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Ontario’s new energy plan – some initial thoughts

December 2, 2013

My initial thoughts on the new Ontario energy plan might be of interest. They are as follows:

Renewables: The big loser here looks like renewables, with the exception of some additional hydro. Although the target date for the original 2010 renewables target is moved from 2018 to 2021 this doesn't mean much as much of the capacity (over 8500MW of 10700) is already contracted via RFPs and the FIT program, so it seems there will be very little new wind, solar or bioenergy capacity contracted. This looks like very bad news from the perspective of developing a domestic renewable energy technology manufacturing and services industry in Ontario. See our recent Studies in Ontario Electricity Policy paper at on this issue.

Nuclear: The big winner is nuclear which gets both the Darlington and Bruce B refurbishments and on an accelerated timeline. The new build project had been a lost cause since 2009, so no big surprise there.

Demand Forecast: The government seems to be still relying on what I would consider a high demand forecast, and then using the conservation component to bring it to what would really be a realistic forecast without conservation. The potential for locking-in a major overbuild via the nuclear refurbishments remains very strong - particularly as the justification for at least one of them looked shakey under the lower (and more realistic) demand forecasts presented by the OPA during the consultations.

Process: A further big question is how is this translated into reality? Will there be another supply mix directive? Is there to be another plan from the OPA? Is that to be subject to some sort of review, or are they going to proceed on the basis of the legislation (Bill 75) they introduced but never passed - no more plans, no more OEB reviews, just directives?

Background: My submission to the plan consultations is at and thoughts on the longer-term planning issues at for background.