Prince Edward Island's government has recently set a new goal to reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels, strengthen the economy and protect the environment. It is now looking to produce 30% of its total energy needs from local, renewable resources by 2016.
The province will reach the target in stages, its government officials say, with the first step to produce 10% of total energy needs from local renewable resources by 2010. To do that, Premier Pat Binns says P.E.I. will build on the success of the Renewable Energy Strategy launched in 2004 since almost all of the 19 requirements have been achieved.
‘We have demonstrated with the 15% renewable portfolio standard for electricity that if we set a target, we will reach a target,’ states Binns. ‘In fact, both Maritime Electric and the Summerside Electric Utility will reach or exceed that target three years ahead of schedule. Now, we have to look beyond electricity, to our total energy needs.’
According to Jamie Ballem, P.E.I.'s minister of environment, energy and forestry, wind will play an important role in the energy mix, with the first step being the completion of the Eastern Kings Wind Farm later this year.
‘Each year, some $440 million leaves Prince Edward Island, as fossil fuels are imported to heat and power our homes and fuel our vehicles. This target is about keeping more of those dollars in P.E.I. to strengthen our economy. And it is about creating new opportunities for island farmers and a healthier environment today and for future generations,’ concludes Binns.