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Oxford County - 100% Renewable Energy by 2050 (copy 1)

Oxford Gardens Solar Cooling Project. Photo credit: enerworks.com

Woodstock , with a lake in the middle of the city, and a landlocked lighthouse gallery. Photo credit: Countyeditor Wikimedia

Oxford Gardens Solar Cooling Project. Photo credit: enerworks.com

100% Renewable Energy Goal:
100% Renewable Energy for the County by 2050

Oxford County, Canada

Oxford County is located in the southwestern region of the province of Ontario and has a population of approximately 109,000 people. The County is made up of eight municipalities with a two tier government structure and an administrative center in the City of Woodstock. The area is rich in farmland, as well as having a commercial and industrial sector. In June 2015, the County unanimously passed a motion to target 100% renewable energy by 2050.  

The target is accompanied by the County Community Sustainability Plan, the final draft of which was released on June 24, 2015.  This plan includes greenhouse gas reduction goals, efficient, green construction measures and actions to decarbonize transportation. Together, these are considered first steps towards reaching the 100% renewable energy target.

A new Smart Energy Oxford Group was formed to advance the Community Sustainability Plan by creating an action plan and establish measures and milestones to achieve this goal.

Initiatives already under way at the time the 100% renewable energy goal was adopted include municipal efforts to secure federal and provincial support for renewable energy projects like Woodstock’s White Lanes microGrid project, private sector investments supported by public policy like the Oxford Gardens solar thermal facility, Tesla electric vehicle charging stations at the local Quality Inn, and a biogas project at Greenholm Farms. Additionally, York University’s Sustainable Energy Initiative, led by Dr. Jose Etcheverry, is providing continual support in studying how to achieve the energy transition.

The text of the County's motion to strive for 100% renewable energy is as follows:

Motion In Support of Oxford County Targeting 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

Whereas the environmental implications of continued fossil fuel use and the growing impacts of climate change are well documented and recently recognized by G7 Leaders;

And whereas significant reduction in fossil fuel dependency represents, as it does for much of the world, an enormous challenge to Oxford;

And whereas Oxford has begun to address the challenge of energy sustainability through critical first steps that include energy management and conservation strategies;

And whereas Oxford has a history of environmental courage and leadership

And whereas Oxford is poised to adopt by the Fall of 2015 its first Community Sustainability Plan which includes, among other goals, significant advancement in the role of renewable energy in Oxford with similarly significant reductions in fossil fuel reliance;

And whereas leading municipalities around the world are considering or have committed to achieving 100% Renewable Energy by 2050;

And whereas the continued advancements of renewable energy and energy storage technologies demonstrate strong potential for achieving 100% Renewable Energy by 2050;

And whereas Oxford residents and businesses already demonstrate significant leadership in the advancement of renewable energy technologies and their applications;

And whereas Oxford has the opportunity to be the first Ontario municipality to commit to achieving 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

And whereas being the first Ontario municipality to commit to achieving 100% Renewable Energy by 2050 is expected to catalyze environmental change in Oxford, create opportunity for renewable energy investment in Oxford, and position Oxford as a renewable energy centre of excellence and home for renewable energy education, research and development.

Therefore be it resolved that the County of Oxford hereby commits to the achievement of 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

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