Ontario is leading North America with an energy vision focused on renewable energy and conservation. The province’s vision is spurring the economy and creating green jobs. Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA) became law on May 14, 2009. Regulations to fully implement the legislation were introduced in September 2009.
Since 2003, Ontario has brought more than 1,200 megawatts of new renewable energy on-line. New renewable energy projects already in place or under construction in Ontario since 2003 represent a total investment of over $4.6 billion.
The GEA builds on the Ontario government’s earlier initiatives, including plans to eliminate coal from the power supply. Coal-fired generation is the single largest source of air pollution in Ontario and eliminating it from the supply mix will be the largest climate change initiative in Canada.
The GEA is growing clean and renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar and hydro. It contains conservation measures that will reduce home energy use and expand the smart grid. The GEA is expected to create 50,000 jobs for Ontarians in its first three years.
The GEA is providing certainty and clarity in the approvals process for renewable energy projects. It is also enabling domestic content requirements for renewable energy projects and helping local communities and First Nation communities to build, own and operate their own renewable energy projects.
The GEA is creating a Feed-in Tariff that guarantees specific rates for energy generated from renewable sources. The incorporation of more renewable energy projects will be expedited by streamlined approvals process.
The GEA makes energy efficiency a key purpose of Ontario’s building code and establish North American leading energy efficiency standards for household appliances, making energy efficient products more available to more consumers.
The GEA provides new financing tools to help consumers manage the up-front costs of small-scale renewable energy projects and sets electricity conservation targets for local utilities.
A new Regulation under the GEA smoothes the way for Ontarians who want to install green technologies like solar photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal systems; and ground source heat pumps. It has eliminatede the patchwork of local approval requirements while ensuring that important protections remain in place (i.e. Provincial Acts and certain local requirements).
Ontario is positioning itself to lead the green economy through green job creation, improved productivity and reduced emissions. This benefits the environment, the renewable energy sector, and ultimately the economy.
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