Our new renewable energy program: Good or bad?

March 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Thursday, March 22, 2012   by: SooToday.com Staff




Orazietti announces improvements to province’s renewable energy program

Ontario’s clean energy programs support local jobs, strengthen Sault economy

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario is moving ahead with its clean energy program, taking immediate steps to ensure the long-term sustainability of renewable energy while creating more jobs, lowering prices and increasing the role municipalities play in the development process, David Orazietti, MPP announced today.

”Building a clean energy system is part of our government’s plan to create and support high quality, well-paying jobs while ensuring we have the electricity we need to power our homes, schools, hospitals and our economy,” said Orazietti. “Ontario’s leading edge renewable energy strategy is transforming Sault Ste. Marie into the green energy capital of North America, and today’s announcement of improvements to the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Program will support the growth of our local green energy economy.”

Following a recent two-year review of Ontario’s signature Feed-in-Tariff Program, the government is acting to implement the following program improvements:

  • Streamlining and simplifying the project approval process while maintaining the highest environmental protection standards to help create more jobs
  • Lowering prices paid for renewable energy – for solar projects by more than 20 percent and wind projects by approximately 15 percent – to make renewable energy more affordable for families and businesses
  • Developing a Clean Energy Economic Development Strategy to leverage Ontario’s significant expertise and strengths to become a global leader in the sector
  • Reserving 10 percent of remaining capacity for projects with significant participation from local or Aboriginal communities
  • Encouraging greater municipal and Aboriginal participation through a new priority point system, which will also prioritize projects with community support

Ontario’s clean energy strategy has attracted significant renewable energy development, leveraging more than $27 billion in new investment and economic opportunities.

More than 20,000 clean energy jobs have been created and the province is on track to create 50,000 jobs, while helping build a healthier future for all Ontarians.

“Clean energy programs like the FIT program are reducing pressure on the electricity grid and creating long-term revenue while at the same time improving the quality of the air we breathe as we close coal-fired power generators and replace that capacity with renewable sources,” said Orazietti. “The FIT and MicroFIT programs have delivered nearly $1 billion in investment to Sault Ste. Marie, and continue to strengthen the growing renewable energy sector in the Ontario economy, yet the provincial Conservatives continue to introduce motions in the Ontario Legislature to cancel these programs.”

Quick Facts

Since FIT launched in 2009, almost 2,000 small and large FIT projects have been approved to produce enough electricity to power about 1.2 million homes.

Last year in Ontario, wind and solar produced more electricity than dirty coal, which will be completely phased-out by 2014.

During the consultation period, more than 2,900 individuals and organizations responded to online survey questions, over 200 written submissions were received, 80 meetings were held and 1,700 people participated in an Ontario Power Authority webinar.
FIT subsidy review falls short for communities

QUEEN’S PARK – Nipissing MPP and PC Energy Critic Vic Fedeli says the results of the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program review announced today do nothing for local communities opposed to wind or solar projects.

“Municipalities still have no local decision making powers when it comes to renewable energy project approvals,” Fedeli said. “Communities still have no power to veto any projects that they don’t approve of.”

Fedeli said only the PC Party will ensure that local councils have the final say on development of renewable energy projects within their jurisdiction.

Further, Fedeli pointed out that by not giving communities the ability to decide on these projects, there is still no local public venue for debate or discussion under the normal zoning process, which was removed by the Liberals’ Green Energy Act.

“When you take away the public’s right to speak out about these projects, you create the perfect storm for procedural and financial abuses in the system,” Fedeli said.

After two years of snubbing municipalities and local residents opposed to these projects, it’s hard to believe the Liberals suddenly care about their input now, Fedeli concluded.

“Nothing has really changed today. This is simply a poorly disguised illusion to deflect attention from the dismal failure of this government’s Energy Plan.”

More SooToday.com green headlines

Comments are closed.