The following article was written by Becky Bassick, Sierra Club Ontario's Green Energy & Great Lakes Campaign Volunteer.
“By wasting billions on nuclear rebuilds rather than investing in far more cost-effective energy efficiency and hydro imports, the government's plan misses out on the best opportunities to lower energy and environmental costs.”
Yesterday the Ontario Ministry of Energy announced the Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP), charting a course for the province's energy future. Despite its name, the plan focuses on short-term measures that will keep costs down until after the 2018 elections, at the expense of our environmental future.
The LTEP details plans to refurbish ten nuclear generating stations, rather than pursuing cleaner, more affordable alternatives.
“By wasting billions on nuclear rebuilds rather than investing in far more cost-effective energy efficiency and hydro imports, the government's plan misses out on the best opportunities to lower energy and environmental costs,” said David Poch, counsel to the Green Energy Coalition, of which Sierra Club Ontario is a founding member.
Politicians and hydro officials alike are praising the document, using “decarbonization” as a rallying cry. While it's true that coal power has been phased out in Ontario, it's misleading to claim that carbon dioxide is the only problematic component in power generation. Nuclear energy presents a myriad of risks to health and the environment. Radioactive waste must be processed and stored indefinitely. It must be transported, sometimes across the US border, placing workers and communities at risk along the way.
The LTEP arrives on the heels of Ontario's suspension of its second Large Renewable Energy Procurement (LRP II) last fall.
To find out more about this issue, please contact us at: ontariochapter [at] sierraclub.ca.