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Newleef 2019 focuses on the province’s electricity grid, sustainability within its communities, and an emerging expertise in environmental characterization and monitoring

On October 16th and 17th, the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) held its annual clean technology and green economy conference – Newleef – at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s, NL.

“This year we had three objectives with our conference,” said NEIA’s Executive Director Kieran Hanley. “First, we wanted to highlight some of the excellent work being done within a number of the province’s municipalities relating to climate change mitigation and adaptation.” Newleef featured organizers and participants in a number of projects funded by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, including one administered by NEIA, presenting on the forward progress being made in Newfoundland and Labrador’s communities. “It is quite remarkable how advanced these discussions have become within our municipalities, even compared to those we would have at this conference just a few short years ago.”

The Newleef conference attracts over 200 participants over two days of sessions and workshops.

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The second focus of the conference was around the province’s electricity grid. “We spent a full day of Newleef talking about rate mitigation and how that translates into opportunity for industry in the form of electrification, energy efficiency, and things like conservation and demand management,” said Hanley. “And building from the work we have been doing this past year to identify opportunities for renewable energy growth in the province, we explored some of these opportunities in greater depth.” Hanley said the conference was intended to help stakeholders understand the context within which economic development could take place related to the electricity grid. “If stakeholders can find a way to row in the same direction on some of these things, there could be real opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Growler Energy’s VP Project Development Keith Drover

This session featured a presentation from the Minister of Natural Resources Siobhan Coady which touched on the province’s priorities and commitments related to each of these subjects:

“Our third objective for Newleef was to highlight what we see as a world-class expertise in the characterization and monitoring of the environment in our province,” said Hanley, noting that Newfoundland and Labrador pushes well above its weight in terms of R&D, commercialization, and application of technologies in this space. “What is the state of the natural environment? How are our activities impacting that environment? And vice versa – how are nature and climate change impacting our built environments? These are are questions we are answering with lasers, satellites, radar, sonar – and it’s a story we need to start embracing and promoting.”

NEIA’s Executive Director, Kieran Hanley

Newleef is the one event during the year that brings environmental entrepreneurs, professionals, researchers, decision-makers, regulators, support agencies, and other stakeholders in the province together to engage each other on these important topics,” said Hanley. “It provides an opportunity for the clean technology and environmental services sector to explore emerging business opportunities, examine challenges and barriers related to that growth, and to celebrate its achievements over the past year.”

Hanley says the event was the culmination of many months work on behalf of NEIA’s staff – but relied on the support of its sector partners for its success. “Our Newleef conference would not have been possible without the contribution to the program from all of our presenters, and the support of our partners – including the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation. NEIA looks forward to continuing its work to help drive the development of clean technology and the growth of the green economy in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

For a full summary of presentations and speakers at Newleef 2019, view the conference website at www.newleef.ca. NEIA is a not-for-profit association of businesses that promotes the development of clean technology and the growth of the green economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. NEIA has over 200 members. More information can be found at http://www.neia.org.

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Media Contact:
Kieran Hanley

kieran@neia.org

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