Ontario Sets Green Power Standard

The Ernie Eves government is introducing a Green Power Standard, which would require Ontario’s electricity system to secure an additional one percent of its current electricity needs from renewable sources in each of eight years, starting in 2006. The government has also committed to purchasing 20 percent of the electricity used in government buildings from renewable sources.

Toronto, Canada – July 7, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “During its eight-year lifespan, the program will add about 3,000 MW of renewable energy to the Ontario electricity system,” Commissioner of Alternative Energy Steve Gilchrist said. “With this bold step the Eves government has demonstrated its commitment to increasing electricity supply while protecting our environment.” This type of standard legislates minimum amounts of renewable energy that must be supplied to an electricity system. Green standards have already been announced or established in several U.S. states, including Texas, California, Massachusetts and New York. In Ontario, all forms of renewable energy sources would be eligible, but it’s expected this would attract primarily wind, water and biomass sources. “This is a win-win situation for the people of Ontario,” said Energy Minister John Baird. “The introduction of a Green Power Standard will encourage development of new renewable electricity sources and increase electricity supplies in Ontario, and will do so in a manner that will protect the environment.” Support for the introduction of a Green Power Standard for Ontario was a key recommendation in the final report of the Select Committee on Alternative Fuel Sources. This recommendation received extensive support from both independent power producers and the environmental community. Legislation establishing the standard will be introduced in the fall 2003 legislative session. “This announcement is a watershed for the clean renewable power industry in Ontario,” said Glen Estill, President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. “A sizable commitment like this will create substantial economic development and jobs as wind and other renewable power generators seek out Ontario-sourced parts and labor.”

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