Renewable Energy: A Political Power Play?
Like most other industrialized societies Ontarian’s have been getting indoctrinated with the lofty ideals of renewable energy for quite a few years now, and thus are quite well prepared for both the daunting costs and perceived benefits of developing greener sources of energy. So even as our hydro bills begin their ascent skyward, as a result of the current provincial energy plan, most Ontarians are still waiting to see the visible evidence of any full-scale deployments of solar and wind energy projects that we’ve been assured are the most beneficial forms of renewable energy. As a result, even the most apathetic energy consumer is starting to suspect that there might be a disconnect between the ‘Renewable’ rhetoric, and the reality of our current plans for energy production, distribution and consumption.
Four years ago, the ruling Liberal government gained the favor of both Environmentalists and Industrialists by promising wind and solar solutions that would not only pave the way to a cleaner Future, but also drive the local manufacturing economy to new heights. Unstated in these goals is a very real possibility that what might also be powered by these announcements were the political favor and fortunes of those who might stand to benefit most…
When do Renewables become Real ?
Is it just because Renewable Energy is one of those seemingly simple subjects that becomes increasingly complicated the more that people talk about it?
Perhaps we’d prefer to stick to the more trite and obvious Environmental issues like blueboxes and evil oil companies in order to provide ourselves with easier aires of psuedo-environmentalism. Are we really that averse to making any serious changes to our own lifestyles or consumption habits, that we can continue to cut political slack, and just continue hopiong for solutions to be handed down from on high?
Hopefully, Journalists and Pundits alike will continue to hammer away at the issues in The Press and other more openly public forums until we can all formulate a clear enough version of our collective Public Opinion to communicate it back to our democratic representatives. One that our Policy Makers would required to recognize, and take a more responsible course of action in addressing. At least to enact truly beneficial policy that will outlast their current political mandate, and actually serve the needs of the Future, rather than the more short-sighted goals of governance.
Otherwise we may simply get to the point where the average person is going to start suspecting that either our political and business leaders are bumbling buffoons incapable of creating and realizing a vision for clean energy production, or perhaps there are some other seriously detrimental limiting factors to renewable energy plans, which the general Public just isn’t being shown in these otherwise rosy projections for renewables.
So even as our electricity rates begin to skyrocket with the artificially inflated costs created by the current Liberal Energy Plan, let’s still try to cut through some of the rhetoric. Rather than having things bog down in more arguments and counter-arguments that seem to be doing nothing more than killing our public appetite for the kinds risks and rewards that we can expect from Renewables, let’s draw some realistic lines to colour in. Let’s start by filling in the bigger picture, wherever we might see solar and wind power falling short, with a much more realistic vision of the Future
Ultimately, despite any lingering economic uncertainties that might continue to unfold in Canada, Ontario remains one of the country’s largest industrial engines whose future sources of power depend entirely upon the energy decisions being made today. Such decisions will either sustain our economy with exciting new projects and skilled modes of production, or which will cripple it with high energy costs, and outdated technologies and processes. This Future is constantly being defined right here in the Present.