Energize Bridgewater is a community-wide initiative to accelerate the transition toward a clean energy economy for the community of Bridgewater (population 8,600). It forms the foundation of an ambitious new economic development strategy for the town, focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and capacity building. At its foundation is the Community Energy Investment Plan, a fully-costed pathway toward a low-carbon future and an economic rationale for community-wide leadership, participation, and investment in this change.
Through advanced energy and economic modelling, the Plan’s key finding is that the clean energy transition is economically feasible, and brings with it excellent social, ecnomic, and environmental benefits for the whole community.
Shifting our community toward a clean energy economy will require an unprecedented investment in clean local infrastructure and equipment: nearly $500 million in energy efficient buildings, new community-scale energy systems, and clean and active transportation systems over 32 years (2018-2050).
Scheduled to be complete by December of this year, the Plan will record the community’s shared vision and commitments, alongside practical financial tools that will make energy solutions more affordable for local residents, businesses, and organizations.
To assist with the implementation of the Plan, the Town has formed the Bridgewater Energy Partnership, a dedicated group of local businesses and organizations, and it has also started a solution incubator called the Living Energy Laboratory. Already, 10 projects are completed or underway. These demonstrate the potential for a local clean energy transition.
Energize Bridgewater is attracting broad attention from across the Province of Nova Scotia and across Canada for its visionary and bold approach to energy transition – namely that we should see this as an investment and economic development opportunity rather than as a cost to society.
Presentation during the first conference of the INMC
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