Ontario Shows Leadership in Alternative Energy

The Ernie Eves government is moving ahead with its commitment to an alternative energy and fuels strategy, Alternative Energy Commissioner Steve Gilchrist announced in a yearend progress report.

Queen’s Park, Ontario – January 6, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The strategy brings together the numerous government initiatives that preceded and followed the final report of the Legislature’s Select Committee on Alternative Fuels, which was released in June 2002. To date, the government has taken a series of steps including: – comprehensive tax incentives for producers of clean power, such as a 10-year corporate income tax holiday for new electricity generation from clean, alternative and Renewable Energy sources; – stringent emission caps for power stations burning fossil fuel. When fully implemented in 2007, the caps will significantly reduce limits on smog- and acid rain-causing emissions; – encouraging energy efficiency and conservation by allowing individuals to claim a tax credit for the cost of solar panels, and by offering a retail sales tax rebate to consumers who buy certain high-efficiency refrigerators, clothes washers and dishwashers; – giving consumers an incentive to buy products that use biofuels by exempting biodiesel from the 14.3 cents per liter fuel tax; – the government proposes to reduce electricity consumed in its own operations by 10 percent, and target 20 percent of its electricity usage from renewable sources. “In developing this strategy, the government is showing leadership in ensuring Ontario enjoys a healthy environment and the thriving economy that depends on an adequate energy supply,” said Gilchrist. “We’ve already made excellent headway, having taken or proposed action on more than 50 recommendations made by the committee.” In addition to action already undertaken, the government indicated that it will work to establish a policy framework dealing with the development of wind power sites on Crown land, and enhanced energy efficiency standards under the Province’s Energy Efficiency Act for things such as power transformers, household dishwashers and gas-fired storage tank water heaters. Guided by the Select Committee’s final report, Ontario’s alternative energy and fuel strategy is structured around key themes such as encouraging renewable electricity generation, reducing dependence on coal for electricity generation, and encouraging energy efficiency, conservation, biofuels, hydrogen and other alternative transportation fuels. “The alternative energy and fuel strategy allows us to develop new and innovative ways of producing energy,” said Energy Minister John Baird. “It’s encouraging to see the progress we’ve made, because it’s so important to increase our ability to generate clean reliable power, while at the same time ensuring the protection of our environment for future generations.”
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