Friday, December 09, 2005

Windy City?

WindmillThe first time I saw the windmill downtown, I thought it was just some temporary exhibit to showcase the virtues of wind generated energy, or something like that. After all, it is on the grounds of 'Exhibition' Place. I soon learned however, that it is a permanent fixture in the skyline and will be joined by another one. This thing actually works, producing 1400 mwh of electricity per year. Translated, that's enough electricity to supply 250 homes!? A simple blip in the entire power grid I suppose? But as I was driving up north last month I noticed something new in the horizon............Windfarm1. Windfarm2there must have been about 50 of these things, it looked like some kind of alien invasion, and they seemed to have just popped out of the ground because they weren't there over the summer? Apparently these wind farms will been sprouting up all over the province. Ontario has actually been lagging behind the other provinces, but I was pleased to see that something was being done.....Wind_farms_in_canada.......... (taken from the CWEA website). The goal is obviously to reduce the emissions associated with energy production, and for Ontario to have 10% of its power coming from renewable resources by 2010. So I guess the downtown windmill isn't just for show after all....Actually the story of its erection (no pun intended) is quite interesting. It was not a government-led initiative, but one by a group of enviromentalists who banded together to form the co-operative which owns it: Windshare. Ordinary citizens can actually buy shares in the windmill and share in the profits as well. For more information about wind energy, check out the Canadian Wind Energy Association website and don't forget to hug some trees while you're at it.

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