introduced by McGuinty’s Government, which will create additional opportunities including very innovative educational and training policies, the Ministry of Health Promotion, the new Ministry of Innovation and the new “Energy Leadership Conservation Act”, which in spite of the inherited atomic power disaster still can help a turnaround. The newly appointed Ministers of Energy must possesses the necessary passion, commitment and leadership to make it happen.

In many countries, including Canada, it has been proven that under minority governments and coalitions there can be periods of increased change and innovation and more productive co-operation than under majority governments. While Canada may not have a rich history of forming coalitions over longer periods, sound coalitions in many societies have produced some of the best results that governments can achieve.

Section 1: Innovation for Canada

In creating an innovative Canadian approach, we could lead our nation and the world to an industrial, social, economic and cultural renewal.
We want to understand our key health care challenges as opportunities for introducing an increased focus on preventative medicine, improving lifestyles and teaching our youngest citizens these means of avoiding chronic illness, thus reducing the need for increasing services and escalating costs.
Dealing properly with energy use and the environment and focusing on renewable/green energy could lead to the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
Because of Canada’s size, transportation and communication of any kind plays a major role. We should therefore inspire and help the automotive, automotive parts, communications, IT and microelectronics industries to create new and innovative products. Because of our harsh climate, better-designed and -insulated homes should utilize alternative sources of energy. In particular, innovative management of water and waste water offers unlimited opportunities for expansion.
Access to education, training and skills acquisition should be created under the umbrella of provincial leadership, but federal policies and standards need to be in place so that all Canadians have the opportunity to show the world we can be competitive with other leading innovative industrial nations, like those in Scandinavia, Europe and Asia.
Canada is known for its friendly people and as a vast and beautiful land. We should not allow Canada to drift in the direction of mediocrity! Let us also make Canada known for being a leader in innovation and learning, where opportunities and development are linked to the whole population in a holistic way. Let us embrace innovation and renewal.

Section 2: Food for Thought

“Food for Thought” deals with parts of a revised and updated extract of my original book that was written in support of Michael Gorbachev’s reforms in the Soviet Union.
Perestroika, Our Environment and Food for the World was originally published in 1988 in Germany, Denmark and Russia, in German, Danish and Russian.
This includes an updated inspiration to “Canada Eat and Live Smart.” I renamed it “Food for Thought” after the translation into English and revision.
“Food for Thought” is a documentation of today’s challenges and opportunities. Pollution of the environment, the waste of energy, unnatural nutrition, lack of sport, civilization diseases and drug addictions are problems of our time. Hereto, I offer a few practical solutions.
This part is a basic introduction to an optimal nutrition and lifestyle to help you to improve and maintain your health. At the end of part two I share information and numerous personal recipes to get you going.
Have fun!