On December 2, 2013, Ontario’s Ministry of Energy released its new Long-Term Energy Plan, Achieving Balance (the Plan or Achieving Balance). The Plan balances five principles that will guide future decisions: cost effectiveness, reliability, clean energy, community engagement, and an emphasis on conservation and demand management before building new generation. Compared to the previous plan, the government states thatAchieving Balance is expected to reduce projected cost increases by $16 billion in the near term (2013-2017), and $70 billion by 2030.
Stikeman Elliott LLP will conduct a comprehensive analysis of Achieving Balance in the near future. For now, the following are key highlights of the Plan, as outlined by the Ministry of Energy:
- decreasing the need for new supply by implementing conservation programs and standards to offset most growth in electricity demand over the next 20 years;
- lowering costs for consumers;
- expanding demand response programs;
- making new financial tools available to consumers starting in 2015, including programs to incent energy efficient retrofits to residential properties;
- moving ahead with nuclear refurbishment at both Darlington and Bruce Generating Stations, beginning in 2016;
- extending the phasing-in of wind, solar and bioenergy for 3 more years than estimated in the previous plan, with 10,700 megawatts online by 2021. By 2025 about half of Ontario’s installed generating capacity will come from renewable sources;
- developing a new competitive procurement process with the Ontario Power Authority for future renewable projects larger than 500 kilowatts;
- continuing to encourage First Nation and Métis participation in transmission and renewable energy projects; and
- issuing an annual Ontario Energy Report to update Ontarians on changing supply and demand conditions, and to outline the progress to date on the Plan.
For additional information about the Plan, see Ministry of Energy: Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan and the News Release.