Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has released its plan for assessing how Ontario can phase-out its gas-fired power plants. 

It has come up with three scenarios it plans to examine over the next four months:

Scenario 1: Complete phase-out of gas by 2030 with a supply mix approach of new resources, in response to 26 city council resolutions calling for the gas plant phase-out.

Scenario 2: A market-based approach that examines the potential for higher gas prices to reduce pollution.

Scenario 3: Reduce emissions by 2030 with a supply mix approach of new resources (e.g., carbon capture and storage).

 

In our response to the IESO, we stressed the importance of pursuing a full phase out of gas-fired generation and called on the agency to examine these key issues:

1.     How Ontario can return our gas plants’ pollution to their 2017 level ASAP, as per the request of 18 Ontario municipalities.

2.     How to achieve a complete gas plant phase-out by 2030 using a balanced combination of energy efficiency and demand response; wind and solar energy; and Quebec renewable electricity and storage resources.

3.     How we can consult with Hydro Quebec to obtain the best possible information about the reliability, operability, timing, cost and other issues that will need to be addressed if Ontario decides to use Quebec power and storage resources to help phase-out its gas plants.

4.     How a gas phase out can be supported by actions set out in municipal climate plans, including local energy efficiency and renewable energy investment opportunities.  

5.     How changes in the fairness and comprehensiveness of our carbon pricing regime could lead to much higher costs for gas-fired electricity generation.  Ontario’s residential consumers pay carbon taxes with respect to 100% of the greenhouse gas pollution associated with their purchases of fossil gas for home heating and gasoline for their cars and trucks.  But, as of Jan. 1, 2022, only 3% of our gas-fired power plants’ greenhouse gas pollution will be subject to the carbon tax. Exempting Ontario’s gas-fired power plants from carbon taxation on 97% of their pollution is economically irrational, unfair and politically unsustainable.  

To read our full submission to the IESO please click here.

Earlier this week the International Energy Agency announced that we need to rapidly ramp down our use of fossil fuels and rapidly increase our use of renewable energy if we are serious about keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees.  It is crystal clear that now is the time for Ontario to start seriously planning how to eliminate gas-fired electricity from its power system by 2030.

What you can do

If you haven’t already done so, please register for the IESO’s engagement webinar on Thursday May 27, at 1 p.m. by sending an email to: engagement@ieso.ca and plan to comment/ask questions/participate in this webinar. Following the webinar, please send in written comments. Deadline to submit comments is June 17th.

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Thank you!

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