The Ontario Energy Association (OEA) has released a policy paper titled ‘A Blueprint for Energy Policy in Ontario.’ The blueprint is the OEA's recommended long-term energy policy for all political parties in the run-up to the Ontario election in the fall.
‘Energy drives Ontario's economy, society and way of life, and the goal of energy policy must be to promote a reliable, sustainable energy system,’ says Elise Herzig, president and CEO of the OEA. ‘Individual energy projects can take many years to complete, and the system needs to balance short- and long-term requirements. The blueprint offers clear, succinct recommendations that we believe are the basis for energy policy that will meet our evolving economic, social and environmental needs.’
The blueprint includes several recommendations, including the following:
– The government must streamline approvals processes and engage communities to increase acceptance of new energy projects;
– The government must provide clarity in the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of the agencies working in the energy sector;
– The government should set the long-term goals, benchmarks and priorities for energy policy and the energy sector and, once they have been set, keep to them as much as possible and not deviate from their underlying principles, so that the energy sector can invest with confidence that the chosen policy will be sustained and not abandoned or changed mid-course;
– To better manage cost increases to ratepayers, and to allow investors to more accurately ascertain risks and rewards, government and its agencies must ensure that the regulatory environment allows energy companies to undertake energy projects with minimal delays;
– The government must ensure that any national carbon-reduction program addresses Ontario's interests and does not harm the province's industrial competitiveness; and
– Given the changes in energy policy since their original mandates were established, the government must clarify the roles and responsibilities of the various agencies in the energy sector. Once these agencies have clarified mandates, the government must monitor the continued appropriateness of those mandates.
Read the full report here.
SOURCE: Ontario Energy Association