Sustainable Regional Energy: Diversified, Downsized and Distributed with DSM
Director, Environment and Sustainable Development
University of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 4400
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5A2
|Traditionally electricity has been centrally generated and transmitted long distances. While this system can result in efficiencies of scale and competition, it lacks reliability and local or regional control over price due to reliance on factors beyond the control of the region. While this is the dominant North American model, it is neither the most sustainable nor the only way to ensure sustainable, affordable and reliable energy.|
This presentation will argue that a system that is based on energy efficiency and diversified, downsized and distributed generation will result in more regional control and a more robust system. It will also have environmental benefits and create more regional employment.
Energy efficiency focuses on demand, can reduce the need for generation and has a lower per kilowatt hour cost compared to most conventional generation. Fuels and electricity are not demanded or used for their own sake, but for the services they provide; heat, transportation, light etc. Efficiency is getting the most out of the energy you use. Conservation is using less and not using when you have no need. Neither decreases the services energy provides.
Drawing on the thinking of Seth Dunn, Charles Maxwell, Ralph Torrie and the experience of Efficiency Vermont, this presentation will argue that sustainable regional energy is feasible, but needs some changes in thinking and some enabling regulations. It will respond to the conference question regarding whether communities can determine where food and energy come from.