Wind Industry Points to Expanded Role for Renewable Energy in Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan
October 26, 2017
Ontario will continue to need affordable wind power for non-emitting electricity supply to support climate change targets
Ottawa, Ontario, October 26, 2017 – Earlier today the Honourable Glenn Thibeault, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, released the updated Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP), Delivering Fairness and Choice. As part of this plan, the LTEP remains committed to achieving Ontario’s climate goals and forecasts heightened need for electricity supply in the coming years to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. Ontario will need renewable energy, like wind energy, and more of it, if it is to meet greenhouse gas emission targets moving forward. New wind energy provides the best value for consumers to meet growing demand for affordable non-emitting electricity.
The LTEP lays out expectations for energy supply and demand and reflects upon changing consumer demands. It notes that investment in the electricity market has improved reliability and reduced emissions. It also comments on how securing wind power has changed over time, noting that “the introduction of the Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) process in 2014 resulted in strong competition between developers of large renewable projects. This significantly reduced the costs of wind and solar energy, saving money for electricity ratepayers.” This improved process resulted in an average 20-year procurement price of 8.45 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), which was less than the average cost of generation, and enabled increased participation and support from host communities and Indigenous groups.
Wind energy has become one of the lowest cost sources of new electricity generation in Ontario, and while wind power has helped reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Ontario’s electricity sector from 34.5 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2005 to 7.1 megatonnes CO2e in 2015, more work needs to be done.
Ontario will need more electricity supply before 2024 (see graphic below). Over the next decade as much as 20 gigawatts (GW) of electricity supply will be removed from the system, representing close to half of all supply in the province. This includes approximately 3 GW of supply coming off-line at Pickering Nuclear Generating Station (NGS), as well as 9 GW of expiring generation contracts. Wind energy will be needed to help fill this supply gap.
CanWEA has long supported that new supply needs in Ontario be competitively sought from affordable, non-emitting generation to maintain low greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector in the medium- to long-term while keeping costs in check. Ontarians also realize that climate change is real, and that we need to work together to ensure that emissions from the energy sector continue to be reduced, not increased.
CanWEA and the wind energy industry will continue to work with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on the implementation of the LTEP. We pledge to also collaborate with the IESO through the Market Renewal Program to enable affordable, non-greenhouse gas emitting generation.
“Ontario’s harnessing of wind power can help fight climate change while keeping electricity costs low. Without new wind energy, costs to electricity customers and carbon emissions will both continue to rise.”
– Robert Hornung, President, Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)
“CanWEA supports competitive, market-based approaches to providing flexible, clean, and low-cost energy supply, to meet Ontarians’ changing needs.”
– Brandy Giannetta, Ontario Regional Director, Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)
- The Ministry of Energy developed the Long-Term Energy Plan reflecting on feedback received during an extensive public and stakeholder engagement process, and the Independent Electricity System Operator’s Ontario Planning Outlook.
- Ontario’s energy use has changed substantially in the last decade. Homes, businesses and industries are becoming more efficient. At the same time, Ontario is exploring new technologies and renewable energy sources. To adapt to these changes, the Ontario Ministry of Energy has used the foundations of affordability, reliability, clean energy, community and Indigenous engagement, and conservation and demand management to guide its decision-making.
- CanWEA blog, July 19: IEA technology report bullish on global wind energy. The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently released its Energy Technology Perspectives 2017 report, focusing on the evolution of energy technology, the growth of renewable energies such as wind, and how the world is doing in meeting the challenge of climate change.
- CanWEA blog, June 5: Adding more wind to the Ontario grid: no problem! The notion of adding large amounts of additional wind energy to the Ontario grid has been met with concern in that doing so may make the grid less reliable, or that it would need a lot of new back-up supply to maintain reliability. Recent research and operating experience in Ontario and elsewhere demonstrates that this concern is unfounded.
- CanWEA blog, April 24: Wind energy and Ontario’s electricity prices – let’s destroy the myth. Various pundits assert that the major reason for higher electricity bills in Ontario is the addition of renewable energy to the province’s electricity mix. This is a myth.
- CanWEA blog, February 27: Ontario benefits from the competitive procurement of wind energy. Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) began a Market Renewal Initiative process in 2016, which, among a few other things, is focused on securing electricity supply through capacity auctions. CanWEA urges the provincial government to ensure market renewal initiatives support renewables so that Ontario can achieve its objectives of keeping both carbon emissions and electricity prices as low as possible.
- What happens next? The Ministry of Energy will now follow the planning process outlined in recent amendments to the Energy Act, 1998, which came into force on July 1, 2016.
As per Figure 8, on page 37 of Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan the supply forecast indicates the need for new power by 2024, largely depending on nuclear refurbishment, load growth, and Pickering decommissioning in 2022-2024.
About the Canadian Wind Energy Association
CanWEA is the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada’s leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Learn more at canwea.ca.
For more information or for interview opportunities, please contact:
Lejla Latifovic, Senior Communications Advisor
Canadian Wind Energy Association
613-234-8716 x 241 or 1-800-922-6932 x 241