Wind veteran Gipe advises Ontario on renewables tariff structure

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Wind industry veteran Paul Gipe has told members of Ontario's provincial parliament that the province could get 10% of its power from wind energy by 2012 if it implements a tariff structure like those employed in Germany and Spain. A system of "advanced renewable tariffs" would allow farmers, co-ops and other small generators to develop, own and operate turbines by offering long term, fixed price contracts for their power," said Gipe, the acting head of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA). This type of community ownership is one reason why wind energy has been so successful European countries with similar subsidy systems, Gipe told the nine parliamentarians, all members of a committee looking at energy conservation options for the province. "They unleashed the power of the market to determine where and how much new wind generating capacity would be built. These countries were not dependent upon cumbersome bidding systems," he said. OSEA, which has several wind energy co-ops as members, would like to see small renewable energy generators with projects 10 MW or smaller in size offered 20-year power purchase contracts. For the first ten years, OSEA would like all to receive C$0.10/kWh. For the following ten years, prices for those with high production sites would drop to C$0.08/kWh while those with low production sites would remain at C$0.10/kWh.

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