Babineau got it wrong on Ontario rates
After reading the recent article in The Royal Gazette titled “Shareholder sees bright future for Ascendant”, I felt compelled to correct some of the misinformation it contained.
In referencing electricity prices in Ontario, Talbot Babineau states: “We have the highest-cost electricity of any province in Canada because of decisions made on renewable energy that has locked us into the poor position we are currently in.”
That is simply not true.
Although there are other provinces with lower rates owing to their high percentage of available hydro power or large use of coal, there are also provinces with higher rates than Ontario.
Ontario made the decision a decade ago to shut down all coal generation as a step towards addressing climate change.
The last coal-fired generator was shut down in 2013. As a result, more than 50 per cent of Ontario’s electricity is generated by nuclear. These plants are at the stage where they need refurbishing while we are still paying down the debt that was incurred building them back in the 1960s and 1970s.
With the decreasing cost of solar modules and wind turbines, building new renewable generation facilities provides a lower cost per kWh of electricity than any other form of new generation, including the refurbishing of ageing nuclear plants.
Considering the high cost of generating electricity in Bermuda using imported fossil fuel, renewables are even more attractive than in North America.
Yet, even in North America, more renewable generation is being built each year than all other forms combined. This is a global trend that is expanding at an exponential rate. It is unfortunate that Bermuda is only now starting to see the benefit.
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