County council hears renewable energy policy

By Chad Ingram

Published August 9 2016

Members of Minden Hills’s renewable energy task force presented their renewable energy policy to Haliburton County council on July 27 and it seems like before long the county’s other lower-tier townships may be adopting the policy themselves.

Task force member Mike Johnson spoke to councillors at last Wednesday’s meeting.
Amid of a deluge of applications for feed-in tariff (FIT) projects last year Minden Hills council decided to strike a task force to create some kind of framework for assessing project proposals.
Minden Hills council approved that policy in principle on June 2.
The purpose of the policy is not only to establish priorities for the township to consider when reviewing renewable energy projects but also to encourage local education on renewable energy and create demonstration projects in hopes of promoting renewable energy practises and energy conservation by residents and businesses.

Johnson stressed the intertwined environmental social and economic benefits of renewable energy.
“The economic issue has great potential for both the townships and the county” he said referencing recent comments from Bank of England governor Mark Carney that initiatives to battle climate change represent a multi-trillion-dollar industry.
“Within our four municipalities we have great works going on” said Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin adding he’d like to hear presentations from the other three townships about what’s going on in those municipalities. “So we don’t end up working in silos.”

“No one has to re-invent the wheel” said Algonquin Highlands Reeve and County Warden Carol Moffatt who suggested the Minden Hills policy could be passed to the other lower-tier townships to use as a starting point.
Dysart et al Reeve Murray Fearrey suggested the task force take its presentation to the lower-tier councils.