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: 47


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

The Government of Canada launches research fund to help prevent and divert food waste from Canadian landfills

When food and other organic wastes are disposed of in landfills, they produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Municipal solid waste landfills are responsible for almost one-quarter of Canada's methane emissions, which are generated when biodegradable waste decomposes. Cutting methane emissions from all sources, including landfills, is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change. Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the Food Waste Prevention and Diversion: Research and Capacity Building Fund. This $570,000 Fund will help support local government research and capacity-building initiatives to prevent and divert food waste from landfills. Reducing food loss and waste also means that the energy, water, and land that is used to grow food are not wasted. Municipal, local, and Indigenous governments are best positioned to advance food waste prevention and diversion across their communities. This fundin

Lactalis invests in new distribution centre in Oshawa

Lactalis Canada Inc., the Canadian dairy leader behind iconic brands such as Cracker Barrel, Black Diamond, Balderson, Astro and Lactantia, is entering into a long-term lease for a new distribution centre located in Oshawa, Ontario, principally for its cheese and tablespreads supply chain network.

Canada announces express entry for newcomers with ag work experience

Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced that the first round of invitations for agriculture and agri-food occupations through category-based selection in Express Entry will occur this week

MacAulay launches $333M Dairy Innovation and Investment Fund

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced the launch of the new Dairy Innovation and Investment Fund on Sept. 29.

Food Producers of Canada's (FPC) Leadership Meets with Ministers Champagne and MacAulay to Address Canadian Grocery Price Inflation

Senior representatives of the Food Producers of Canada (FPC) and other representatives from the broader Canadian food manufacturing sector met this morning with the Honorable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) and the Honorable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agrifood (AAFC) in a joint effort to share information and to explore solutions to address the ongoing issue of grocery price inflation in Canada

© 2023   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service