The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Ontario's Long-term Energy Plan: Inside the New Numbers

This week the Ontario government released its Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP), which balances a big ramp-up in renewable energy and notable pullback in nuclear.

Here's a look at some of the highlights from the LTEP package, which includes the plan itself, plus a handful of background documents about regional planning, demand management and impact to consumers:

  • Ontario's estimated 2013 electricity production mix is 59 percent nuclear, 28 percent renewables, 11 percent natural gas, and 2 percent coal. The forecasted 2025 electricity production mix: 42 percent nuclear, 46 percent renewables, and 12 percent natural gas. Ontario already has committed to completely eliminating coal-generated power, fulfilling a decade-long goal.
  • Ontario plans to bring 20 GW of renewable energy online by 2025, representing nearly half of installed capacity.
  • Targets for hydroelectric, which represents by far the vast majority of Ontario's renewable energy portfolio, are being expanded from 9.0 GW to 9.3 GW.
  • More than 10 GW of wind, solar, and bioenergy will come online by 2021. That's an extended timeframe from the previous 2010 LTEP which had targeted 2018.
  • Underscoring stability and predictability, the LTEP commits to a new competitive procurement process with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA). Procurements for 2014 electric capacity are 300 MW wind, 140 MW solar, 50 MW bioenergy and 50 MW hydro; 2015 procurements are identical except a slight narrowing of hydro to 45 MW. Anything developed but not procured or under contract will be reallocated into 2016 targets.
  • Expanded demand response programs to shave 10 percent off peak demand by 2025. 

Regional industry groups representing solar, wind and hydro all welcomed the government's updated plans.

The Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) is pleased that the targets take into account solar across the spectrum — from residential and commercial rooftop to utility-scale solar. They point to the proposed competitive procurement of large-scale solar in addition to the 200 MW of smaller-scale solar projects under the feed-in tariff (FIT) and microFIT programs.

The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) welcomed the news as well, saying the increased commitment to hydro — including pumped hydro storage — "provides improved investment certainty." Still, those groups see room for improvement. CanSIA renewed its call for a 5 percent target for solar electricity consumption by 2025. The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), while acknowledging the need for annual reviews of supply/demand, urged longer-term targets of wind to meet 15 percent of electricity demand by 2031.

The LTEP's renewable energy thrust isn't so surprising; much of it already has been contracted or planned, and in fact the goals are somewhat less ambitious than early outlooks because of stable and declining demand, points out Tim Weis, director of renewable energy & efficiency policy at the Pembina Institute. A real barrier for the renewables uptake will be how much electricity prices go up and the perception that renewables (especially wind) are causing it, and defusing that backlash by outlining true overall system costs, he pointed out.

The other significant takeaway from Ontario's new LTEP is the reduced commitment to nuclear power to less than half its total mix. Ontario has long relied on nuclear for the majority of its electricity; we heard officials reiterate that position just weeks ago during a tour of the region's renewable energy landscape, a strong commitment "which used to be guaranteed 50 percent come hell or high water," Weis noted.

Now the government is acknowledging that refurbishing existing nuclear sites is a better option than building new ones, and investing in conservation and incrementally-added renewable energy is more cost-effective still. Ontario Power Authority has committed $1 billion for prep-work on the Darlington nuclear refurbishment, with timelines that preclude public review of the refurbishment's total costs or comparison to alternatives, points out Weis.

On top of that, no nuclear refurbishment project in Canada has ever been completed on time and on budget, he adds — the most recent Gentilly-2 plant in Quebec was abandoned when estimated costs topped $0.10/kWh, a price that could be matched and realized far sooner through a combination of green energy and energy efficiency measures, according to Weis.

Lead image: Push pin pointing at Toronto, via Shutterstock

Untitled Document


Understanding the Yieldco Structure for Renewable Energy Project Finance

Gregory F. Jenner, Edward D. Einowski and Adam D. Schurle, Contributors In the 1950s, the federal government sought to boost home ownership by increasing private lending. To this end, the g...

NHA Recognizes Five Companies as Outstanding Stewards of America's Waters

Five companies have been recognized by the National Hydropower Association as recipients of its Outstanding Stewards ...

India's 330-MW Alaknanda Hydropower Plant Enters Commercial Operation

Indian infrastructure group GVK has put the first unit at its 330-MW Alaknanda hydropower plant into commercial opera...

Marine Energy Sector Continues Growing Worldwide, Despite Economic Setbacks

A report released recently by the International Energy Agency's Ocean Energy Systems shows that the marine and hydrok...


20 days to GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced that it is only 20 days to go to t...

AWS Truepower Announces Major Expansion of its Due Diligence Team in Response to Growing Market Demand

AWS Truepower, an international leader in wind and solar energy consulting and engineer...

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...


How To Get People To Do Stuff

It’s no secret that psychology and sales go hand in hand. If you understand the principles of human psychology ...

Get In The Groove

When we talk about strategies for boosting productivity, we often overlook the fact certain projects lend themselves ...

Transitioning to Net-Zero Living

Judith and Jeffrey adore living in Belfast, Maine – a quaint harbor town of Belfast, Maine. They previously res...

The True Cost of Electric Vehicles in Australia

In order to avoid increased congestion, further greenhouse warming and lessen Australia’s reliance on imported ...


Jim is Contributing Editor for, covering the solar and wind beats. He previously was associate editor for Solid State Technology and Photovoltaics World, and has covered semiconductor manufacturing and related industries, ...


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

International Energy and Sustainability Conference 2015

The fourth International Energy and Sustainability Conference will be he...

Intersolar South America 2015

Exhibition and Conference: September 1-3, 2015 Intersolar South America ...


How To Recruit An Internal Ally

When you’re collecting information for a proposal, the person with...

The Proof Is Not Always In The Pudding

One of the best ways to turn a skeptical prospect into a buyer is to giv...

Pushing Beyond The Cushion

Efficiency projects are all too often viewed as “optional” o...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now