Ontario cancels plans for more green energy, citing strong supply of electricity

Date: September 30, 2016 Author: esolar Categories: Blogs | News & Noteworthy
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Ontario cancels plans for more green energy, citing strong supply of electricity

The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Ontario’s Liberal government took steps Tuesday to take some pressure off of rising electricity rates, cancelling plans to sign contracts for up to 1,000 megawatts of power from solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.

Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said the move will save up to $3.8 billion of the costs projected in the 2013 long-term energy plan, and will keep about $2.45 a month from being added to hydro bills for homeowners and small businesses. READ MORE

 

Association Reactions

 

Suspending renewables is a step in the wrong direction

The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) is disappointed to hear that the Ontario government decided to suspend the second round of its Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) program. While the program was certainly not the most effective in ensuring meaningful community participation and ownership opportunities, it was a program that allowed the province to move in the right direction as it pertains to meeting our climate change and emission reduction goals.

The decision plays into the misinformed belief that renewable energy generation is expensive and nuclear power is cheap. Earlier this year, when projects were awarded contracts under the first round of the large renewable procurement, renewable energy developers proved that their projects can come in at highly competitive rates, even below the advertised rate of nuclear refurbishments. And while the prices for renewables continue to drop, the total cost implications of nuclear refurbishment are not yet entirely known. What we do know is that no nuclear power project in Canada has come in on time or on budget.

This decision also stands in stark contrast to the government’s recently released Climate Change Action Plan that encourages the move towards a distributed energy system that is powered by renewable sources. This plan has led the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to release two demand forecast scenarios that foresee an increase in electricity demand of up to 40% due to the introduction of electric cars and the push towards the use of electricity for our water and space-heating needs. (See IESO Demand Forecast) Considering that the IESO forecast, that was released earlier this month, still factors in the supply from the 1000 MW that was going to be brought online under the second round of LRP, how is this additional demand going to be satisfied?

It also begs the question why does the government continue to support a bulk electricity system when all the evidence shows that a decentralized energy system is more flexible, more efficient, less cost-intensive, and allows better engagement and involvement of the community?

By sticking to the bulk electricity system, our government risks stranded assets that we, our children and grandchildren will have to pay for decades to come. If the government was truly concerned about the costs of our energy system, it would take a long-term, integrated (heating, cooling, electricity and transportation) and systematic approach to energy planning and be transparent about the process. This is why OSEA and its members have been developing the Combined Energy Options Ontario proposal for the past year. The proposal is for a holistic study of Ontario’s energy system to develop a model and simulation that would allow us to understand how we can build a low-carbon, sustainable energy system in the most cost-effective, efficient, and socially responsible way.

While the news of the LRP suspension has certainly been discouraging, OSEA will continue to engage actively with the government on the development of the next long-term energy plan, championing the transition to a decentralized, integrated, inclusive and sustainable energy system that is built on portfolios of technological solutions that satisfy Ontario’s electricity, heating, cooling, and transportation needs and that puts the needs of Ontario’s communities first.

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The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) is championing a prosperous Ontario with a thriving sustainable energy sector, good jobs, resilient communities and healthy environments powered, heated, cooled and moved by portfolios of sustainable energy by raising public awareness, advising decision makers and establishing forums for new market opportunities and collaboration. Find us on the web at www.ontario-sea.org.

 

Media Contact:                

Nicole Risse, Interim Executive Director, OSEA
416-977-4441 ext. 3
416-892-0559 (cell)
Nicole@ontario-sea.org

 

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CanSIA Disappointed with Ontario's Suspension of LRP II

Ministry of Energy's decision will have significant ramifications for Ontario

OTTAWA, Sept. 27, 2016 /CNW/ - John Gorman, President and CEO of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) released this statement following today's announcement that Ontario will suspend the second round of its Large Renewable Procurement (LRP II) process.

"CanSIA is disappointed with the Government of Ontario's decision to suspend the LRP II procurement as it represents a significant back-step from previously committed renewables procurement in the Province that we believe will be required to deal with supply and GHG emission risks, such as delayed nuclear refurbishment schedules, un-met conservation targets, or increased demand as a result of electrification to meet the province's climate change targets. Cancelling or delaying the procurement of renewable electricity could leave Ontario unprepared to effectively deal with these risks cost-effectively and without increasing electricity sector GHG emissions.

CanSIA remains hopeful that the upcoming Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) process will provide further opportunities for the industry. Both the Ministers of Energy and Environment and Climate Change have received mandate letters which include a strong focus for reducing electricity sector GHG emissions even under high electrification scenarios, encouraging the growth of renewables, and makingOntario one of the most cost effective North American jurisdictions for installing solar panels. Through the LTEP CanSIA will be advocating for the Ministry of Energy to adopt policies that encourage greater consumer choice in the adoption of energy solutions to meet communities' power needs and GHG reduction targets."

About the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA)
CanSIA is a national trade association that represents the solar energy industry throughout Canada. Since 1992, CanSIA has worked to develop a strong, efficient, ethical and professional Canadian solar energy industry with capacity to provide innovative solar energy solutions and to play a major role in the global transition to a sustainable, clean-energy future. Learn more at www.cansia.ca. Follow CanSIA on Twitter and Facebook.

SOURCE Canadian Solar Industries Association

For further information: or for interview opportunities, please contact: Erin Seegmiller, Administrative and Communications Assistant, Canadian Solar Industries Association, 613-736-9077 ext. 221, eseegmiller@cansia.ca