Understanding the Community Energy Plan

November 9, 2008

Healthy Environment

One of the biggest surprises of the merger debate for me was the lack of understanding of the Community Energy Plan and the pivotal role that Guelph Hydro wants to play in its implementation.

There are three key parts to the plan:

  • conservation & efficiency 
  • renewable energy (e.g. wind and solar)
  • local power generation & distribution

It is local power generation and generation that I want to talk. 

We need a radical shift in our energy infrastructure, if we are going to build a sustainable energy future for Guelph and Ontario.

We need to shift investment away from centralized electricity generation powered by coal, nuclear and natural gas and bring the production of electricity to our communities.   The reason?  Too much energy is lost in the old system. In the centralized system, approximately 80% of the energy value is lost before it gets to our homes.  In a local system, as little as 20% is lost.  

The time is right.  The Province of Ontario has to replace 80% of its electricity generating infrastructure in the next 20% years.  This means billions of dollars of investment.  What better time to begin to make that shift.  Guelph has an opportunity to tap into that investment and build a new energy future for Guelph and provide a model for the Province.

Fortunately, there is growing interest in local power generation (distributed generation) at the provincial and federal levels and the people at Guelph Hydro are leaders in promoting community energy planning in the Province.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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