TORONTO—The Green Energy Act Alliance welcomed the substantial renewable energy component of Ontario’s long-term energy plan, announced today.
Fostering a renewable energy sector has already created manufacturing jobs and helped farm families.  Its continued prominence in the energy mix will allow more polluting coal plants to be shut, and maintain Ontario’s leading role in North America’s emerging renewable energy sector.
By 2018, renewable energy will comprise 13 per cent of Ontario’s energy mix.  Today, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy deliver three per cent of Ontario’s energy.
 
The GEAA also welcomed the continued commitment to conservation, which is the lowest-cost way to expand energy supply.  GEAA hopes to see growth in conservation targets in the coming years.
“Around the world, renewables are a growing source of energy,” said Deb Doncaster from the alliance.  “Choosing to make, use and export renewable energy is the right decision for Ontario.  Every solar panel and windmill we make here lets us import less dirty coal.”
“It means more jobs, more opportunity for First Nations and farm families, and less dirty coal burned,” said Kathleen Padulo, who works with some of the First Nations using renewable energy to diversify their economies.
About 4,000 jobs have been created or announced so far, many in manufacturing.  And the province continues to make progress in closing coal-fired plants.
Doncaster said proponents of using more polluting energy are deliberately twisting facts to justify using coal instead of clean energy.  Just three per cent of electricity price increases are due to renewable energy.
“Across Ontario, more than 22,000 people have applied to generate their own renewable power,” said Don McCabe, a farmer.  “Many of these are farm families, letting Ontario generate more of its own power instead of importing dirty coal.”
“Ontarians have embraced change with their computers and cell phones.  They’ve seen technology improve and get cheaper,” said Mike Brigham, who helps Torontonians invest in renewable energy.  “They want to see more progress, and welcome the solution that clean energy brings.”
 
Last year marked the second in a row when the world installed more clean energy than polluting.
 
The Green Energy Act Alliance was formed to support Ontario’s economic and environmental transformation through renewable energy and energy conservation. For more information on the alliance, visit www.greenenergyact.ca
 
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Erin Charter, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 258