In a submission to Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has outlined what it says are important considerations for the future of the province’s electricity supply, such as affordability, protection of the environment and power system reliability.
According to CanWEA, new wind energy is now being contracted for as low as 6.45 cents per kilowatt-hour in Ontario; this is well below the average cost for electricity generation of 11.14 cents (as of May 1).
Wind costs are forecast to continue declining; however, says CanWEA, costs for other forms of new or refurbished generation are increasing.
In turn, wind energy will be essential if the province is to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by 80% in 2050, considering clean electricity will be needed to substitute fossil fuels in transportation, industries and buildings.
CanWEA says wind energy can also play a major role in protecting Ontario’s supply reliability by helping to mitigate potential risks associated with nuclear life extensions and refurbishments, natural gas commodity and carbon costs, and shortfalls in achieving conservation and demand management goals.
To maximize these benefits for Ontario customers, all new generation needed in the coming years should be procured competitively in order to secure the lowest-cost non-emitting electricity generation, according to CanWEA.
“More wind energy capacity has been installed in Canada over the last decade than any other form of electricity generation,” comments Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. “In that time, Ontario has become Canada’s wind energy leader, and Ontarians will be best served in the future by a Long-Term Energy Plan that builds on this foundation and increases Ontario’s reliance on its vast untapped low-cost and emissions-free wind energy resources to meet both economic and environmental objectives.”
Brandy Giannetta, Ontario’s regional policy director at CanWEA, adds, “Wind energy is well positioned to help Ontario achieve its Climate Change Action Plan goals, to increase the affordability of electricity generation in Ontario, and to protect supply reliability at a time when there are growing risks to future electricity supply on the horizon. At the same time, the wind energy industry will continue to be a source of cleantech jobs, investment and community benefits throughout Ontario.”
The association’s full submission can be found here.