Each year, NB Power spends more than $500 million of rate-payers fees to import fossil fuels for our electricity. International oil markets are volatile and NB Power will be forced to pay an ever increasing amount for this dependence. As our local and provincial economies bleed much-needed funds we are left with dangerous emissions as well. Obviously NB Power’s large-scale mega-project approach to energy generation and distribution has lead us down the wrong road.
New Brunswick has the third highest rate of per capita greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Our far-from-stellar performance is due primarily to our heavy dependence on fossil fuel energy and our continued use of electric space and water heating. NB Power maintains 1,300 MW of its 3,770 MW generating capacity simply to supply electric heat, which is horribly inefficient.
The Conservation Council of New Brunswick offers an alternative—a self-sufficient energy future. Energy self-sufficiency is based on community endeavors and not energy megaprojects. By fostering community energy, we can:
- reduce our emissions
- increase our energy efficiency
- generate thousands of green jobs
- bolster community economies
- create sustainable and equitable domestic markets for our indigenous resources
- ultimately terminate our dependence on volatile international energy markets
- New Brunswick is rich in natural resources and offers numerous community-based energy possibilities. Our province has:
- a competitive wind and solar profile
- abundant wood fiber and bio-energy sources
- some of the world’s most significant tides
- accessible geo-thermal energy
Technologies exist which can utilize these resources and are available for the whole scale of operations ranging from individual homes to hospitals, college campuses, industrial parks, and communities. Before NB Power leads us any further a-stray with their mega-projects and dependence on outsiders, it is vital that we consider the alternatives. Energy self-sufficiency is an alternative predicated on environmental responsibility, energy security, and economic development. In short, it is an alternative which all New Brunswickers’ can benefit from.