Todd Smith’s vanity project, the cancellation of the White Pines Wind Farm, came with unintended consequences. Beyond the $100 million lawsuit that Ontarian’s will end up paying, the loss of farm revenue necessary for sustainable agriculture, the loss of prospective commercial development fueled by cheap renewable energy, is the loss of good paying jobs in turbine construction and servicing.
Here is a chart that puts employment information into perspective.
Now, as Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, will he be mature enough to live up to his job description and reverse his decision on White Pines?
Farmer Tony Neale sits atop his electric tractor, which he charges using solar panels installed on his farm near Uxbridge in 2018. (MARCO CHOWN OVED / TORONTO STAR)
“It’s silent. There’s no exhaust. You can hear the birds and talk to people working in the fields. You can feel the wind on your face and smell the fresh country air.”
The tractors — which have the equivalent power of a 40 horsepower diesel engine — run for five to eight hours on a single charge and will eventually retail for around $40,000 (U.S.), which Neale says is a similar price tag to a new diesel tractor.
“But the operation is 10 times cheaper,” he said. “There are no fuel costs and little to no maintenance.” MORE
The first field trials using fungi to reduce carbon in the atmosphere are under way in Australia.
As carbon dioxide emissions increase in the atmosphere, scientists around the world are looking at solutions such as carbon sequestration. This process captures carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere for long-term storage.
Researcher Guy Webb from SoilQuest has fun with fungi, all in the name of science.
A group of Australian farmers is working with researchers to harness the power of fungi in soils. In the dry conditions of the Australian landscape, increasing soil carbon levels can help with water retention, boosting conditions for agriculture.
At the same time, by capturing carbon farmers can help contribute to addressing the problem of increasing greenhouse gases, climate change and global warming. MORE
One county moves toward full reliance on renewable energy
Oxford County has adopted plans to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 for eight municipalities within this mainly rural and heavily agricultural region.
In its plans to date, the county has not relied on provincial policies that the new PC government now questions, said Peter Crockett, Oxford County’s chief administrative officer, in a recent interview. County council’s renewable energy commitment is part of the strategic plan that the group adopted during the term that was completed in 2018.
The county set three key goals in its Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan: 100 per cent renewable energy, zero waste and zero poverty. MORE