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article imageOntario mayor speaks on community energy plan Special

By Bob Gordon     Mar 27, 2010 in Environment
Guelph - Mayor Karen Farbridge of Guelph presented the opening address to the symposium that accompanies the Kenneth Hammond Lectures on “Environment, Energy and Resources" in the Guelph City Hall Council Chambers on March 27.
The mayor addressed “Community Energy Planning: The Guelph Experience”.
The symposium kicked off on Friday evening with a lecture by Dr. Blair Feltmate on Sustainable Development (SD) and the experience of Ontario Power Generation.
According to her official biography she was re-elected as Mayor of the City of Guelph in 2006. She was first elected to Council in 1994 and previously served as Mayor in 2000-2003. was previously an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph, teaching courses in political science and environmental policy, and for ten years was the Director of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group.
Mayor Farbridge began by outlining the goals of the Guelph Community Energy Plan (CEP), 50% less energy use per capita and 60% less Green House Gas emissions per capita:
We want to decouple population growth from traditional energy use patterns. We've done that for water in the city and we want to achieve the same thing for energy use. Despite growing population overall water consumption has flat-lined, and between 2001 and 2009 declined.
She then emphasized that achieving these goals demands a systems based look at the energy chain.... look upstream at local generation, solar, combined heat and power, smart grids and local sustainable transmission. End use efficiency is only 10-30 per cent.” Therefore, the Guelph CEP has five priorities
1.energy efficiency;
2.heat recovery;
3.cogeneration, “Why waste fuel at the power plant?”
4.renewable energy; and,
5.“use of the grid as a resource to optimize the overall system and ensure reliability.”
According to the Guelph CEP, "City hall is a facilitator, a partner, a role model and a regulator that must exercise “assertive maturity and [be] proactive for our community.”
She went on to identify how a variety of other municipal programs and initiatives tie-in to the CEP and achieve their own goals while augmenting those of the CEP. "The water conservation program offers a cumulative Green House Gas Reduction of 220.38 tonne of CO2. It facilitates and enhances the Community Energy Plan.”
She concluded her presentation stating, "“The business case is there in spades for us. You can be a complete climate change denier and still accept the economic savings of energy efficiency.”
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