Energy Plan To Strengthen Green Ontario
McGuinty Government Emphasizes Reliance on Renewables, Conservation; Core Elements of Nuclear Rebuild and Coal Elimination Unchanged
Ontario's long-term energy strategy is getting a fine-tuning as a key part of the McGuinty government's drive to "green" the province and keep it economically competitive and prosperous.
The McGuinty government is directing the Ontario Power Authority to review a modest portion of its proposed Integrated Power System Plan (IPSP), focusing on renewable energy and conservation.
The IPSP is currently the subject of hearings before the Ontario Energy Board to determine whether the plan meets the government's directives and is economically prudent and cost effective. All other elements of the IPSP could continue during the review period.
Since 2003, significant progress has been made in the renaissance of Ontario's energy sector, including developing a plan to get rid of coal-fired generation by 2014 and renewing Ontario's nuclear fleet. Progress on bringing more renewable energy into the supply mix has been impressive: more than 530 MW of renewable energy is already online.
This progress has cleared the path for the review announced today, which is designed to ensure Ontario is maximizing its potential to provide clean, green, renewable power to homes and businesses across the province - and a new generation of "green-collar" careers and industry.
The review will include:
- The amount and diversity of renewable energy sources in the supply mix.
- The viability of accelerating the achievement of stated conservation targets, including a review of the deployment and utilization of smart meters.
- The improvement of transmission capacity in the orange zones in northern Ontario and other parts of the province that is limiting the development of new renewable energy supply.
- The potential of converting existing coal-fired assets to biomass.
- The availability of distributed generation.
- The potential for pumped storage to contribute to the energy supply during peak times.
Further, the OPA is directed to employ an enhanced process of consultation with First Nation communities, including the consideration of partnership opportunities in generation and transmission.
- Ontario's plan to end coal-fired electrical generation will reduce Ontario's carbon dioxide emissions by up to 30 megatonnes. That's the single largest climate change initiative in Canada.
- Alongside California, Ontario is a North American leader in energy efficiency standards for appliances and other products. Ontario's building code standards for energy efficiency are among the highest in the country.
“Ontarians are fortunate to have clean energy sources like nuclear and Niagara Falls as the foundation of their supply. Building on this foundation with a strengthened renewables and conservation agenda will allow us to create jobs and further reduce our impact on the environment.”