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Green energy to cost $310 more per house: Report  

Credit:  By Jonathan Jenkins ,Queen's Park Bureau, Toronto Sun, www.torontosun.com 31 May 2011 ~~

Subsidies mean every job created under the Liberals’ Green Energy Act will cost $179,000, forcing every Ontario household to pony up an additional $310 a year in electricity costs, the C.D Howe Institute says.

“Ontario’s renewable electricity subsidy is a costly means of reducing domestic (greenhouse gas) emissions and creating jobs,” the report, co-written by former Ontario Power Authority boss Jan Carr, says.

“These costs will be borne by Ontario electricity consumers and amount to $310 annually per household, with additional costs due to the intermittency of power from renewables and the transmission infrastructure investment needed.”

Compared to building natural gas-fired generation, the reports says Ontario will pay $1.5 billion more for subsidized wind, solar and biomass electricity, as the government is offering 20-year contracts paying between 13 to 80 cents a kilowatt hour depending on the type of generation.

Ontario could reduce that total impact of the GEA if it stopped offering those subsidized energy contracts through its Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program.

Energy minister officials said the report overstated the FIT contracts’ impact and said renewable energy is projected to make up just 13% of the province’s energy mix over the next 20 years.

“We believe we should be building a clean energy economy in this province,” Energy Minister Dwight Duguid said.

“Good energy policy is good economic policy,” he said. “Obviously, they take a different view.”

The subsidies will also be reviewed over this summer with an eye to reducing them, Duguid said.

“There’s always been the expectation – we’ve been very clear on this – that costs would be coming down,” Duguid said.

“Those subsidies were set to attract investment and build a clean energy economy here in Ontario and make Ontario the clean energy leader,” he said. “That’s what they’ve done.”

Duguid said the government estimates 13,000 jobs have been created as of 2011 by the GEA and the province is on track for its prediction of 50,000 jobs by 2012.

The Ontario Liberals Green Energy Act will cost every household in the province $310 on their electricity bills and the estimated 50,000 jobs it would create will cost $179,000 in subsidies, the C.D. Howe Institute said in a report released Tuesday.

“Ontario’s renewable electricity subsidy is a costly means of reducing domestic GHG emissions and creating jobs,” the report, co-written by former Ontario Power Authority boss Jan Carr, says.

“These costs will be borne by Ontario electricity consumers and amount to $310 annually per household, with additional costs due to the intermittency of power from renewables and the transmission infrastructure investment needed.”

Compared to building natural gas-fired generation, the reports says Ontario will pay $1.5 billion more for subsidized wind, solar and biomass electricity.

Ontario could reduce that total impact of the GEA if it stopped offering subsidized energy contracts through its Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program, the report says.

“The authors have overstated their calculation of the FIT program,” Andrew Block, spokesman for Energy Minister Dwight Duguid said in an email. “We provided a fully costed long-term energy plan including what electricity prices would be over the next 20 years. Renewable power will compose 13% of our energy supply.”

The study also does not take into account the Clean Energy Benefit, the Liberal program that is cutting hydro electric bills by 10% over the next five years.

Source:  By Jonathan Jenkins ,Queen's Park Bureau, Toronto Sun, www.torontosun.com 31 May 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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