Energy conservation in Ontario

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Last week , the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario released its report, Rethinking Energy Conservation in Ontario – Results. The report follows in the wake of the release of Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan. The Commissioner is emphasizing a number of possible areas for improvement — among them the Ontario Power Authority’s demand response programs. Under the initiative, large industrial electricity consumers are paid to reduce their consumption when electricity demand is high.

Here are some main features of the long-term plan that would ultimately affect business:

1. Demand will grow by around 15% by 2030.

2. The province will be coal-free by 2014.

3. Nuclear power will make up for around 50% of the province’s electricity supply.

4. Focus in growing Ontario’s hydroelectric capacity to 9,000 MW (up from about 8,100 MW).

5. Wind, solar and bio-energy will account for 10,700 MW by 2018, thanks to the feed-in-tariff and
microFIT programs.

6. Increase the target for conservation to 7,100 MW and 28 terawatt-hours by 2030 — a target the provincial government claims as being among the most ambitious in North America.

7. Capital investments totaling C$87-billion over the next 20 years.