The McGuinty Liberals made a campaign announcement at a Port Burwell wind farm today to tout their commitment to renewable energy.
The title of their release is ‘Taking The Lead In Renewable Energy.’The McGuinty government loves making announcements in front of windmills. And honestly we have finally started to develop wind here in Ontario over the past four years.But saying Ontario is ‘taking the lead in renewable energy,’ however, is a bit of a stretch when one considers the Liberal government’s long-term electricity plan.In the plan, which was released in August, the McGuinty government limits the long-term development of new low-impact renewable energy in Ontario to less than 5,000 MW in order to ensure there is demand for electricity from nuclear plants when they come online in 2018-2019. There’s a simple reason why – if you’re gong to spend billions on nuclear plants you need to ensure there’s a market for their electricity 10 to 15 years from now.
Thus, while we’re deploying renewables relatively quickly compared to historically (barely at all), the McGuinty plan foresees scaling back the deployment of renewables and eventually capping it. That’s not a plan that seeks to make Ontario a leader.
Notably the government has made no announcements at nuclear plants during this election campaign despite their massive commitment to spend over $ 40 billion to build 14,000 MW of nuclear capacity.
Yes, we've taken baby steps in developing renewable energy, but there's still much work to be done to even the playing field between the modern energy options - like renewables - and the old dirty dinosaurs, like nuclear.
Leadership would require some type of vision on the green energy system we want to build. We've yet to see this type of vision here in Ontario.
The McGuinty Liberals claim leadership on renewables, but their current energy plan reins in the growth of renewables post 2010 in favour of nuclear. That’s not leadership. It assumes we lose the race before we’re even out of the gate.