Ontario Passes Aggressive Feed-in Tariff Legislation

Members of the Green Energy Act Alliance, a coalition of leading environmental groups, industry associations, farmers and labour groups, were at Queen’s Park today to congratulate the Liberals and NDP on the adoption of the Green Energy and Economy Act. The Act outlines an ambitious and globally significant strategy to improve conservation, increase renewable energy generation and create green jobs.

“We applaud the government and the NDP members of the Legislature for passing this groundbreaking legislation. Today, Ontario enters a new energy paradigm,” said Deb Doncaster, Campaign Chair of the Green Energy Act Alliance. “The Act is a clear signal to the global renewable energy community that Ontario is open for business.”

The Act aims to improve conservation programs, promote investment in renewable energy projects through North America’s first feed-in tariff program, and create green jobs. The Act, introduced in November 2008, is the cornerstone of the government’s plan to put Ontario on a path towards reducing Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions, while becoming a leader in the emerging global renewable energy sector.

“Less than a year after our World Wind Energy Conference in Kingston, the government of Ontario kept their promise and laid the foundation for a boom of renewable energy in the province, based on the first feed-in tariff legislation in North America,” said Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General of the World Wind Energy Association. “Today’s passing of the Ontario Green Energy Act represents an historic international milestone as the Act promises to be the most advanced piece of renewable energy legislation in North America.”

“Today’s adoption of the Green Energy Act by the Ontario Legislature represents an historic paradigm-shifting legal milestone in the imperative transition to a renewable energy system in North America,” said Dr. Hermann Scheer, General Chair of the World Council of Renewable and Member of the National Parliament of Germany.

A poll released in late April by the Green Energy Act Alliance demonstrated clear support across the province for the proposed Green Energy and Economy Act.  Eighty-seven per cent of respondents said they supported the proposed Green Energy and Economy Act and support was widespread across the province with 93 per cent support in Northern Ontario, 89 per cent support in Toronto and 88 per cent support in the GTA/905. Respondents predicted the top two benefits from the Act would be reducing greenhouse gases and creating jobs.

A recent report released from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst estimated that 90,000 jobs per year could be created through investments in conservation, renewable energy and upgrades to Ontario’s electricity grid. The investment criteria used in the report is similar to the level of investment expected under the new Green Energy and Economy Act.

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com

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