Did you know that horse populations in the mid-eighteen hundreds in New York City were increasing at more than 12% per year?
What happened with Clare's efforts to become energy self-sufficient may be interesting but not necessaily informative if it was done badly .... and for the wrong reasons ......by folks who didn't know what they were doing. Rather, one should draw lessons.... if any are to be drawn.... from the Austrian community the Clare junket visited with SWSDA. A visit to the Austrian web site is very informative and frankly was all that was necessary to learn from their community's experience!
And so.... let me give you my take on energy and the future role it should play in our community, given our half-filled glass.
First..... while predictions of global warming may provide some impetus for looking at alternative energy sources, it would not be the primary force leading me to invest in energy in Shelburne County. In fact, while I would use public pressure and concern about global warning to get favourable consideration of Shelburne County energy self-sufficiency efforts, it would be the only use I think I would attach to global warming fears.
In part, I believe the best we can hope for within our county is that we can reduce our dependency on others for energy, become self-sufficient and/or produce enough energy for ourselves and some immediate neighbours, improve the competitive position of our own industries and create new jobs we would not otherwise have within the county.
So..... here are my reasons for attaching importance to energy self-sufficiency within the county.....
i.) to the extent that we produce our own energy we may enhance our competitive position and ability to produce goods and services at a lower cost - that's because NSPI's cost of generating power in Halifax and transmission to Shelburne County is the highest in the Province;
ii.) producing our own energy may create local energy production jobs that are now performed in Halifax by folks who don't live and/or spend their earnings in our communities;
iii.) generating energy in Shelburne County based on new technologies may provide us with an opportunity to become a centre for energy production and lead to the export of energy-based manufactures and services from the county;
iv.) energy demonstration projects showcasing new energy technology reflects an image of the county that is positive and can generate a "can do" attitude within and about Shelburne County;
v.) new technology developments in Shelburne County may encourage investors to look at Shelburne as a good place to pursue innovative technologies.
So, dear readers.... I humbly submit my two cents... for your consideration ....