I had a column out about the incredible potential of the feed-in tariff for the US. According to Grist writer Paul Gipe, Ontario has just launched the strongest policy in North America, and appears to have a whole host of other admirable commitments. Notable excerpts below.
“The announcements began with Minister Smitherman opening the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s annual conference in Toronto. At the conference’s plenary session on Monday, Sept. 21, Smitherman revealed a $2.3 billion (CAD) plan to build new transmission and distribution lines in the province to rapidly develop Ontario’s renewable energy potential.
On Wednesday, Sept. 23, Smitherman announced a special fund to aid development of renewable energy projects by First Nations (Ontario’s indigenous people), community groups, and cooperatives.
Thursday’s announcement culminates a months-long series of public consultations on the feed-in tariff program. The program now goes live Oct. 1, 2009.”
“The tariffs are precedent setting in North America not only for the number of different technologies listed, but also for the prices offered. Solar energy advocates will be particularly pleased. Ontario’s proposed tariffs, if implemented, will be the highest in North America. For rooftop solar they will be comparable to those offered in Germany and France.
Ontario is expecting a boom in rooftop solar installations as a result of the program. The province will pay $0.80 CAD/kWh ($0.69 USD/kWh) for electricity from small rooftop solar systems less than 10 kilowatts for a period of 20 years.
Through the feed-in tariff program, Ontario will also pay the highest prices for wind energy, and biogas in North America. The tariffs represent the best estimates by engineers and economists of what it costs to develop renewable energy under Ontario’s climatic conditions.”
“Ontario plans to close all its coal-fired power plants by 2014. It is the only jurisdiction in North America to make such a commitment. As a result, Ontario has embarked on an ambitious plan to become a leader in renewable energy development to make up the difference in lost power generation.”