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Ontario Stops Some New Renewable Projects To Avoid Future Electricity Costs Rising

By Dan Tsubouchi

Interesting announcement last night that Ontario is cancelling some future renewable energy projects to avoid some future electricity costs being added. [LINK]  This isn’t to reduce electricity costs, but to avoid some future higher cost electricity adds. It is an acknowledgement by Ontario that adding more green energy will add to home owner electricity costs.  And reminds that the future of clean energy depends even moreso today on oil and natural gas.

The National Post reported it as “Ontario’s Liberal government took steps Tuesday to take some pressure off of rising electricity rates, cancelling plans to sign contracts for up to 1,000 megawatts of power from solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.   Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said the move will save up to $3.8 billion of the costs projected in the 2013 long-term energy plan, and will keep about $2.45 a month from being expected added to hydro bills for homeowners and small businesses”.  [LINK]

There is nothing specific in the release or backgrounder on natural gas.  I don’t see how Ontario can make any negative changes to natural gas in the short term as it supplies 25% of Ontario’s power.  However, recall that in May, there were comments that in the draft climate strategy, Ontario was going to not let any new homes after 2030 use fossil fuels like natural gas.  Premier Wynne had to backtrack and that requirement wasn’t in the plan.  So even though I have trouble seeing how the math works, clearly Premier Wynne wants to try to phase natural gas out for homes/businesses.   Increasing electricity costs in Ontario have been a major issue.  The next Ontario election is Oct 2018, but this could be some of the early positioning.