Statement by Keith Brooks, Programs Director
Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – We are very happy to see the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) proposal to procure 5,000 megawatts (MW) of non-emitting renewable electricity in the coming years. Clean renewable electricity – such as wind and solar power – is the lowest cost source of new electricity supply. Clean electricity is absolutely integral to efforts to decarbonize the economy and fight climate change. And it is a competitive advantage for the province. It’s good to see Ontario working to bolster, rather than undermine, the province’s “Clean Energy Advantage.”
Environmental Defence is committed to engaging with the IESO, and with municipalities and Ontarians more broadly, to work to find suitable sites for these renewable power projects and ensure that they find support from municipal governments and neighbours alike. Clean power projects can find local support, but the process of community engagement and details on how the benefits are shared need to be carefully considered.
We call on Ontario to abandon the gas procurement currently underway. Ontario doesn’t need new gas-fired electricity, which will make the province’s electricity supply more polluting. These gas plants that the IESO is seeking to procure will come at great expense though they will be effectively shut down in 2035, just seven years after they are to come online, due to the forthcoming federal Clean Electricity Regulations. Ontario ratepayers will save billions of dollars if the IESO shelves this procurement now, before offering any more contracts. The IESO’s Resource Adequacy Update clearly shows that polluting gas-fired turbines are more expensive than clean wind power and ground mounted solar.
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
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