Ontario: A Province with a Clean Energy Vision or Spendthrift?
On the North American continent, Ontario has led the way in its vision for a clean energy vision-which is why it is watched closely. According to the Solar Industry Magazine, Ontario released an "updated" long term energy plan, under which the province will close its remaining coal powered power plants by 2014 and increase its clean energy share of the province's power supply from 3% to 13% by 2018. The province forecasts that its plan will create 50,000 clean energy jobs.
According to an EarthTechling article reprinted on Reuters, the plan is not without its critics. The article quotes Conservative leader Tim Hudak who called the plan "pie in the sky schemes." And the provincial newspapers are not generally supportive either:
"While the switch to green energy may produce 50,000 new jobs, the higher energy prices the Act will provoke could kill that many (or more) jobs in existing energy-intensive industries such as manufacturing and agriculture," the National Post wrote. And the Globe and Mail said: "Ontarians are about to start paying heavily for green energy. And for the next few years, the investment will be wildly disproportionate to its role in the system."
One fierce critic of the plan is Randall Denley of The Ottawa Citizen who writes that the Liberal government is "prepared to spend billions on green energy that will produce almost no power and are fixated with making a political point about coal."
If Ontario is any indication, the war for renewable energy will be contentious whether in our northern neighbor or in the U.S.