Where the wind blows | Opinion | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

To the editor,

I was surprised by Mike Fleury's rosy-spectacled comments about wind power in Reality Bites (April 20). It seems Mr. Fleury is quite happy to buy into the current "greenwash" around alternative energy that our provincial government and Nova Scotia Power are selling the public these days.

Recently, the provincial government has been proudly proclaiming Nova Scotia a leader in natural energy development. This message is patently false, a smack in the face to anyone who has been trying to move the bureaucracy of the province towards supporting the renewable energy industry. Nova Scotia remains one of the highest per-capita producers of dirty energy on the planet, which should be cause for shame.

The truth is that legislation and regulations to allow Nova Scotians to fully harvest the potential of the wind have not been enacted, even though they were recommended to the province by the Electricity Marketplace Governance Committee's final report in 2003. That outstanding action item is known as Recommendation 51. This legislation would enable the public to buy green energy from whomever they chose, rather than having to buy energy from a company that largely uses polluting coal-fired generation. Unfortunately, the reality that "bites" is that there are people who are protecting the status quo and working to keep clean green energy from being available to the consumer.

Our wind resource in this province is huge. It has one of the three best wind regimes in the world and the best in Canada. There are at least four wind turbine-operating companies and nine community investment companies in Nova Scotia, all fully funded with private money. They are being prevented from developing a wind power industry and selling it in Nova Scotia because there is only one customer they are permitted to sell to—and NSP isn't buying.

Without the capability to sell directly to business and consumers, our local green power industry is dead in the water.

By Philip Cousins, Recommendation 51 Association

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