In its webinar last week on phasing out gas-fired electricity generation, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)received a loud and clear message: There is wide public support for phasing out Ontario’s gas plants by 2030.
But while the IESO confirmed that it will analyze how Ontario might achieve a 100% gas plant phase-out by 2030, it is also made it clear that its preference is for a “compromise” option that will reduce the plants’ pollution relative to Doug Ford’s plan, but that will also protect the profits of Ontario Power Generation and private sector power companies by keeping Ontario dependent on gas-fired power plants for peak power. In fact, the IESO is still planning to hold a capacity auction in December 2021 to procure gas-fired power generation to keep our lights on during the summer of 2022.
Todd Smith, Ontario Minister of Energy
But the really important message delivered by the IESO in this webinar is that it would only begin seriously planning for a gas phase out, as opposed to simply conducting an assessment of feasibility, if ordered to do so by the government. So we need to ensure that the IESO gets exactly that message from government. After all, this step is absolutely necessary if Ontario is to do its fair share to help limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
With climate change baring its teeth with record-smashing temperatures this week (and now headed our way), action is urgent. The sooner the IESO gets the message that gas must gothe better.
What you can do
Please contact Ontario’s new Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, and ask him to direct the IESO to develop and implement a plan to achieve a complete phase-out of our gas-fired power plants by 2030.