Environmental organizations, renewable energy advocates, nurses and doctors are among a group of 14 whoa re calling on the Ontario government to pursue a 100% renewable objective.
“Ontario’s energy plan needs a major make-over to take advantage of technological innovation and declining costs in the renewable energy industry. The province should follow the lead of communities, such as Oxford County, that are transitioning to clean and healthy 100% renewable energy,” said Keith Brooks, programs director at Environmental Defence.
On the heels of a decision to suspend the procurement of additional renewable energy supplies, the Ontario Ministry of Energy recently announced it will tour the province over the next two months to seek input on its next Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP).
The fourteen organizations say that as the province looks ahead to update the LTEP, it must acknowledge where cost trends are headed – down for renewables, up for nuclear.
“With the cost of renewable energy declining so rapidly, Ontario’s next energy plan needs to ensure we can take advantage of fast-moving innovation in the clean energy sector to lower our energy bills, greenhouse gas emissions and nuclear risks,” said Theresa McClenaghan, executive director at the Canadian Environmental Law Association.
The group says the province’s next energy plan must prioritize and empower citizen- and community-focused energy generation and move away from the current top-down approach to energy planning; and it needs to come clean on the true cost of nuclear power.
“Currently, there’s no requirement in Ontario’s energy plan for nuclear megaprojects to be cost effective or to be independently reviewed. This is one of the biggest barriers to Ontario taking advantage of the rapidly declining cost of renewables,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a senior energy analyst at Greenpeace.
The group is asking other organizations and citizens to endorse their 100% Renewable Energy Declaration and participate in the province’s Long-Term Energy Plan consultations. The declaration can be found at 100REOntario.org.
The organizations who have endorsed the statement include: the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Environmental Defence, Greenpeace, the Federation of Renewable Energy Cooperatives, the Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative, Ecology Ottawa, the Pembina Institute, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Northwatch and the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.