By Daime Mohammed
(Daime is a journalist with the Focus Media Arts Centre ~ a partner of The St. James Town Corner)
Youth involved in the Climate Conversations radio show, speaks to Michelle Bird, Operations and Project Manager with RESCo Energy
Climate Conversations is a podcast show on Radio Regent (an internet radio station accessible by visiting www.radioregent.com). The show offers young people representing the downtown communities of Regent Park, Moss Park, and St. James Town, an opportunity to discuss various aspects of environmentalism with experts, organizers, and artists in the field. In recognition of Earth Day 2022, a day on April 22, 2022, dedicated for the world to think more about the care of the planet, we present a summary discussion of their March 9, 2022, radio show, to our St. James Town Scope readers.
In Canada, the use of solar energy to generate electricity and heat is growing quickly and is helping to reduce pollution related to energy production. In the third episode of their show, Jabin Haque and Victoria Nannetti, sat down with Michelle Bird, the Operations Manager of RESCo Energy. Created in 2006, RESCo has been providing solar PV services to commercial and industrial customers across Canada. On their website, they describe themselves as “setting the bar for turnkey expert level solar photovoltaic services”. RESCo has received numerous awards through the years, given to them by a multitude of organizations, including (but not limited to): the Canadian Solar Industries Association, the Toronto Construction Association, and the University of Toronto.
In this interview, Michelle Bird describes RESCo Energy as a “one-stop shop” for all of your solar energy needs. They discuss the company’s role in the solar power industry, the barriers the solar power industry has faced, and the upsides and downsides of using solar power in our modern world.
The perspective that shapes the lens of Climate Conversations as a whole, is for young people in low-income, urban communities, to understand the factors that are contributing to climate change not only on a large, corporate or systemic scale but also on an individual level and how they can contribute to change. The youth question why more is not been done to ensure that their schools, homes, communities, and workplaces are utilizing the natural power of the sun through the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology – a technology that converts the power of the sun into energy.
Michele tells us that more and more major city centers are utilizing solar PV technology. We also learn that Ontario, as a province is very well equipped to facilitate solar PV, as it is a province that receives a large amount of sunshine. However, the lack of flatness of roofs, makes it difficult for solar panels to be effective. We also learn that a number of years ago, the Ontario Government created a program that provided incentives for companies to invest in the solar power industry. This idea was largely modeled after what was done in Germany. A number of years after this program was introduced, it was discontinued, but it proved effective nonetheless. Without the program to incentivize businesses to invest in solar panels, one would think the industry would trend downward, but the program was so effective that the industry was, and is now able to stand on its own legs.
To listen to the full podcast and learn even more, click the link below!