Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

The CFFO Commentary: Time for A Review of Ontario’s Green Energy Act

By Lorne Small
January 6, 2012
The Ontario Green Energy Act is a courageous move by the Ontario government to kickstart a new vision of sustainable energy. You have to applaud a government that is prepared to tackle a global issue like climate change even if serious debate remains regarding whether climate change is caused by normal global cycles or by human contributions.
Many farm families have benefited from the Green Energy Act by participating in the Micro FIT (Feed-In- Tariff) solar panel program. They have been able to diversify their farm business into an enterprise that guarantees a fair return for the next 20 years. Outside of supply management these types of opportunities seldom are available to farmers. However many other farm families have real apprehension with the introduction of wind turbines into their neighbourhood. They must live with some of the potential problems while not sharing in the rewards.
Ontario farmers and the Ontario Auditor General, Jim McCarter, share some of the same concerns. Mr. McCarter expressed concern that the Green Energy Act overrides existing legislation to approve wind and solar projects without the normal planning and oversight process. The government hoped that 50,000 jobs would be created. But the auditor notes that studies in other jurisdictions show that for every job created up to four other jobs may be lost. He also questioned the $7 billion Samsung deal which was signed with no formal economic analysis. When completed, this project will cover large acreages of farm land with fields of solar panels. This concerns many farm communities when food-producing farmland is in high demand.
Ontario has had a history of providing electricity that was both reliable and cost competitive. Unfortunately, wind and solar does not meet either objective. When the wind does not blow, or the sun does not shine, energy generation is minimal. To replace the green electricity that is not being generated, fossil fuel generators must be on standby and quickly activated to maintain reliability. Frequently, green electricity is generated when demand is low, creating an oversupply.
The rates paid for green electricity are substantially higher than conventional electricity, adding $220 million annually to the cost of electricity. Both urban and rural consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with the escalating cost of electricity. It may not be fair but the Green Energy Act is being singled out as part of the problem.
Now is the time for the Ontario Government to undertake a sober re-evaluation of the path to a greener energy system. Serious long term thinking is required. Options on the table should include using waste materials, conservation as well as renewable and non-renewable sources. Thoughtful consultation with energy feasibility professionals and a wide range of citizens will inject a high degree of common sense as we move down the road to a sustainable energy system.


Lorne Small is the President of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and UCB Canada radio stations in Chatham, Belleville, Bancroft, Brockville and Kingston and in Brantford and Woodstock. It is also found on the CFFO website:www.christianfarmers.org. CFFO is supported by 4,200 family farmers across Ontario.

Views: 50


You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Saskatchewan Crop Conditions Up from a Year Ago

The first Saskatchewan crop condition ratings for the 2024 growing season are mostly up from a year ago, although the scope of improvement is variable. The weekly provincial crop report on Thursday pegged this year’s spring wheat crop at 87% good to excellent as of Monday, up a relatively modest 6 points from a year earlier, while the oat and barley ratings were 2 and 5 points higher, respectively, at 87% good to excellent for both. At 78% good to excellent, the condition of the canola crop was just a single point above a year ago. On the other hand, the condition of the durum crop was rated 93% good to excellent as of Monday, an increase of 21 points from a year ago, while the lentil crop was 15 points better at 90% and the chickpea crop a major 31 points higher at 95%. Gains for other crops fell somewhere in between. At 91% good to excellent, the condition of the flax crop was up 8 points on the year, with mustard up 14 points to 88%, and peas up 9 points to 91%. The canary cro

New Grading Changes Coming for the 2024-25 Crop Year

The Canadian Grain Commission has announced new grading changes for the upcoming 2024-25 crop year that it says will better meet the needs of the grain sector in Canada and grain buyers around the world. Among the changes are new variety designation lists for food barley, and updates to the assessment of seed coat discolouration in soybeans. According to a CGC release, food barley varieties are unique and different from malting or feed barley varieties due to the distinct quality features desired for food, such as high beta-glucans. And to ensure Canadian producers and the agriculture sector can realize the benefits of developing and growing these varieties, the CGC is creating variety designation lists for Barley, Canada Eastern Food, which will take effect on July 1, 2024, and Barley, Canada Western Food, which will take effect on Aug. 1, 2024. Meanwhile, as part of the CGC grain grading modernization project, the official Grain Grading Guide will be updated to clarify the asse

Alberta Seeding Complete; Crop Emergence on Track with Average

The final push was delayed by rain in some parts of the province last week, but Alberta seeding is virtually now complete.  Friday’s crop showed the planting of Alberta major crops (spring wheat, oats, barley, canola, and peas) at 99.6% complete as of Tuesday, up a few points from a week earlier and in line with the five- and 10-year averages of 99.4% and 98.7%.  The report said final seeding efforts in the Central, North East, and North West regions were slowed by rain that was accompanied by persistent strong winds that led to an overall reduction in surface soil moisture in all areas but the Peace Region.   Regardless, crop growth is off to a good start, with the South Region in need of timely rains while the rest of the province needs warmer temperatures, the report said.  The emergence of major crops across the province is reported at 86%, which matches both the 5- and 10-year averages. Regionally, emergence of major crops is behind the historical average in the South and Nort

Automation, robotics helping farmers strengthen food security

B.C. farmers are accessing new technology through federal and provincial government funding to grow their businesses and increase production to help strengthen food security in the province.

© 2024   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service