Improvements to Feed-In Tariff Will Increase Ontario’s Competitiveness: Unprecedented Environment and Industry Coalition Delivers Proposal to Strengthen Ontario’s Renewable Energy Policy

Toronto, ON – The Green Energy Act Alliance and Shine Ontario Association have joined forces to present a clear path for renewable energy in Ontario by releasing the Ontario Feed-in Tariff 2011 Review: More Jobs, Affordable, Clean Energy, and a Brighter Future for Ontario report today. Respectively, the groups represent Canada’s leading environmental and energy groups, as well as the key players in Canada’s solar industry.

The report is being submitted in response to the government’s two-year feed-in tariff (FIT) review process. Its goal is to ensure that new green jobs continue to be created, that Ontario residents be given more opportunities to participate in community renewable projects, and that FIT prices be reduced in 2012 for new projects to reflect the success of Ontario’s burgeoning solar industry and the reduction in solar prices globally.

“Ontario has shown a real commitment to protecting the environment through its world leading FIT program,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “It’s time to take the training wheels off this program to ensure safe and affordable renewable energy will power our province and economy into the future.”

The report calls for more aggressive targets for renewable energy in Ontario to put it on the same footing as other world leading jurisdictions like California and Germany.

“Higher solar targets provide industry with the certainty needed for sustained job creation and investment, as well as providing reliable electricity as Ontario shuts down dirty coal burning generation stations in coming years,” said Kerry Adler, President and Chief Executive Officer at SkyPower Limited.

“Ontario’s willingness to set even higher targets for solar will ensure thousands of jobs will be created immediately providing new skills and diversifying Ontario’s dynamic workforce,” said Dave Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMP Solar.

Targets are also recommended to ensure that local residents and municipalities are given an opportunity to participate in local community owned projects.

“We are calling on Ontario to adopt aggressive targets for new renewable energy that will create a sustainable workforce while giving more Ontario communities the opportunity to develop, own and invest directly in green energy projects. Everyone in Ontario should have the opportunity to benefit from the FIT program,” said Deborah Doncaster, Executive Director, Community Power Fund. “In particular, we are asking that 500 MW is set-aside for Community and Aboriginal Power.”

In addition, the report proposes that government keep the integrity and critical components of the FIT and microFIT programs, while introducing a transparent and regular process to reduce FIT prices. Another target is to install the contracted but not yet built projects, better communicate the benefits of the FIT program and involve local communities.

The report Ontario Feed-in Tariff 2011 Review: More Jobs, Affordable, Clean Energy, and a Brighter Future for Ontario can be found at https://environmentaldefence.ca/reports/ontario-feed-in-tariff-2011-review

ABOUT THE GREEN ENERGY ACT ALLIANCE (www.greenenergyact.ca): The Green Energy Act Alliance (GEAA) is a broad coalition of leading policy research organizations, environment and community power advocates. The GEAA is focused on creating a sustainable energy industry in Ontario, reducing Ontario’s dependence on fossil fuels, and creating opportunity for Ontario citizens to participate in clean energy development. Member groups include: Environmental Defence, the Pembina Institute, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative, Friends of Wind, Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Community Power Fund, David Suzuki Foundation, Toronto Environmental Alliance and WWF Canada.

ABOUT SHINE ONTARIO (www.shineontario.com): Shine Ontario Association (SOA) is an Ontario provincial solar industry and professional association. SOA brings together and represents the brightest and most dynamic group of independent professionals, leading utility-scale solar and commercial rooftop solar project developers, photovoltaic module manufacturers, engineering construction firms and leading environmental organizations throughout Ontario. SOA represents a diverse consensus-based membership of solar industries and environmentalists who are working hard to build a world-leading sustainable solar industry that will help protect the environment and create thousands of new jobs for the Province of Ontario. Shine Ontario Association was established in 2011 to be a strong dynamic voice for the solar sector in Ontario and help provide sound innovative solutions to ensure a brighter future for all of Ontario. Members include: SkyPower Limited, Canadian Solar Inc., Goodmans LLP, Aecon and AMP Solar.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 232; 647-280-9521 (cell); skohls@environmentaldefence.ca