The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) is hosting its third annual conference this week in an effort to raise awareness about conserving and generating clean, sustainable energy.
“This is a conference that brings people from around the province and around the world together to talk about how communities can become an important piece of the energy mix,” explains Kristopher Stevens, Executive Director, OSEA.
Stevens adds that energy is an important part of our future and it shouldn't be left to just the big companies and government to deal with.
“There's really an opportunity for us to be part of a distributed revolution or a transition. And that by becoming power producers and becoming conservers, we can clean up the environment, create local jobs, local opportunities and make Ontario a more prosperous place.”
There has already been an increase in alternative power generation. Solar power has been the biggest pick-up, but one small community is also implementing wind projects to help conserve.
“M'Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island is putting up two windmills on the bluffs over top of their community. It's going to put about 800,000 dollars a year into their economy, so for a small town that's a big deal. But also the solar side we're seeing churches, community centres, co-ops, farmers doing projects,” explains Stevens.
The wind towers have taken about six years to get going and now that they are actually materializing, excitement is building.
“So it's no longer an idea,we're not trying to imagine what this could look like. We're actually seeing it in our backyards.”
For additional ways on supporting sustainable energy visit the OSEA website.
With files from Lyndsay Morrison