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New nuclear reactors will needlessly push up Ontario’s electricity rates

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In Climate Change
Aug 9th, 2023
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Doug Ford’s plan to build new nuclear reactors at the Darlington and Bruce Nuclear Stations is a costly mistake since Ontario has many lower cost options to keep its lights on.

According to a new report released by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, the cost of electricity from a new nuclear reactor would be 3.6 times greater than the cost of onshore wind, three times greater than the cost of solar power, and 1.7 times greater than the cost of offshore wind.

Ontario has huge untapped renewable power potential. Great Lakes wind power alone could supply our province with more than 100% of its electricity needs. Countries around the world are racing to exploit low-cost renewable power potential and to tap into the jobs and economic benefits of a global renewable energy boom. Germany, for example, is projecting the creation of 1.5 million jobs in renewable energy by 2035.

But since the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, wind and solar power must be combined with storage options. Ontario is very lucky to be located next door to Quebec since Hydro Quebec’s reservoirs can act like a giant green battery to convert intermittent wind and solar energy into firm 24/7 sources of baseload electricity for Ontario. According to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology report, Quebec’s hydro-electric reservoirs are the lowest cost storage option for wind and solar energy. And Quebec’s storage capacity is massive: its reservoirs can store 1.6 times more power than Ontario uses in a year.

Meanwhile, nuclear projects continue to bust budgets all over the world while the percentage of the world’s electricity delivered by this costly, outdated technology continues to steadily decline. Despite hype from the nuclear industry, not a single new reactor is currently under construction anywhere in North America, which means nuclear is simply not a climate change solution given that nuclear projects take 10-15 years minimum to complete.

If Premier Ford wants to cut some red tape and lower electricity costs, he can drop the McGuinty Government’s 2011 political moratorium on Great Lakes wind power and create a competitive procurement process starting next year or even sooner for new electricity supplies that doesn’t include sweetheart backroom deals for ill-advised nuclear projects.

What you can do

Please contact Premier Ford and ask him to lower our electricity rates by enacting an annual competitive procurement process for new renewable electricity supplies (solar power, waterpower, onshore and offshore wind power).

Send your message to Premier Ford here

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