The Only Choice for Electricity in Ontario, Canada is Clean (Green)

THE ONLY CHOICE FOR ELECTRICITY IN ONTARIO, CANADA IS CLEAN (GREEN) GENERATON 9

TheOnly Choice for Electricity in Ontario, Canada is Clean (Green)Generation

Environmentalconcerns have been of great interest when deciding the sources ofenergy. Environmental and health impacts have led to countriesdeveloping energy plans that concentrate on clean energy. I agreewith the statement that the only choice for electricity in Ontario isclean generation. The environmental impact of using energy sourcessuch as coal has been indicated to be great compared to that of usingclean sources such as wind and solar.1As such, Ontario has embraced the generation and use of clean energy.The province’s policy of becoming coal free has been successful,resulting to the use of electricity generated from sustainablesources. The purpose of this assignment is to discuss why the onlychoice for electricity in Ontario is clean generation. In discussingthis, benefits of using clean energy sources will be highlighted.

Theheating needs in Ontario are almost met through using natural gas andnuclear. Natural gas has been indicated as a potential alternativefor energy generation. However, despite natural gas being perceivedas a cleaner source compared to coal, its utilization as an energysource has adverse effects on human health and air quality.Furthermore, its generation has vast environmental impacts in form ofterritory destruction.2Ontario has considered the use of clean sources since they are notsubject to unstable oil prices.3This makes it a more unpredictable and less attractive alternativefor electricity generation compared to clean sources such as solarand wind. Besides, there is an opportunity of satisfying power supplyand heating demands using efficiency measures and renewable energysources compared to using natural gas.4As such, Ontario has a choice of considering most efficient andenvironmental friendly energy sources, which include hydropower,solar, ground heat, biomass, and wind. Although the short term costof expanding the use of clean energy sources may be seen asremarkably high, the long term cost may be perceived as low. Theshort term cost can be seen to be remarkably high due to theexpansion of renewable sources of energy, as well as because ofrenewable energy companies generating power from hydro, solar, wind,and biomass charging higher than market value prices.5Economically, putting up new renewable sources plants would be seento cost more in the short run due to the cost of purchasing newequipments and other resources needed for the installation of therenewable energy however, after these plants become installed, thecost would go down since the plants have already been installed andthe energy is reliable. Therefore, in the long run, customers wouldbe in a position to enjoy reliable and efficient energy at a reducedcost holding other factors constant other than the cost ofinstallation of new plants.

Itis with no doubt that using clean sources of energy can offerbenefits to Ontario. Using clean sources such as wind, water,geothermal and solar instead of relying on natural gas and nuclearenergy has different benefits. One of the benefits that Ontarioprovince has emanating from the use of clean sources in generatingelectricity is the benefit of clean air.6Air quality is of immense importance since it ensures thatindividuals are kept away from health problems that may result fromnon-clean sources such as coal. Since the province started the ban ofcoal as a source of generating electricity, Ontario has reduced thehealth costs used by patients due to air pollution. Therefore, theprovince would benefit health wise because of using clean sources ingenerating electricity. Alternatively, from health benefits, theprovince is also likely to benefit from using clean sources inelectricity generation because it would cut the social costs throughusing clean sources.

Anotherbenefit that can be associated with the clean sources in generatingelectricity is that clean sources would provide sustainable sourcesof electricity. By their nature, clean sources such as wind,hydropower, and solar can provide electricity that is sustainable tothe present and future generation. It is better to use sustainablesources of electricity rather than using unsustainable sources suchas coal that keeps on depleting. This is because a viable sourcewould always ensure that there is electricity for use, which impliesthat the clean sources would be more reliable compared to non-cleansources.

Furthermore,it is not possible to match an increasing demand for electricityusing sources such as coal and natural gas because they are notrenewable. However, through the use of clean sources in generatingelectricity such as wind, it is possible to match the growing demandfor electricity in Ontario. Therefore, with clean sources, Ontario isgoing to benefit with flexible options, where it will be capable ofmatching its electricity output with electricity demand. This wouldbe of great importance given that the electricity demand is on therise in the province.

Inaddition, having clean sources in electricity generation would be ofgreat benefit to the province because of cost-saving nature of theclean sources.7For instance, comparing the cost of putting up a nuclear plant andcost of repairing the plant for safety purposes will be greatercompared to the cost of putting up wind turbines. Economically, thecountry would save by considering renewable resources compared tononrenewable resources because the province would be capable ofsaving social costs that may be associated with non-renewableresources such as nuclear. For example, due to radioactivity that mayemanate from the use of nuclear, health problems may be encountered.However, such health costs can be avoided by the use of renewablesources of energy. The province is also likely to save costemanating from its plan of importing of water energy from Quebec.8Thus, clean sources would help Ontario in saving unnecessary costs ingenerating electricity.

Apartfrom these benefits, Ontario citizens are likely to benefit fromclean sources since they will offer employment opportunities. It isestimated that green energy generation would provide approximately27,000 additional employment opportunities over a period of 10 years.9Thisimplies that production of electricity from clean sources wouldsupport communities because of the provision of employmentopportunities.

Theenergy mix in Ontario has changed since the province became coalfree. The energy mix has now considered more sustainable sources ofenergy. In order to continue with the increased generation of morereliable and sustainable energy, there is a need for the province tooffer incentives to companies and consumers in order to embrace theuse of clean energy. For example, Ontario Power Authority’sElectrical Retrofit Incentive Program (ERIP) offered by Ontario PowerAuthority (OPA) has been offering incentives to hydro customers.10This is a critical aspect since it has made consumers use andconserve hydro energy. Besides, the province’s policies are alsosignificant in ensuring that businesses and consumers in Ontarioembrace the use of clean energy. For instance, Ontario’s GreenEnergy and Green Economy Act has aided in the expansion of cleanenergy generation. As a matter of fact, Ontario has now become aleader in North America in producing energy from reliable sourcesthat include wind, water, solar, and bio-energy.11

Conclusion

Theonly choice for electricity in Ontario is clean generation. This isbecause of sustainability and reliability of the clean energy. It iscritical for a country, as well its provinces to consider the presentand future generations. Through the production of energy usingsources such as coal and natural gas, it is likely that the resourceswould become depleted with time, leaving the future generation withno resources for generating energy. However, through generatingenergy using clean sources such as wind and water, it is possible totake care of the future generation. Besides, the only choice forelectricity in Ontario is clean generation because of the need toprevent its citizens from health concerns, as well as protecting itsclimate. There is need for Ontario to reduce greenhouse gas emissionsin order to avoid climate change, which can only be accomplishedthrough clean generation.

References

Brown,A. (2013). How Ontario Went Coal-Free. NationalJournalGroupInclusive.

Fast,S., &amp McLeman, R. (2012). Attitudes towards new renewable energytechnologies in the Eastern Ontario Highlands. Journalof Rural andCommunityDevelopment, 7(3),106-122.

Maurino,R. (2008). “Ontarioeyes bigger focus on renewable energy to meet power needs,”Canadian Press.

OntarioClean Air Alliance. QUEBEC Electricity Would Save Ontario Consumers$14 Billion. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cleanairalliance.org/quebec-electricity-would-save-ontario-consumers-14-billion/

Pollin,D. R. (2009) . Buildingthe Green Economy.Commissioned by WWF-Canada, Blue Green Alliance and the Green EnergyAct Alliance.

Rowlands,H.I. (2007). The Development of Renewable Electricity Policy in theProvince of Ontario: The Influence of Ideas and Timing. Reviewof Policy Research,Vol. 24, No. 3, 185-207.

OntarioMinistry of Energy. Incentive Programs for Business. Retrieved fromhttp://www.energy.gov.on.ca/en/incentives-program-for-business/

Weis,T., Stensil, S. &amp Stewart, K. (2010). Renewable is Doable: it’stime for Ontario to upgrade its green energy plans. Retrieved fromhttp://s.cela.ca/files/ontario-green-energy-report-august-web.pdf

Ross,M. &amp Tom, A. (2014). How Green Energy is Fleecing OntarioElectricity Consumers. TheFinancial Post.Retrieved fromhttp://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/how-green-energy-is-fleecing-ontario-electricity-consumers

1 Fast, S., &amp McLeman, R. (2012). Attitudes towards new renewable energy technologies in the Eastern Ontario Highlands. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 7(3), 107. pp 106.

2 Brown, A. (2013). How Ontario Went Coal-Free. National Journal. Pp 64.

3 Brown, A. (2013). How Ontario Went Coal-Free. National Journal. Pp 65.

4 Maurino, R. (2008). “Ontario eyes bigger focus on renewable energy to meet power needs,” Canadian Press. Pp 3.

5 Ross, M. &amp Tom, A. (2014). How Green Energy is Fleecing Ontario Electricity Consumers. The Financial Post. Retrieved from http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/how-green-energy-is-fleecing-ontario-electricity-consumers

6 Pollin, D.R. (2009) . Building the Green Economy. Commissioned by WWF-Canada, Blue Green Alliance and the Green Energy Act Alliance. Pp 34.

7 Rowlands, H.I. (2007). The Development of Renewable Electricity Policy in the Province of Ontario: The Influence of Ideas and Timing. Review of Policy Research, Vol. 24, No. 3, 201. Pp 199.

8 Ontario Clean Air Alliance. QUEBEC Electricity Would Save Ontario Consumers $14 Billion. Retrieved from http://www.cleanairalliance.org/quebec-electricity-would-save-ontario-consumers-14-billion/

9 Weis, T., Stensil, S. &amp Stewart, K. (2010). Renewable is Doable: it’s time for Ontario to upgrade its green energy plans. Retrieved from http://s.cela.ca/files/ontario-green-energy-report-august-web.pdf page 2.

10 Ontario Ministry of Energy. Incentive Programs for Business. Retrieved from http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/en/incentives-program-for-business/

11 Weis, T., Stensil, S. &amp Stewart, K. (2010). Renewable is Doable: it’s time for Ontario to upgrade its green energy plans. Retrieved from http://s.cela.ca/files/ontario-green-energy-report-august-web.pdf page 3.