Ontario Conservatives Say Green Energy Act Is Not Sustainable

by Terrence Murray - January 13, 2011

The Green Energy Act, Ontario’s famed package of green energy subsidies that’s helped attract billions of dollars in new, cleantech investments, is emerging as a wedge issue in the provincial election scheduled for the fall.

The Province’s Liberal Conservatives, led by Tim Hudak, say the feed-in tariff and the other subsidies included in the Green Energy Act are too expensive and not sustainable.

“Other jurisdictions are walking away from [subsidizing renewable energy projects] because it was driving up the cost of doing business and hurting consumers by taking more money out of pockets,”� said Hudak, according to the .

Liberal Conservative and would be energy minister John Yakabuski, said that his party would not annul existing contracts but it would certainly be open to reviewing some of their provisions.

“We are not going tear up contracts, but I can tell you we are going to look at each and every one of those contracts to see what options we have,” Yakabuski .

Since its launch two years ago, the Green Energy Act has helped attract billions of dollars in new green investment and in doing so has built Ontario into one of North America’s leading green-focused economy.

Last year Ontario signed power purchase agreements for almost 2,400 megawatts of installed renewable energy, more than half for wind power.

The largest deal generated by the Green Energy Act has been a C$7 billion commitment by Samsung to a develop wind and solar projects that� could generate up to 2,500 megawatts of electricity. From the start, Conservatives have blasted the deal for its opacity as�the government as declined to make public any of its provisions.

Conservatives say the premium cost of that green electricity is passed on to customers, who’ve seen spikes in their monthly power bills.

In criticizing the Green Energy Act Hudak has been citing a controversial study out of Spain that claims that the country’s green incentives actually killed an average of 2.2 jobs for every new green-slanted jobs.

But, as we reported at the time, the study was�authored by�noted libertarian Gabriel Calzada, who is also a fellow at an oil industry-backed European think tank.� Specifically,�the study’s overall methodology is also questionable as it only focuses on�the opportunity cost of creating green jobs and does not identify specific jobs destroyed by renewable energy spending.

Back in Ontario, with green energy emerging as a political hot potato, companies might decide to hold on to their investments,� at least until the outcome of the fall elections.

According to recent opinion polls Liberal�Conservatives lead by double digits over the governing Liberal party of Premier Dalton McGuinty.

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