“Oddly, the (province’s Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal) government shows no signs of recognizing the growing mismatch between its plans to spend billions of dollars on re-building aging nuclear reactors and the ever-decreasing need for the power they would produce.” – Ontario Clean Air Alliance
A Message from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, a province-wide citizens group based in Toronto
Posted January 22nd, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Since 2005, demand for electricity in Ontario has been steadily falling. In 2017, it fell a further 3.6% meaning that demand has dropped by 16% since 2005.
That is the equivalent of taking 2.5 million homes off the grid – like unplugging all the houses and apartments in the City of Toronto twice over.
Ontario is not alone in seeing a sustained drop in demand. This is a trend that has taken hold in many countries and provinces thanks to new technologies such as super-efficient LED lighting and smart controls, cost-effective energy efficiency programs, and economic changes.
In fact, reducing the need to generate electricity in the first place has become Ontario’s lowest cost way of addressing our energy needs – the province paid on average just 2.2 cents to save a kilowatt-hour of electricity in 2016.
But oddly, the Wynne government shows no signs of recognizing the growing mismatch between its plans to spend billions of dollars on re-building aging nuclear reactors and the ever-decreasing need for the power they would produce.
In fact, in order to justify continuing to operate the 47-year-old Pickering Nuclear Station – the highest cost nuclear plant in North America – the province is currently curtailing 26% of the potential annual output of our cleaner and safer wind and solar power plants.
Does it make sense to pay 7 times more to re-build aging nuclear reactors than to enhance energy efficiency? Should we rebuild nuclear reactors that have to run 24/7 when demand is falling and supply patterns are being rapidly changed by the introduction of increasingly low-cost renewable sources? These are questions the government seems determined to ignore.
Instead of simply ignoring the numbers, a far better way to act on these trends is to strike a deal with Quebec to import low-cost, flexible water power; continue to expand our cost-effective conservation programs; and embrace new renewable energy opportunities right here at home.
Please pass this message on to your friends and sign our petition to close the high-cost and unneeded Pickering Nuclear Station when its licence expires in August.
Thank you. Angela Bischoff, Outreach Director, Ontario Clean Air Alliance
To find out more about the Ontario Clean Air Alliance and its public advocacy work, click on – http://www.cleanairalliance.org/ ,
(A Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s apparent continued affinity for spending billions of dollars upgrading nuclear energy plants when there are safer, greener, less costly alternatives like purchasing hydro power from neighbouring Quebec and moving forward with renewable technologies like solar and wind, as China, Germany and many other developed and rapidly developing regions are doing, is mindboggling and raises questions about what kind of secret deals she and her Liberal government have cut with the uranium industry and related businesses.
Her government’s mismanagement of the energy file in general, including the cost of electricity to consumers and all the shenanigans around closing down plans for coal-fired power plants in key Liberal ridings just before an election, may be one of the reasons for her possible undoing in this coming spring’s provincial election.)
To read another story Niagara At Large posted on this issue, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2017/12/31/ontarios-premier-defends-decision-to-opt-for-nuclear-reactors-over-water-power/ .
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