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Ontario’s Energy Minister doesn’t believe we need new gas-fired power plants

In Climate Change
Aug 28th, 2022

From the Ontario Clean Air Alliance
By Angela Bischoff, Director

According to a story in CBC News, Ontario’s Energy Minister, Todd Smith, no longer believes that Ontario needs new gas-fired power plants to keep our lights on.  

This is a big step forward given that the Government of Ontario had been planning to contract for up to 3,500 megawatts of new gas-fired generating capacity. The minister has said he will wait for a report from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on a new gas plant moratorium, but is clearly signalling that he understands that building new gas plants in the midst of a climate crisis is the definition of insanity.

Having seen the light on new gas plants, the Minister now needs to focus on the IESO’s plan to ramp up the output of our existing gas plants by 375% by 2030 and by more than 600% by 2040. This plan is completely incompatible with the critical need to reduce our climate impact. It also flies in the face of Premier Ford’s statement that he “won’t be happy” until the province has a zero-carbon electricity system.

Ontario is nowhere near meeting even its weak climate targets. As we watch powerful storms rip through our communities and much of the world experiences extreme heat, we can’t image anyone thinking that burning more fossil gas is a good idea.

Fortunately, Ontario can keep its lights on by embracing a better energy future: clean, renewable power with storage (hydro reservoirs, batteries – including bi-directional EV batteries – compressed air, ice and heat storage), deep energy efficiency, and collaboration with our neighbour Quebec, a superpower in renewable energy. It’s a recipe for lower costs and greater reliability.

What you can do

Please contact Energy Minister Smith and ask him to take the next step forward and direct the IESO to develop a plan to move Ontario to a zero-carbon electricity grid by 2030 and lower electricity bills.

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