Energy Strategies - Ontario
Ministry of Energy
In terms of its energy strategy, Ontario is currently in a state of transition. With the passage of the Green Energy Act, many of the documents that will define Ontario’s approach to energy will be influenced by the act’s goals. Affecting both the development of a new provincial energy strategy and requiring updates to Ontario’s Integrated Power System Plan (IPSP), the Green Energy Act will guide Ontario’s future energy use. Stakeholder consultation began for implementing the act began in the fall of 2009, and an enabling regime is expected to be in place by 2010.
It is already clear that the act, whose full title is the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, will press for increased development of renewable power with a focus on both these actions’ economic and environmental benefits. Conservation, renewable energy and Smart Grid technology are all priority areas. The Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-in Tariff Program is a current example of the kinds of programs the act will eventually develop to facilitate renewable power generation. While the act is implemented, the province’s earlier climate change action plan remains a useful document in comparing the province’s approach to energy.
Released in August 2007, Go Green: Ontario’s Action Plan on Climate Change, provides many valuable insights into Ontario’s approach to energy, particularly related to emissions. Among the plan’s more striking targets are phasing out Ontario’s coal-fired generating plants by 2014 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. Like several other provincial energy strategies, such as BC’s and Nova Scotia’s, it includes mandatory, annual reports updating the strategy’s progress.
The Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-in Tariff Program (236 KB PDF) is a current example of the kinds of programs the act will eventually develop to facilitate renewable power generation. Under the program, among other benefits, Ontario energy consumers are able to participate in microgeneration by selling power derived from renewable sources (solar, wind, water and bioenergy) back to the grid for guaranteed, subsidized rates. As of April 2010, the FIT program has also incented 2,500 MW of small-scale projects from 184 separate agreements.
While the act is implemented and an overarching strategy document prepared, the province’s earlier climate change action plan remains a useful document in comparing the province’s approach to energy.
Points of Action
Ontario’s Action Plan on Climate Change includes five “Points of Action” that guide the province’s actions on energy. These objectives, in turn, correspond to common themes found throughout Canada’s other provincial and territorial energy strategies.
- Green Targets
- MoveOntario 2020
- Creating Jobs by Going Green
- Green Power
- Grow Green
Major Energy Players
- Bruce Power
- Hydro One
- Hydro Ottawa
- Independent Electricity System Operator
- Ontario Power Generation
- Toronto Hydro