OTTAWA, April 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Contrary to a Fraser Institute report
released today titled "Environmental and Economic Consequences of
Ontario's Green Energy Act", wind energy has helped clean Ontario's
electricity system and deliver hundreds of millions of dollars to rural
communities - with little additional cost passed on to ratepayers.
An analysis of consumer rate impacts by Power Advisory, Customer Bill Impacts of Generation Sources in Ontario, looked at the various components of a typical consumer electricity
bill - including supply and delivery - and found that wind energy
accounted for only about 5 per cent of the increase to the total
customer bill between 2009 and 2012. Download the full report here.
The Fraser Institute report takes a simplistic approach in examining the
benefits of Ontario's Green Energy Act and the state of the province's
electricity system. The report relies excessively on the widely
criticized 2011 Annual Report by the Auditor General of Ontario and
also fails to take into consideration the fundamental fact that there
is dramatic need to invest in new electricity generation and
infrastructure after decades of underinvestment. According to the
Conference Board of Canada, $347 billion in investment in Canada's
electricity system is required between now and 2030 - and all of these
costs will be passed on to consumers.
Wind energy has played a major role in modernizing Ontario's electricity
system, helping the province abandon harmful coal as a source of
electricity. In the last few years, wind generation has contributed an
increasing proportion of the total supply of electricity in Ontario.
The province currently has over 2,000 MW of installed wind energy
capacity, enough to meet about 3 per cent of total electricity demand.
Every 1,000 MW of new wind energy drives $2.5 billion in investments,
creates 10,500 person-years of employment, and provides enough clean
power for over 300,000 homes.
"While electricity prices have been increasing across North America as
jurisdictions upgrade ancient electricity systems, wind energy has
proven that it can deliver major benefits at a minimal cost to
ratepayers here in Ontario," said Chris Forrest, CanWEA vice-president.
"Wind energy is cost-competitive with virtually every potential new
source of generation available in Ontario and it does not create
hazardous waste or consume vast amounts of fresh water from our Great
Lakes. Wind energy will continue to be a cost-effective choice as we
build a clean and reliable electricity system in Ontario that we can
all be proud of."
Supplementary: Pembina report finds renewable energy investment will
protect costs in the long-term:
"Behind The Switch: pricing Ontario Electricity Options" examined overall system electricity prices in Ontario, including
industrial, commercial and residential consumers. The results therefore
reflect the trend of the overall system in Ontario, but are not meant
to be interpreted at being specific to any individual consumer.
Simulation results show that electricity prices in Ontario are set to
continue to rise sharply in the future in both scenarios, peaking
around 2022 when Ontario's nuclear fleet is in the midst of significant
rebuilding. As can be seen below, there would be virtually no change in electricity prices in the
immediate future if future contracts for renewable energy were ended in
2011. Replacing the commitment to renewable energy largely with natural gas
is likely to result in only a slightly slower increase in electricity
rates from the years 2015-2025. However, within the next 15 years, as
natural gas prices begin to rise and increased action (including some
form of price on carbon emissions) is likely to be taken to combat
climate change, the simulation found that investing in renewable
generation today will keep consumer prices slightly lower in the long
term. Like those of the rest of Canada, Ontario's electricity prices
are poised to continue increasing in the short term as old
infrastructure is updated and replaced, regardless of the choice of
electricity generation mix. The outcome of the current debate over the
GEA will have no meaningful impact on these future price increases,
which reflect the inevitable costs of modernizing Ontario's aging
For more facts on the cost of wind energy, please visit: http://windfacts.ca/affordable-power.
About the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)
CanWEA is the voice of Canada's wind energy industry, actively promoting
the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of its
more than 420 members. 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. To join other
global leaders in the wind energy industry, CanWEA believes Canada can
and must reach its target of producing 20 per cent or more of the
country's electricity from wind by 2025. The document Wind Vision 2025 - Powering Canada's Future is available at www.canwea.ca.
SOURCE: CANADIAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION
For further information:
CanWEA Media Relations Officer
Office: (613) 234-8716 ext. 228
Mobile: (613) 867-4433