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Renewable energy deserves a rethink

Re Sadly, the time isn’t right for clean energy (March 21): Sadly, Mr. Reguly has missed the point — and direction — of the change happening in the electricity industry.

The change now facing the electricity sector is not one of ‘Big Nuclear/Fossil plants’ being replaced by equivalent sources of ‘clean’ generation. It will be a change where the present generation sources are enhanced, and eventually replaced, by a mixed plethora of localized generation and distribution technologies that more cheaply and efficiently match the needs and geographic advantages of local areas.

An honest accounting of the real costs of the present system would accelerate the move to localized renewable production; how much have Ontario and Canadian taxpayers really subsidized the nuclear industry? And how much will our children pay to clean it up? Over the four years since the Fukushima nuclear problem, Germany, Japan and Denmark have most rapidly moved toward a distributed model of electricity generation and distribution. And new ownership models, energy sources and grid connection systems are rapidly taking hold. Germany and Denmark have been pulling ahead as economic world leaders, Japan less so; but they have a very big mess to clean up.

The challenge is not one of technology but political will, and giving communities the ability to realize local benefit.

– Dick Bakker, president, Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative

This letter to the Editor was published Friday, March 27, 2015 in the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business (ROB) section.  Read the other letters published that day.

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