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
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
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.
I have a story in today’s Toronto Star about exploratory talks taking place between the Ontario government’s ministry of economic development and Better Place, the Shai Agassi venture that has electric-vehicle infrastructure projects on the go in Israel and Denmark. Sean Harrington, head of global development at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Better Place, said Ontario and the Toronto region specifically is a “good fit” for the Better Place model because of the high population density in the area — 5 million people within a 180-kilometre radius. He said talks are preliminary but that there’s already an effort underway to find a car manufacturer willing to participate in “Better Place Ontario” by locally manufacturing electric cars for such a project. Continue reading Better Place in talks with Ontario