It’s time for gas to go

Doug Ford is planning to increase the greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from Ontario’s existing gas-fired power plants by more than 300% by 2030 and by more than 600% by 2040 as the province uses gas to replace aging nuclear plants and to meet growing demand for electricity from population growth and increased electrification (electric cars, home heating). If this occurs, Ontario will lose almost half of the pollution reduction benefits it achieved by phasing-out its dirty coal plants.

To add insult to injury, in Oct. 2022 the Doug Ford government directed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to contract for the building of NEW gas plants in Ontario.

We can phase-out gas-fired power by:

  • Doubling our spot market purchases of Quebec waterpower using existing transmission lines;
  • Banning gas-fired electricity exports to the U.S.;
  • Purchasing all energy efficiency savings, solar and wind power that can keep our lights on at less than today’s price of nuclear electricity (10.5 cents per kWh);
  • Expanding our transmission links with Quebec and using Hydro Quebec’s reservoirs to act like a giant battery for our wind and solar energy; and
  • Installing bi-directional chargers for our electric vehicles (EVs) so that their batteries can provide power to the grid during peak demand hours.

We need to phase out polluting gas
to save our climate!

Urge the Government of Ontario to direct the IESO to plan for a full phase out of gas-fired generation by 2030.

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Ontario’s municipalities call for a gas phase out

Thirty-four Ontario municipalities have passed resolutions requesting the Government of Ontario to phase-out our gas plants.

List of municipalities that have called for a gas plant phase-out

Specifically, Ontario’s municipalities have asked the province to:

  1. Return the gas plants’ pollution to their 2017 level ASAP; and
  2. Achieve a complete gas plant phase-out by 2030.

In response to the municipal requests, in March 2021, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), which issues contracts for power generation on behalf of Ontario, decided to look at what would be involved in phasing out gas plants. It undertook public consultations on the issue, where it heard in no uncertain terms that the people of Ontario want to see gas power phased out.

In addition, more than 60 citizens groups have called for a 100% gas power phase-out by 2030.

We are asking Prime Minister Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to work together to establish federal Clean Electricity Regulations that will a) prohibit the building of new gas plants in Ontario effective immediately: and b) require Ontario to move to a net zero-carbon electricity grid by 2030. Thirty three other organizations have joined our call.

See our Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, and our Open Letter to NDP Leader Singh.

Click here to see letters from politicians to Prime Minister Trudeau about the need for federal regulations to phase-out gas power in Ontario.

Click here to send your own message to Prime Minister Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

Pushing the IESO to take a gas phase-out seriously

We sent a series of letters to the IESO about our thoughts on the best ways to phase-out gas:

In October 2021 the IESO released a simplistic, biased and fundamentally flawed report which provides a sub-optimal plan to achieve a 99.7% gas power phase-out by 2030. In addition, the report falsely claims that it would be impossible to obtain the remaining 3/10ths of 1% our electricity needs from carbon-free sources by 2030.

Getting Ontario to a Zero-Carbon Electricity Grid by 2030 and Lower Bills – PPT

As a result, on October 7th, Ontario’s Minister of Energy Todd Smith sent the IESO back to the drawing board. That is, Minister Smith directed the IESO to develop a plan to achieve a complete phase-out of gas power by an unspecified date. While Minister Smith’s directive is a step in the right direction, it needs to be amended to require the IESO to develop a plan which will return the gas plants’ pollution back to their 2017 level ASAP and achieve a complete gas power phase-out by 2030.

Read our Feb. 2022 report on how Ontario can phase out gas-fired generation.

Read our March 8, 2022 letter to the IESO with respect to the scope, modelling and input assumptions of its proposed Pathways to Decarbonization study.

Read our March 23, 2022 memo to the IESO with respect to its Operability Assessment PPT presentation for its proposed Pathways to Decarbonization study.

Read our March 23, 2022 letter to Environment Minister Guilbeault with respect to phasing-out gas power in Ontario by 2030, five years in advance of the target for Canada’s provinces with fossil-fuel intensive electricity grids (e.g, Alberta and Saskatchewan). We are also as