Good News for the Environment and Economy
TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2017 /CNW/ - Today's latest provincial Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) confirms the pivotal role nuclear energy will play in Ontario's clean energy future. Recognizing the significant environmental and economic benefits that this safe, reliable generation delivers, the provincial government remains committed to refurbishing all of Ontario's publically-owned nuclear reactors and to the four-year extension of the operations of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station to 2024.
Ontario's low carbon nuclear fleet, together with the province's hydroelectric stations, provide over 80% of our electricity without smog-causing pollutants and represent one of the world's smallest carbon electricity system footprints. Each year the nuclear fleet helps avoid about 45 million tonnes of CO2. At a carbon price of $18 per tonne, that represents an annual value of $810 million. These two forms of generation are also the province's lowest cost sources and ensure domestic energy security. Ontario, as the primary host of Canada's successful nuclear industry, benefits from tens of thousands of high skill jobs, R&D and high-value exports. The Plan's support for Small Modular Reactor development is another positive step.
"This is good news for Ontario's electricity consumers and our provincial economy. Bruce Power and OPG nuclear stations will continue to provide huge amounts of reliable, affordable, low-carbon electricity, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week," stated Mel Hyatt, President of the Power Workers' Union. "That means every day, for decades to come, thousands of metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) will be avoided. It also means tens of thousands of good, high-skilled jobs right here in Ontario." Hyatt noted that this will facilitate the electrification of the economy, zero emission vehicles and public transit further reducing GHG emissions.
The importance of expanding the province's transmission grid is acknowledged in the Plan. Significant investments are required to "harden" Ontario's bulk delivery system and distribution grid given the catastrophic damage caused by recent storms throughout North America. As well, more could be done to recycle existing electricity infrastructure and develop Ontario's vast, renewable low-carbon biomass resources in partnership with First Nation, Metis and local communities.
The LTEP also focuses on investments in distributed energy resources (DER) such as remote hydro, wind, solar, energy storage and microgrids. Experience with renewable energy in Ontario suggests any investments in DER should be preceded by transparent, comprehensive cost-benefit analyses to determine their ability to add value. Ontario's electricity consumers should be informed about the real costs of these investments.
SOURCE Power Workers' Union
For further information: Media Contact: Paul S Reece, Chief of Staff, Power Workers' Union, 905 308 1602