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Burlington ON, March 17, 2009: 360 Energy Inc., one of North America’s leading energy services firms, recently had the opportunity to speak with Hermann Scheer, a member of the German Parliament and General Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy. Scheer is credited with being the driving force behind Germany’s move to an electricity system powered by renewable energy. He also initiated and designed the German National Renewable Energy Act.
In speaking with 360 Energy, (the audio links and full transcript can be found here) Scheer pointed out that Germany began its shift towards renewable energy through solar and wind power, eventually leading to Germany becoming the world leader in renewable energy and its associated technologies. He suggests that a shift to renewable energy is easily attainable for Ontario, as long as the proper political and legal structures are in place to bring about change. The recent introduction of the Ontario Green Energy Act emphasizes the government's attitude towards energy in the future. It also involves the support of Ontario residents, which according to Scheer, if made aware of the environmental and social costs associated with fossil fuels, the shift to renewables would be quite easily accepted, with the exception of conventional power suppliers.
With the addition of the Green Energy Act, Scheer says that “with an actual law you open a space for new investment by new investors as the feed-in tariff is the framework which enables the activation of investment. With renewable energy you have a change from a few large power stations to many that will become replaced by many small and medium sized producers from all over the region. That means things have changed from a few entrepreneurs to many. This is much more flexible.”
He suggested that Ontario, more than most countries and regions in the world, is well suited to renewable energy with a large amount of land and few people to occupy it. With significant hydroelectric supply, combined with a growing fleet of wind turbines, Ontario already has a strong base from which to move forward.
Scheer went on to discuss with 360 Energy that moving to renewable energy is also a shift to greater energy efficiency. With renewable energy sources, there are fewer energy losses as the chain from production to distribution to the end user is much shorter than conventional sources of power. Conventional power involves mining, transportation, distribution and transmission losses.
To hear the interview with Hermann Scheer or to download the transcript, please click here.