Category Archives: ontario

Why Obama as U.S. president is a wake-up call for Ontario

My Clean Break column today argues that Ontario needs to act fast on green-economy building if it hopes to keep up with a re-energized America under a green-driven Obama administration. The province needs to announce a bold, comprehensive green strategy within the next six month and it has to market it aggressively at home, across the border and overseas. This is no longer about adding renewable energy to the grid. It’s about creating a sustainable industrial strategy that will create green-collar jobs and bring Ontario’s manufacturing sector into the 21st century. It’s also not just about climate change. It’s about energy and economic security. To quote a comment made last week by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., “If you don’t change today you will get buried by the change.”

New energy minister “jazzed” about new job

I have a story in today’s Toronto Star about George Smitherman, new energy and infrastructure minister for Ontario. Last week, Smitherman directed the Ontario Power Authority to review and “fine tune” its 20-year power plan so that it might accelerate conservation goals and increase renewable-energy targets. Continue reading New energy minister “jazzed” about new job

Making home energy audits the law

An Ontario legislator, Ottawa-Orleans MPP Phil McNeely, introduced a private members’ bill this week that proposed the creation of the Ontario Home Energy Act, which would require “the preparation of Home Energy Rating Reports with respect to detached and semi-detached homes and low-rise multi-unit residential buildings.” Continue reading Making home energy audits the law

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.