Ontario to raise bar on renewables and conservation goals

I’ll let the article speak for itself, but I have a story in today’s Toronto Star about the Ontario government’s plan to “fine tune” its 20-year power mix strategy to add more renewables and accelerate conservation targets. New energy minister George Smitherman recently travelled to Spain, Germany, Denmark and California to learn what those jurisdictions are doing, and apparently it was an eye-opener for him. He believes Ontario, which has already set relatively aggressive conservation and renewables targets, can raise the bar even further by exploring pump storage, more solar and wind, and investing more in transmission so that renewable opportunities can be unlocked. Convinced of the greater potential, he has directed the Ontario Power Authority to spend the next six months reviewing the renewables and conservation component of its 20-year plan.

It’s encouraging. But as environmentalists were quick to point out, the government is still not changing its plans to maintain the province’s nuclear fleet at 14,000 megawatts. Personally, I wouldn’t expect them to, because they’ve been caught before making promises they can’t keep.