By James Scongack
Our region of Bruce, Grey and Huron has a bright future as a clean-energy leader in Ontario and Canada.
Recent Statistics Canada census data, released Feb. 9, shows that Bruce, Grey and Huron expanded by 6.5 per cent since 2016, a population growth rate 12 per cent faster than Ontario’s (5.8) and 25 per cent faster than Canada’s as a whole (5.2). The 2021 results show an increase of every municipal community in Bruce County, a difference from the findings of the previous census.
This was made possible by local economic development strategic planning and collaborative approaches, combined with the work happening through Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program.
The growth of the area’s economy is sustainable and I believe it will continue to grow by leveraging our safe, reliable Bruce Power operating units and increased output as the baseload energy needed to power innovation forward.
The nuclear industry has shown the world what can be accomplished with the clean energy that nuclear provides as a backbone to the electricity grid, providing 89 per cent of the energy needed to phase out coal in Ontario in 2014. This is in stark contrast to other countries such as Germany, which turned its back on nuclear and now faces higher prices while relying on greenhouse gas emitting energy sources.
It’s clear that Canada and Ontario need nuclear to reach their climate change goals and our communities – the Clean Energy Frontier – are leading the way by building on existing strengths and driving innovation through our Bruce Power assets and the more than 60 partner companies in the area.
Bruce Power and its partners already have launched several initiatives to drive this innovation and secure the Clean Energy Frontier region as leader in clean energy in the decades to come.
Momentum in the region continues with a proposed energy storage project in Meaford, which presents a $4-billion opportunity and thousands of potential jobs. A report by the Nuclear Innovation Institute says Ontario will need investment in vast new energy storage capacity in combination with clean power from nuclear generation to meet its increasing clean energy demands in the coming years.
The combination of nuclear and increased levels of energy storage would give electricity system operators a clean alternative to the current practice of using gas-fired facilities to back-up intermittent sources like wind and solar and meeting peak demand, creating an on-demand supply of clean energy.
We are going to need all the tools available to us in the fight against climate change and I’m proud that our region is leading the charge.
As always, please contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions. You can also follow me on Twitter @jscongack.