March 19, 2012
The Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 (GEA) sparked a new industry in Ontario. It gave Ontario families and businesses an opportunity to participate in building the province’s clean energy economy. The GEA has helped launch a clean energy manufacturing base, creating new jobs and cleaner air.
Ontario is a North American leader in clean energy, with almost 2,000 small and large Feed-in Tariff (FIT) contracts totaling more than 4,600 megawatts (MW) of power.
The two-year review of the FIT Program, announced in October 2011, had a mandate to consider a range of issues including:
- Reducing FIT prices;
- Ensuring the long-term viability of clean energy procurement;
- Continuing to build on the success of Ontario-based manufacturing and clean energy job creation;
- Improving local consultation and renewable energy environmental approval processes; and
- Developing new technologies and fuel sources.
I was asked, with the support of the Ministry of Energy and the Ontario Power Authority, to track the FIT Program’s progress, consult broadly, research developments in other jurisdictions and provide recommendations for improvements. As part of the consultation process, we reached out to the renewable energy sector and met with individuals and groups who requested meetings. We heard from thousands of Ontarians through in-person meetings, written submissions and online.
We made every effort to develop final recommendations that would balance the interests of all Ontarians, recognizing ratepayers, community participants and the renewable energy sector.
Our goal is to build on the accomplishments of the clean energy sector in Ontario so that families, communities, including First Nations and Métis, farmers as well as small and large businesses can continue to play a role. This report contains six strategic areas of recommendations that emerged through our review of the program and from our consultations with Ontarians.
- Continue commitment to clean energy.
- Streamline processes and create jobs.
- Encourage greater community and Aboriginal participation.
- Improve municipal engagement.
- Reduce price to reflect lower costs.
- Expand Ontario’s clean energy economy.
The recommendations outlined in this report would help maintain Ontario’s position as a North American leader, creating highly skilled jobs and opportunities to export the province’s clean energy expertise and knowledge.