It’s time to take renewable energy seriously in New Brunswick

“My plea here is across party lines to say let’s think bigger,” said Premier Higgs to the House of Commons in March when asked about climate change and increasing shale gas operations to combat the carbon tax.

Yes, let’s think bigger than shale gas and start seriously considering investing in wind and solar.

I completely agree with Higgs on this point, which is why he and his cabinet should be considering alternative energy sources than shale gas.

There’s no doubt that New Brunswick is in the middle of an affordability crisis and yet the provincial government released its energy plan that lays out a plan to expand nuclear and shale gas. Funnily enough, Higgs has found almost every excuse to implement renewable energy sources – which will result in lower energy costs for New Brunwickers. Not to mention that it will also help the province hit climate targets.

It’s no secret that nuclear energy is expensive to build and operate. On the other hand, renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, require a large upfront cost but it pays off after a few years therefore making electricity extremely cheap. The cost of wind and solar are also decreasing so now is the perfect time to take the leap.

Even better, increasing renewable energy will create jobs for New Brunswickers. Basically, it’s a double whammy when tackling the affordability issues in the province and it’s much better for the environment.

Here is my plea to Premier Higgs: rather than complaining that there’s nothing you can do about the provincewide affordability crisis, please consider transitioning to a renewable energy system to cut down on electricity costs.

Other Atlantic provinces have tried to implement more eco-friendly practices such as offshore wind in Nova Scotia and electric school buses in Prince Edward Island. New Brunswick must start to follow the trend instead of staying in the past with shale gas.

It’s time that New Brunswick moves away from our reputation of fossil fuel dependency to a province that embraces innovation.

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