Restart our renewable energy efforts

Time for a renewed push on renewables

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind have progressed rapidly since Ontario first embraced these zero emission sources in the early 2000s. Today, solar and wind are considered cost competitive with every other new source of electricity. We are seeing contracts signed everywhere from Alberta to Mexico for wind and solar power at incredibly attractive prices. Experts at investment bank Lazard say wind and solar projects can now deliver power at between 4-7 cents per kilowatt hour. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Energy has announced a program to drive solar costs down to 2 cents per kWh within a decade. Already, new solar panels can turn a larger share of the sunlight they receive into clean energy while new wind turbines can produce the power previously produced by multiple older windmills.

The world is going renewable and
Ontario should too!

The International Energy Agency says that 95% of new electricity supply in the next decade will come from renewable sources.  So why is Ontario going backwards on renewable energy.  Sign the petition to support renewable energy development in Ontario.

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Ontario was a North American leader in adopting renewable energy and developed new manufacturing capacity for everything from solar panels to wind turbine towers and blades. Now the province is walking away from all its renewable energy efforts and banking on polluting gas and costly nuclear instead.

Unfortunately, our government remains heavily influenced by the powerful nuclear industry, which has managed to convince government after government to make Ontario one of the few jurisdictions in the world still investing heavily in expensive and outdated nuclear technology. So while the world races toward a renewable future, Ontario remains stuck in the past.

Costs still falling, storage growing

Our American neighbours are doubling down on renewable energy and have announced a plan to drive solar costs down to an incredible 2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). It is figures like these that have led the International Energy Agency to predict that renewables will account for 95% of new power supply worldwide over the next five years.

Storage solutions for renewable energy are also growing fast. Battery technology has now reached the point where utilities are investing in large-scale systems, like a 100 megawatt battery planned for California. This combination of renewables and battery storage is already close to parity with other electricity sources, particularly high-cost nuclear and peak gas generation.

Ontario, however, is fortunate to have an even better – and lower cost – solution. As an MIT study found, combining renewable systems with Quebec’s waterpower system is an excellent way to create a 24/7 renewable power supply. When solar and wind production is high, Quebec can import power while storing water in hydro reservoirs. When these sources are less available, Quebec can use stored water to produce electricity. We’ve used this sort of system at Niagara Falls for close to 100 years – storing water in a large reservoir until power is needed. But we could deploy this solution on a far larger scale by working with Quebec.

Ontario can also embrace a community power approach to ensure communities have a strong say and benefit directly from renewable energy development. Ontario pioneered community renewable power co-ops, but now wants to ignore all the benefits, from jobs and taxes to better air, communities could reap from investing in green energy.

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