Thousands of Ontarians across the province are currently participating in the FIT Program. It was essential for the review to consult very broadly and incorporate participant feedback into recommendations. With this review, Ontarians have had an opportunity to help further shape the Province’s approach to clean energy.
The consultation period was launched on October 31, 2011 and closed December 14, 2011. The Ministry of Energy and the OPA engaged in a broad outreach process with community groups, municipalities, the energy industry and associations, Aboriginal communities and organizations, environmental groups, consumer advocacy groups, as well as interested individuals. Individuals and organizations had the option to provide feedback through an online survey and/or make a written submission. The Ministry of Energy and the OPA were also available to meet with those who requested meetings.
More than 2,900 individuals and organizations responded to online survey questions and more than 200 written submissions were received. More than 80 meetings took place with associations, municipalities, community groups and companies. In addition, about 1,700 people participated in an OPA webinar shortly after the review was launched.
Participation in the Review
- Written: 200
- In Person: 80
- Webinar: 1,700
- Online: 2,900
Responses were thoroughly reviewed and reflect a wide range of views and ideas. This input and advice has been carefully considered in developing the recommendations of this report.
Submissions focused primarily on the following:
- Domestic manufacturing and job creation – Many stakeholders advocated for the continuation of domestic content requirements as a way to support manufacturers and job creation.
- Predictable price adjustments – There was support for instituting pre-determined and pre-scheduled price adjustments. Other stakeholders suggested reducing prices as different capacity targets are achieved.
- Reliable planning for clean generation needs – Stakeholders indicated that annual planning targets would allow them to better tailor their operations to meet Ontario’s clean energy needs.
- Improved municipal and community consultation – Stakeholders supported increased municipal consultation as well as improved communication and education of municipalities and the general public.
- Emphasis on conservation – Stakeholders supported a greater focus on conservation.
- Clarity around transmission/distribution availability – Some stakeholders wanted greater clarity about connection processes and availability to focus their development on areas where their projects could connect.
- Limits on FIT project size – Stakeholders advocated for the FIT model of procurement to be limited to smaller-sized projects, with large projects being competitively procured. Others recommended realigning project size tranches to better reflect economies of scale.
- Prices of renewables – There was broad support for reduction of FIT prices to reflect lower technology costs.
- Municipal involvement – Stakeholders indicated a need for an enhanced role for municipalities and clear timelines for municipal involvement and consultation in an improved REA process.
- Extent of participation from community, municipal and Aboriginal projects – Stakeholders advocated for greater supports to encourage more community, municipal and Aboriginal projects. Some suggested maintaining or increasing the price adders, or giving these types of projects priority for contract awards. Some Aboriginal communities identified the lack of transmission in Northern Ontario as a barrier to participation.
- Complexity of regulatory processes – Several stakeholders advocated for scaling regulatory requirements to better align with the size and impact of projects. Other common suggestions included: better coordination between ministries and agencies, faster response times, improved guidance material and help identifying potential challenges with projects early in the process.
The Two-Year FIT Review
The scheduled two-year FIT Program review is an opportunity to reflect on the Program to ensure that it continues to meet Ontario’s needs. Updating the FIT Program will help strengthen the clean energy sector and build a better, smarter electricity system to meet Ontario’s future energy needs, while creating high-value jobs across the province.
Worldwide, 88 jurisdictions have implemented FIT programs and regular reviews are common practice. For example, both Germany and France focused on price reductions, technology types and project sizes in recent reviews.
The FIT review recommendations reflect current market and economic conditions and will ensure the Program’s continued success while maintaining stability, encouraging investment, supporting domestic manufacturing and developing renewable energy.
Jurisdictions with Feed-In-Tariff Programs
Source: Renewables 2011 Global Status Report, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century
Jurisdictions with Feed-In-Tariff Programs include: United States, Canada, European Union, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Germany, Ghana, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kuwait, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Scotland, Vietnam.