Ontario Election 2011 - Energy Resources

Support Ontario's Green Energy Act!

Posts tagged FIT

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FACT: Subsidies to renewable energy are no greater than those for fossil fuel and nuclear power

The criticism of the price Ontario currently pays for renewable energy ignores twoimportant facts: renewable prices are still falling, while the costs of fossil fuels and nuclear are rising — and the government subsidizes fossil fuels and nuclear energy to a much greater extent than green energy.

The nuclear industry has been subsidized since day one. Nuclear has accumulated over $20 billion in subsidizes federally, including over $1.2 billion in the past five years — and it continues to collect federal subsidies now, even after being sold to SNC Lavelin.

Compare that to wind, solar and biomass industries that together have received about $1.7 billion from the federal government, which are being spread out from 2002 to 2021. In other words, 10 years from now, renewable energy will have received about 10 per cent of the subsidies nuclear has received — assuming no more nuclear subsidies are paid out in the next 10 years.

The California Energy Commission estimated new nuclear costs between 17-34 c/kWh in 2010. The low end of that estimate is still more expensive then Ontario’s prices for wind power under the feed-in tariff, and the high end approaches the feed-in tariff price for large-scale solar power projects at current costs, which have been dropping rapidly (down 50 per cent) in past five years.

Filed under nuclear fossil fuels subsidies green energy act fit feed-in tariff dropping price cost

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FACT: Green energy has existed for decades without harmful side effects

In June, I toured parts of Ontario with a German farmer, Hans Feddersen, who has been living with more than 60 turbines in the fields of his local community for 20 years. After a few media interviews, the farmer expressed confusion and frustration because the questions were so focused on health issues — rather than the tremendous benefits of renewable energy.

According to Feddersen, Germany addressed those issues years ago; Feddersen said health concerns associated with wind energy “isn’t a topic anymore” in his country, which is leading the world in wind power production.

The first policies to form the German equivalent of Ontario’s Green Energy Act were instituted 20 years ago in Germany. Those policies have been updated and improved over time by successive governments on both ends of the German political spectrum. Similarly, Ontario’s Green Energy Act has room for improvement, and we can learn from Germany, where strong community involvement in the program has led to both profits for rural residence along with strong support.

While we recognize that renewable energy technologies — ranging from hydro, to biomass, to wind turbines — do have local impacts that need to be minimized and addressed through effective, local public consultations, fossil fuels pose a more serious threat to human health and the environment.

Filed under Green Energy Act GEA FIT PEmbina renewables election

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FACT: The Green Energy Act will not dramatically increase the price of electricity.

Even if Ontario stopped all new investment in renewable power today, electricity prices would continue to rise. This is due to the inevitable expense of upgrading our ageing electricity grid and building new power plants as old ones retire. This recent Pembina Institute report compared how replacing renewable energy with power from fossil fuels would affect Ontario electricity prices. Click for more detail.

This recent Pembina Institute report compared how replacing renewable energy with power from fossil fuels would affect Ontario electricity prices. Click for more detail.

Critics of green energy are falsely comparing the cost of renewable energy projects today with the price of electricity from facilities built thirty years ago. Any comparison should be against the cost of building and operating any new power plant.

The Pembina Institute recently modeled these complex interactions for Ontario’s electricity system. Our report on that study, Behind the Switch, found that cancelling the Green Energy Act would likely result in a slightly slower price increase in the short term — saving the average household about the cost of a cup of coffee and a muffin per month. In the longer term, however, the Green Energy Act would result in cost savings for consumers, since the cost of renewables will continue to decrease every year, while the price of natural gas is forecast to continue increasing over the next 20 years.

Filed under Green Energy Act GEA FIT Pembina Wind solar Biogas hydro bill cost price

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Ortech's President provides an insightful perspective on the upcoming election and Ontario's FIT program

In the lead up to Ontario’s provincial election in October, the renewable energy industry has become a political football with rapidly growing investment risk.  Campaign policy platforms range widely including the removal of the private sector from the electricity market, the early termination of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for projects under construction and staying the course on a rapidly growing renewable industry.  Risk management, rather than investment planning has become the new focus for the industry.

Filed under Conservatives Election FIT Investment planning Liberals OSEA Ortech PPA Risk Management

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Where did the Green Energy Act come from? Background materials from OSEA and its allies

Working closely with its members, OSEA played a major role in this campaign taking it on the road to communities throughout Ontario to educate people about the need for such legislation and encouraging them to press their elected representatives to support a Green Energy Act. OSEA’s members and partners rose to the challenge issuing press statements supporting a Green Energy Act, petitioning the government and providing their input on what was needed in the legislation.

The OSEA road show was welcomed everywhere it went and the enthusiasm of the public for renewable energy was evident.

Once the legislation and its subsequent regulations were drafted, OSEA participated fully in the stakeholder engagement process, providing valuable insight derived from the experience of its members endeavoring to build renewable energy projects. Now that the Green Energy Act has been passed, OSEA will monitor how it is applied and its effectiveness, especially in supporting community power groups.

Filed under community power, Environmentalists FIT Farmers First Nations GEA Green Energy Act OSEA feed- Feed-in tariff grassroots origins