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Ontario's Energy Minister George Smitherman's goal of increasing the amount of green energy in the province's electricity plan can only be met by replacing aging nuclear stations with new green sources of energy over the next decade, according to a Pembina Institute report released by a coalition of environmental groups. The Pembina Institute is a Canadian environmental policy research group.

In September, Smitherman directed the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to enhance its targets for renewable energy, conservation and distributed energy.

"This report sets out how much more green [energy] we should aim for, the policies that will get it, and what proposed investments need to be trimmed back to make space for it," says Cherise Burda, Ontario policy director with the Pembina Institute and the author of the report.

The Pembina Institute report - "Plugging Ontario Into A Green Future" - shows that reducing unnecessary energy waste, switching to renewable energy, and recycling waste heat from industrial and commercial operations can provide enough baseload electricity to replace the aging Pickering B and Bruce B nuclear stations as they reach the end of their lives and are shut down beginning in 2013.

The study comes on the heels of a poll that shows two-thirds of Ontarians would prefer to see retiring nuclear reactors replaced with renewable energy sources like wind, solar and hydro power rather than by building new reactors. The decision on what to do with Pickering B will be made in early 2009.

The Pembina report is based on evidence and expert testimony submitted to the Ontario Energy Board hearings on the integrated power system plan, which are currently on hold, pending the completion of the Green Energy Review mandated by Smitherman.

The OPA must report back to the Ontario Energy Board on the scope of the changes it plans to make by the end of November 2008 and file the revised plan in March 2009, at which point the hearings will resume.

The full report is available at renewableisdoable.com.

SOURCE: The Pembina Institute




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