National Post – Nov. 23, 2010
Ontario plan will see hydro bills double by 2030
By Lee Greenberg, Postmedia News
Ontario’s Liberal government will spend $33-billion to refurbish 10 nuclear reactors and purchase two new ones over the next 20 years, Energy Minister Brad Duguid said Tuesday, as he announced a costly long-term energy plan that will lead to a doubling of bills. Mr. Duguid said home hydro bills will rise to $228 per month in 2030, twice today’s level. “This is something I believe Ontarians are willing to fight for,” he told reporters. “It will ensure that they will have cleaner air to breathe. It will ensure a healthier future for their kids and grandkids.”
The long-term energy plan pegs the total cost of the government’s greener energy system at $87-billion – $27-billion more than a similar plan tabled three years ago. “Costs have gone up,” he told reporters. “The costs of nuclear have certainly gone up. Cost of all new generation has gone up globally.” The plan proposes increased investments in renewable energy, more gas generation, the nuclear refurbishments and increased conservation subsidies. Wind, solar and bioenergy projects are predicted to rise to 13% of the province’s energy mix, from 3% today. …
The energy plan contains other surprises, including news the government has failed to meet a key conservation target. Peak demand has only dropped by 1,700 megawatts over the past five years, far short of the 2,700 MW projected in 2005. Officials blamed the failure on the recession, which chilled green investments by business. The Liberal government nevertheless plans on increasing conservation in the future – and is committing $12-billion for a range of incentives, rebates and other measures to help take them there.
Mr. Duguid also said the province will accelerate its timetable to eliminate coal by closing two coal-fired generators in 2011. The Energy Minister portrayed the coal closures as a positive development; Dalton McGuinty had promised in 2003 to eliminate coal by 2007. That date was initially pushed back to 2009 and later changed to 2014. The coal plants will be replaced by new gas-fired plants as well as green-energy initiatives.