Freaky Windy

There’s some freaky shit going on regarding wind, hydrogen, and Prince Edward Island energy policy. So freaky that it’s hard to believe. For example, here’s Hon. Jamie Ballem, Minister of Environment and Energy, quoted in a CBC story:

“It’s such a renewable, and it’s so clean,” says Ballem. It’s our oil. It’s our opportunity because it’s one thing we do have here. We have good wind conditions. Maybe we should be maximizing it. If we can get Maritime cooperation then it makes it a lot easier for us to look at. Instead of 15 per cent of our energy coming from wind, can we make it 50 per cent, can we make it 100 per cent?”

I had to read that paragraph three times before I believed it. Some days, it’s just good to be alive.


Alan McLeod's picture
Alan McLeod on January 14, 2004 - 22:33 Permalink

Of course you can make it 100% — you could make it 1000% if you read the literature that has been laying around for years.

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on January 14, 2004 - 22:40 Permalink

Right on. I’ve written a quick note to Mr. Ballem encouraging more wind use.

However, each time an announcement like this is made, my mother always points out that it sounds a lot like announcements that were made 20 years ago as well.

dave m's picture
dave m on January 14, 2004 - 23:19 Permalink

And with the annoucement from Bush today about heading to Mars… it feels like 1963 all over again. Bush?! I can’t believe it. It must be the silver lining.

Jevon's picture
Jevon on January 14, 2004 - 23:32 Permalink

We should all drop the premier and Mr. Ballem a note of encouragement.

Jevon's picture
Jevon on January 15, 2004 - 04:04 Permalink

Let’s just not respond to that. (I shouldn’t even be posting this)

Rob Paterson's picture
Rob Paterson on January 15, 2004 - 04:07 Permalink

I think that we are going there at last! Thank God Pat put Jamie in the chair. I am so excited

Ann's picture
Ann on January 15, 2004 - 13:21 Permalink

The bit about Maritime co-operation means this:
All three Maritime provinces have been meeting to develop a more co-operative policy on energy. The thinking is that each have some type of energy production to bring to the table — so if each provided one type, we could all share among ourselves. The result would be that all three provinces would have a constant, more energy efficient energy pool from which to draw (the downside of wind being that it doesn’t always blow and the energy it produces can’t be stored…yet, anyway). The thinking is that PEI would contribute wind power to this pool..making us, in our own way, a “have’ province.
As a disclaimer here, I’ll admit that I used to do communications for the PEI Energy Corporation so you can take what I say with a grain of salt, if you wish.

R. Zimmerman's picture
R. Zimmerman on January 15, 2004 - 16:25 Permalink

Good golly! All these years, Bob Dylan’s been right! The answer IS blowing in the wind!

Ken's picture
Ken on January 15, 2004 - 18:01 Permalink

I’ve just emailed and praised this new wind energy policy.

Doesn’t it feel a lot more promising than natural gas?

This is an issue I’d love to learn more about and push forward — does anyone know of a group endorsing this policy on PEI? I want to join.

Mike's picture
Mike on January 16, 2004 - 03:00 Permalink

Iceland is using geothermal energy to produce hydrogen.

BBC article on Iceland’s hydrogen economy

Wind power could never compete with that type of (clean)energy source, but PEI being at the forefront in Atlantic Canada with wind energy gives us an edge.

If only gov’ts would support the AWTS in North Cape with real development money, rather than pocket change. Paul Martin’s already wobbling on Kyoto — I think he’s going to halt implementation, or drastically change it so that Canada won’t be in international compliance.

Mike's picture
Mike on January 16, 2004 - 03:13 Permalink

PEI can talk a good game but is the provincial gov’t really willing to pony up serious dollars to pursue this initiative? I think so far (and into the immediate future) it’s all talk.

The feds under Martin claim they’re broke & I doubt PEI will get any further funds to pursue this (noble) idea. Therefore it’s up to the province, and its limited taxbase, to take the risk.

All the provincial politicians (any politician for that matter) only see the immediate problems at hand like health care, job creation, roads, schools, etc. It’s unfortunate, but I seriously doubt the PEI gov’t is going to pursue this through to the level of completion that Iceland has.

I think it’s merely posturing, hoping that the federal money train will come to town to implement the wind-hydrogen strategy, just because the AWTS is located on Island soil. The fact that there’s so many NIMBY-movements on PEI (protests against Irving wind farm in Malpeque comes to mind), that I seriously doubt Islanders in rural areas will be willing to let massive wind farms be established just to produce hydrogen.

To create hydrogen in sufficient quantities for use across northeastern North America, thousands of acres of land would be taken up with wind farms, with likely visual/aesthetic impacts along the coasts & rural vistas. I’d like to see this go forward but Islanders’ NIMBY feelings & sheer lack of provincial cash (in lieu of lack of federal cash) will see this remain just talk.