Ontario Power Authority Feed-in-Tariff program under review


Ontario is launching its scheduled review of the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Program.

The review will examine the program rules and pricing to ensure the program remains successful and sustainable.

When the program launched in 2009, it included a commitment to review FIT every two years. This commitment was also included in the province’s Long-Term Energy Plan, released in November 2010.

The review will consider a range of issues, such as: FIT price reduction; ensuring the long-term sustainability of clean energy procurement; continuing to build on the success of Ontario-based manufacturing and clean energy job creation; consideration of new technologies and fuel sources; and Local consultations and the renewable approval process (REA).

EfstonScience says Ontario’s Green Energy Act is a needed plan to remove polluting energy sources from the province’s electricity mix and replace them with clean, sustainable renewable energy. The organization says moving away from the program now will have a long-term detrimental effect on the province’s future energy needs and the environment.

“Ontario needs a solid plan to replace what will be lost when its coal plants are closed, and green renewable energy sources have to be a significant part of that plan,” says Tim Bird, national sales manager of the renewable energy division of EfstonScience in Toronto.

“We need a more altruistic approach to our province and its energy needs in 15, 20, 25 years. These issues are larger than politics.”

Ontario’s coal-fired plants provided a quarter of Ontario’s electricity in 2003, but that was reduced to eight per cent by 2010.

Coal is among the province’s greatest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and smog days; the plan is to eliminate coal-fired power generation from Ontario’s energy mix by 2030.

Since 2009, more than 30 businesses have announced they are setting up or expanding plants in Ontario to manufacture parts for the solar and wind industries.

As a result of this review, new prices for FIT contracts will be carefully developed to balance the interests of ratepayers with the need to encourage investments in new clean energy in Ontario. Going forward, all future clean energy contracts will be subject to the new price schedule.

Deputy Minister Fareed Amin will lead the review and will work together with the Ontario Power Authority and consult with the sector throughout the review.

All Ontarians are invited to participate in the review of the FIT Program and can provide feedback by answering an online survey or making a written submission at 2yearFITreview@ontario.ca.

The consultation period launched on Oct. 31 and will run until Dec.14, 2011.

Article found at: http://bit.ly/rX61r9

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