From coal to renewable energy
Letter to the Editor
To Comment on this article Click Here
I still remember the days when the truck dumped a big load of coal on the pavement in front of my parents' house and the whole family worked together to shovel it into the basement. When we were finished, we had the fine black dust everywhere and needed a long bath.
Nobody on the street where I grew up heats with coal anymore - those days are over. I'm sure that when you ask my dad, he will tell you that he now enjoys the comfort of his gas furnace. He has a big shop where the coal used to be stored and the air is much better in the winter.
Every time I go back to Germany, I see a lot of change even in just a short timeframe of two or four years. Coming from the airport in Duesseldorf, I saw in 2009 a lot of solar panels installed on residential houses. I admired the large 100-kilowatt solar installation across the road on the dairy farmer's new hay and straw storage.
Sixty-five per cent of all the investment from German farmers goes into renewable energy. The renewable energy projects have guaranteed grid access and are prioritized.
This month, my brother-in-law will install 38 panels on his house in Georgetown. When we got together for Christmas, he thanked me for sharing all my knowledge with him about the Micro-fit program and that I pushed him to apply for it. Tom pointed out that Canadian citizens aren't informed enough about the existing opportunities. How everybody can make a real difference to help to “turn that corner” on greenhouse gases, toxic waste and other forms of pollution and be part of the energy revolution, is very positive and powerful.
Compared to other sources, wind-energy is an environmental winner. Wind energy is emission-free, consumes no water, produces no waste, has no hidden health cost and is 100-per-cent renewable.
As a teenager the odd wind turbine went up in our region but the first larger wind parks where erected in Northern Germany. My dad keeps me updated on any new development. He is, and always was, open-minded toward new technology and energy options. For him, things have to make economic sense and in the case of renewables, it does. More Germans are employed in the renewable sector than in the auto industry.
Dr. Hermann Scheer understood very early that by investing in renewable energy we help the environment and the whole economy at no extra cost. Since the German government decided on a new energy strategy, there will be more wind turbines built all over the country.
My parents are very ordinary citizens with a lot of common sense, and they are welcoming the wind turbines into their backyard. They know of the study from the University of Kassel that combined solar, bio -gas and wind-energy and proved that it is possible to go 100-per-cent with renewable energy in the future.
“Any energy-planning conversations must begin with a commitment to robust engagement and education, so that all those involved are well equipped to do so, and so that the final products can be presented to, and ultimately supported by, an informed Canadian public.” --“Built To Last: A Successful Energy-Strategy Design Process,” Marlo Raynolds, Senior Advisor, Pembina Institute and Advisor to Tides Canada Energy Initiative, March 14, 2011 page 4.
When I read the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) Commentary last week and Mr. Reid's letter, I asked myself when will people stop repeating widely-discredited, oil-industry-backed reports attacking the value of “green jobs”?
When do the Canadian farm organizations start a partnership and dialogue with the farmers who have the experience, knowledge and confidence in developing citizen-owned wind parks?
I encourage you to start with the education process today and visit www.windwork.org, www.wind-blog.com or ohfowp.blogspot.com
Scrolling stops when you move your mouse inside the scroll area. You can click on the ads for more
books, sports, movies ...
Thursday, January 19, 2012