Monday, 12 December 2011

Ontario’s Long Term Energy Plan

Ontario’s Long Term Energy Plan (OLTEP) allocates 46 per cent of future grid space to nuclear generation, see here for the full plan in pdf: ... A recent report by Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) just released suggests there is no business case for nuclear power and without subsidies the industry would not survive in Ontario... The report, Nuclear Power: Where’s the Business Case can be found here: It argues that nuclear power retains an unfair advantage over renewable power generators because of federal and provincial subsidies and also that no nuclear project has ever been delivered on time and on budget in Ontario ... There is a must read review of this report on Renew Canada pointing out the reports shortcomings: : "However, the report fails to explain why a significant investment in nuclear reactors from OPG will actually affect Hydro One’s ability to invest in local distribution systems. The report cites the construction of the Bruce to Milton transmission line as a $650 million subsidy to nuclear power(because Bruce Nuclear required the transmission line to feed power from the newly refurbished reactors at its site), but fails to mention that this transmission line is serving a dual purpose–it also allows major wind farms a connection point for grid access. While it is true that the project is primarily for Bruce Nuclear, the report does not make it clear that major renewable generators will also gain increased transmission access.
OSEA further suggests that Ontario does not require nuclear power for baseload supply because of the availability of hydroelectricity and the opportunities for major industries to adopt Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. Yet, the report does not provide any numbers showing how much energy will be required in the future. The OLTEP suggests, under its medium growth forecast, that the province will require approximately 160 TwHs of electricity per year. With no reference to these kinds of numbers in its report, OSEA has a hard time proving that Ontario will not require additional baseload power. In addition, there are no numbers showing the potential available megawatts of power from hydroelectric and CHP projects. This, again, makes it difficult to assert that Ontario will not require additional baseload power." ... "While the report does accurately describe the reasons why nuclear power is an incredibly expensive and heavily subsidized form of energy, it does not prove that renewable energy can replace nuclear. By failing to show how much energy could be generated by the suggested baseload replacements, or how much energy Ontario will require in the future, the report fails to demonstrate that Ontario does not need nuclear power."

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