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What is OSEA?
Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA)
Every Ontarian is a conserver and generator of sustainable energy either through a household or through a local community owned business, contributing to the transition to 100% sustainable energy.
To serve the Community Power sector including households, farms, First Nations, co-operatives and collaborative businesses, local distribution companies, municipalities, other institutions and non-Community Power partners: through advocacy, public outreach and capacity building.
WHAT IS OSEA ALL ABOUT?
OSEA inspires and enables the people of Ontario to improve their environment, their economy and their health by producing clean, renewable energy in their homes and in their communities. The association is a member-based, non-profit organization representing 140 groups that make up and support the Community Power sector.
Community Power is renewable energy that is developed, owned and controlled by local residents and their communities, including individuals, farmer collaborations, co-operatives, First Nations, municipalities and public institutions such as schools and community centres.
The benefits of Community Power are significant. Local economies are bolstered by additional revenue, the creation of jobs and the development of new skills. Community Power is distributed generation producing energy closer to where it is used, thereby reducing costs associated with transmission and distribution. Local residents have more control over Community Power production ensuring neither their neighbours nor the natural environment is adversely affected, all the while addressing the pressing global issues of greenhouse gas reductions and energy security.
OSEA has established itself as a leader in Ontario and North America by providing the following services to the renewable energy sector:
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
In 2002 OSEA was incorporated to advocate progressive renewable energy policies to support local ownership of renewable energy, inform the citizens of Ontario and to build the capacity of the Community Power sector by passing on the lessons learned from the success of renewable energy from European leaders such as Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany and putting them in the Ontario context.
In 2006, based on recommendations made by OSEA, the government of Ontario took the lead in North America and implemented the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program, which paid a guaranteed, long-term set price for wind, solar and small hydro energy in order to spur their development.
In 2007, OSEA established a $3 million Community Power Fund to support the early financing of Community Power projects (www.cpfund.ca).
In June of 2008, OSEA, along with the World Wind Energy Association, hosted the World Wind Energy Conference in Kingston, Ontario, which focused on Community Power, drawing more than 800 delegates from around the world including five provincial ministers. It was at this landmark event that the campaign for a Green Energy Act was launched by OSEA, along with an alliance of farmers, First Nations, environmental organizations, unions, and industrial groups.
During the remainder of 2008 and into the spring of 2009, OSEA campaigned for a Green Energy Act in co-operation with its allies under the banner of the Green Energy Act Alliance (www.greenenergyact.ca). OSEA made a series of delegations and held numerous events with its partners as well as taking a grassroots road show around the province to more than 40 communities. Tremendous support was achieved for the proposed legislation resulting in increased political will to implement the Act.
In May of 2009, the GEGEA (www.mei.gov.on.ca/english/energy/gea/) was passed and efforts shifted to ensuring the Feed-in Tariff Program and associated regulations serve the sector and achieve the potential promised by the legislation. These efforts will continue even after the various programs and regulations have been finalized as information is compiled to improve and refine them when they are reviewed in two years.
OSEA members represent a diverse range of organizations, businesses and individuals. Our members include groups such as Co-operatives, First Nations, Municipalities, Schools, Industry Associations and Farmers organizations.
Supporter members come from a range of business backgrounds including Renewable Energy Technology Development, Legal Services, Environmental Services, and the Auto Industry.