Canada

Community Power Conference in Ontario Has Global Reach

The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) hosted it's first Community Power Conference on November 15-16 with international speakers, 450 conference delegates, and over 2,500 trade show attendees. The conference was chaired by Dr. David Suzuki, the well-known scientist, host of The Nature of Things, and author of many books including the recent The Big Picture: Reflections on Science, Humanity, and a Quickly Changing Planet.

"Our goal was to capture the momentum of Ontario's new Green Energy Act and work towards 100% sustainable energy," said Kristopher Stevens, executive director of OSEA. Ontario's Green Energy Act of 2009 was intended to create a stable investment environment for renewable energy through a Feed-In-Tariff along with other regulations to streamline approval processes and to encourage locally owned development.

Speakers and panel participants included renewable energy experts from around the world including Dr. Josef Pesch of the German Wind Energy Association, Stefan Gsänger of the World Wind Energy Association, renewable energy expert/advocate and author Paul Gipe, and Miguel Mendonca of the World Future Council.

A new International Community Power working group was launched at the conference by OSEA and the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA). "This new International working group with WWEA will work to document and share best practices while strengthening the worldwide network of local sustainable energy leaders," said Stevens.

"This will allow for renewables to become centralized via Community Power projects. We have more renewables than we need and they are presently decentralized, so this partnership will instigate greater success worldwide, " said Dr. Pesch, who co-founded the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) and is managing director of Fesa, a German company that develops citizen participation projects for renewable energy.

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