By 2030, almost 80% of electricity generation will come from refurbished electricity generating facilities or new sources.
Despite conservation efforts, demand for electricity will increase by 15% from 2011‐2030
Ontario’s plan to phase-out coal-fired plants by 2014 is one of the largest emission reduction initiatives in all of North America.
Today, 37% of Ontario’s electricity is supplied by nuclear power, 21% by coal-fired generating facilities, 16% by oil and natural gas-fired generation and 26% hydroelectric generation and renewable sources combined.
Renewable energy use (wind, solar and bio-energy) is expected to rise to approximately 13% of generation by 2018. Currently, these sources contribute 3% of Ontario’s electricity supply.
Our electricity bill
In Ontario, electricity is generated from approximately 250 generators such as Ontario Power Generation. This cost represents 43% of the total cost of the average monthly electricity bill. As of 2011, the wind and solar portion of total generation in Ontario is only 3% . Therefore this represents a very small portion of our electricity bill.
Image: Ontario Energy Board
Based on numbers from the Environment Commissioner, the price paid for solar and wind energy under the Feed-In Tariff program (FIT) adds less than $1.50 to the average monthly household electricity bill. The microFIT portion of the program represents less than a fraction of 1¢.
The anticipated increases in electricity cost will come primarily from modernizing Ontario’s aging electricity infrastructure and not from the specific type of power generation. The choice of fossil fuels versus renewables will have an impact on the air quality, greenhouse gas pollution, economic diversity and employment according to the Pembina Institute’s report: Behind the Switch; Pricing Ontario’s Electricity Option, July 2011.
The Ontario Ministry of Environment estimates that shutting down coal will reduce health care costs by $3 billion annually. According to the Ministry of Energy this translates to 12.7¢ the cost per kWh of generating electricity with coal.
Prior to the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, the California Energy Commission put true nuclear generation costs at 30¢/kWh uninsured and up to 40¢/kWh insured. The increases on our hydro bill has not been from renewables.
When all is factored into the price, traditional electricity generation will continue to go up as resources decrease. The price of electricity generated by abundant renewable sources can only go down because the cost of technology is rapidly dropping.
Ontario’s Green Energy Act results
With Ontario’s promise of two years of stable FIT prices, the following occurred:
Ontario ranked second in 2010 for solar PV installations amongst US states and Canadian provinces and territories (167 MW dc).
Private Sector Investment in Ontario will be over $21 Billion by 2018: the solar PV industry is to drive $12.9 billion and the wind industry is to attract $8.5 billion.
58 manufacturers, with over 1,000 stakeholders in wind and solar industry have been identified as of August 2011
17,000 MW of renewable energy is planned as a result of the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) contracts
26,000 farmers and homeowners in Ontario are participating in the MicroFIT program.
Over 1000 aboriginal and community-based FIT projects are under development
As of Nov. 2010, one of the world’s 3 largest solar plants is located in Sarnia, Ontario at 80 MW