BONN, Germany -- When first lady Michelle Obama started an organic garden at the White House, she sparked a national discussion on food, obesity, health and sustainability. But the green action on the White House lawn hasn't made it to the White House roof, unfortunately.
We should ban these outside energy experts. Every time one shows up at a Utility and Review Board hearing to remind us how muddled our energy practices are, it makes us look bad. This time it's about the planned $200-million-plus wood-burning power plant at Port Hawkesbury.
As if it wasn't enough that the project will devastate the forest even more than it already is, that burning wood is apparently as bad as burning coal and won't reduce greenhouse gas, and that a similar plant in New England was apparently built for half the projected cost, along comes U.S. renewable energy consultant Barry Sheingold to tell us that Nova Scotia Power Inc. hasn't done its homework on the project.
Green energy is no baby any more. These days it's more like an over-achieving graduate student. The sector that has birthed itself in a climate of denial, financial and fiscal crisis and policy ping-pong is doing surprisingly well despite getting its higher education in this school of hard knocks.
Innovation is still the essential ingredient required to bring all the pieces together to make clean energy and money, too. Two new projects that are coming to light right now give a great glimpse of the outside-the-box approaches that are bridging the new industry's needs for breadth, resilience and, above all, financing. Thank goodness, because that's what we still so desperately need.