October 7, 2004
For immediate release
PEI Renewable Energy Strategy Called Most Progressive in North America
Environment, Energy & Forestry
Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry Jamie Ballem was one of the featured speakers at the Forum for Renewable Energy Tariffs in Ontario Monday. Organized by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association and the David Suzuki Foundation, the event was aimed at members of the Ontario provincial legislature, federal and provincial government staff, and members of the environment and renewable energy communities.
Minister Ballem was invited to speak to the forum about Prince Edward Island’ s Renewable Energy Strategy.
“Minister Ballem has proposed the most progressive renewable energy policy in North America. It could well become a model and I’ve seen a lot of them,” said Mr. Paul Gipe, an internationally-recognized wind energy advocate and acting executive director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association.
The focus of the forum was on the use of market mechanisms to rapidly develop renewable sources of energy. One example, which is part of the PEI strategy, is encouraging community or cooperative wind energy systems by setting a guaranteed selling price for electricity supplied to the utility.
The agenda included other leaders in the field of renewable energy including Hermann Scheer, member of the German Parliament and architect of Germany’s ground-breaking Renewable Energy Sources Act. Mr. Scheer won the World Solar Prize in 1998, the Alternative Nobel Prize in 1999, and the World Prize for BioEnergy in 2000.
While explaining PEI’s Renewable Energy Strategy, Minister Ballem also took the opportunity at the meeting to promote Prince Edward Island as the perfect place to test renewable energy systems.
“If people have new innovations, if they have a theory and are ready to go beyond the lab, we can help them do that in Prince Edward Island. That’s the message we’re trying to get out. Come to PEI. We’re small enough that it’s affordable but we’re also big enough to make it commercial,” said Minister Ballem.
The minister will also be a guest speaker at the Canadian Wind Energy Association conference in Quebec, October 18. The largest annual wind energy event in Canada, the conference attracts approximately 600 delegates from across the country.