Monday, 29 April 2013

Ontario's energy transition

Ontario's energy transition: "Air quality in Canada's Ontario province has improved dramatically in recent years, simultaneously with the ramping up of nuclear power and the phase-out of coal.
Ontario is home to a large portion of Canadian industry, the cities of Ottawa and Toronto and some 40% of the country's populatio...n of 33.4 million. Data from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment shows a dramatic reduction in the air pollution that in 2005 was affecting these people for at least ten days during the year. The worst-affected places in 2005 had been 14 of 37 Ontario locations which with more than 40 smog-warning days. Every location had at least ten smog days.
In 2011, by contrast, the worst-affected place had only eight smog-warning days, while 18 of the 37 locations had no smog warnings at all. Overall, days on which the people were warned about unhealthy levels of smog at one location or another have dropped from 53 in 2005 to just nine in 2011.
While Ontario has encouraged and facilitated investment in renewables and gas as well as efficiency in power generation and industry, two power sources have played leading roles in the province's transition: coal, because it has been gradually reduced and is set for phase-out; and nuclear, because it has increased to replace that supply.
Ontario has progressed steadily since a policy was announced in 2003 and is set to close its last operating coal-fired power plant next year. The 1140 MWe Lakeview coal plant was closed in 2005, leaving in operation Lambton with 1976 MWe, Nanticoke with 3964 MWe and small units amounting to 517 MWe. Those small units are being converted to burn gas and biofuels while Nanticoke and Lambton are being progressively closed, leaving the final two coal units in operation at Nanticoke.
All the above are owned by Ontario Power Generation, a provincially managed utility which was instructed to improve nuclear capacity to replace that supply. Since 2003 it brought back to service two Candu units at Pickering and will also refurbish four reactors at Darlington for 25-30 years more life. The company also continues to move forward with a plan for two new large reactors at Darlington, for which environmental approval and a site perparation permit were granted last year."

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