Wind turbines could spin out new profits for Ontario farmers, according to Paul Gipe, an authority on wind energy. Gipe will tell the Ontario Federation of Agriculture in Stratford on Thursday that the province’s farmers could earn $150,000 per year in revenue with just one modern wind turbine similar to the one at ExPlace in Toronto.Toronto, Ontario – April 6, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “The key to harvesting this new cash crop is Advanced Renewable Tariffs,” says Gipe, the acting executive director of OSEA, the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. “If the province’s new energy policy incorporates the tariffs we’ve proposed, Ontario farmers could earn billions in new revenue, spurring a rural economic revival.” Gipe estimates that if just half of the farmers in Ontario each installed one 1-megawatt wind turbine, they could conceivably pump four billion dollars through the rural Ontario economy, producing one-third of the province’s electricity. “These are dollars that stay in the province, benefiting all of Ontario,” says Gipe. “They are not dollars exported outside the province to pay for imported coal or natural gas.” Using Advanced Renewable Tariffs, German farmers, homeowners, and co-operatives have invested some seven billion dollars in wind turbines. Overall, Advanced Renewable Tariffs have resulted in $20 billion of total private investment in wind energy in Germany. Unlike complex and prohibitively expensive bidding systems, Advanced Renewable Tariffs permit farmers and other rural landowners to participate in Ontario’s new electricity market, from which they are currently excluded. Gipe explains that the proposed tariffs are very simple. “Advanced Renewable Tariffs allow farmers to connect their wind turbines to the grid without a lot of paperwork, and they guarantee a fixed price for a fixed period of time,” he says. “You can take that to the bank.” “However, this may not be the direction in which the government is currently headed,” cautions Gipe. “Farmers will need to take up their pens–or their telephones–and tell Energy Minister Dwight Duncan that Ontario needs Advanced Renewable Tariffs for a significant portion of the province’s new electricity supply.” Gipe is the author of several books on wind energy, including the forthcoming “Wind Power: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business.” He recently moved from Southern California to join OSEA in Toronto. The presentation to the OFA will be held at the Stratford Coliseum at 7:30 pm, Thursday. Gipe is also making a presentation on wind energy to the Ontario Rural Council at the Holiday Inn in Peterborough on April 6th at 1:00 pm.