Friday, 5 June 2009

getting the policies right on renewable energy

Forward thinking renewable energy policies would create thousands of jobs for Nova Scotians.

This morning I toured Mamanna Renewable Energy in Dartmouth and met some of the folks working there. They manufacture a wind turbine, and also sell solar hot water and other renewable energy products.

They expect to double their workforce and their sales in the next year or two. Unfortunately, the sales for their turbine are mostly exports to other jurisdictions with more progressive policies to support renewable energy.

Nova Scotia has world class wind resources. It's time for our policies to catch up with the rest of the world. The policy is simple: guarantee producers of renewable energy a fair price for their product. Simple legislation that provided this guarantee would open up a huge market that businesses, landowners, communities, and individuals could all benefit from. It would create jobs in manufacturing, installation and maintenance, financing, entrepreneurship, and more.

Although the feed-in tariff approach is widely viewed as the best approach to develop renewable energy, the Green Party is the only party in Nova Scotia that explicitly endorses this policy. Not only will this legislation build the renewable energy capacity of Nova Scotia, it will also create economic stimulus across the province, particularly in rural areas.

This policy makes sense, and we'll be doing everything we can to help the next government move in this direction.