Ontario Government cancels $3.8 billion in Green Energy; Sign of a Bright Future?
by aderoos on November 4, 2016 - 5:38pm
In a seemingly controversial move, the Ontario Government has canceled 3.8 billion dollars in their plan to further its investments in green energy, including solar, wind, and biofuel energy. Since the Liberal Party introduced Long Term Energy Plan in 2013, there has been value conflict between the Liberals (party in power) and the Progressive Conservatives (opposition party) over the costs associated with the Liberal’s green energy initiatives. The news of the cancelation of 3.8 billion dollars in additional funds signifies the Liberal’s leaning more towards the Progressive Conservative’s (PC) values. Although both parties agree that in order to mitigate the effects of climate change, green energy will eventually need to be the primary source of energy; what they disagree on is the timing of incorperating the green energy. Patrick Brown, leader of the PC, argues “It was power that we didn’t need right now”, that Ontarians shouldn’t have to pay green energy now, while natural gas and other energy forms are still in use. The liberals disagree, they think investments into green energy must be made now, in order to have the infrastructure ready for Ontario to move to 100% green energy. This green energy investment results in a rise in price for consumers in Ontario, since the power it creates is mostly unused right now.
Although Brown see’s this rise in price and the waste of green energy (I know, sounds weird right?) in Ontario as a negative, I think this cancelation is symbolic for Ontario’s energy sector. If there is this abundance of green energy already that the Liberal Government is willing to cancel 3.8 billion to save the pockets of Ontarians, they will be in great shape once natural gas is replaced. Ontario is already home to 42% of Canada’s green investments, and is said by cleanenergycanada.org to be “way out in front of its peers”. The Liberal’s reaction should be a sigh of relief for environmentalists, not a cry for a cancellation of spending to mitigate climate change. The Liberals have used regulatory tools to provide subsidies to the green energy sector, and ultimately feel that their interest in the Environment is not compromised with the economic benefits of this cancelation. Ontario has enough money committed to green energy, they just need to wait a few years to utilize it. To solve this wicked problem of climate change, sacrificing the interest of short term economics will sometimes be the inevitable outcome to achieve the greenhouse gas reductions that are necessary. But in this case, the Liberal’s believe Ontario has sacrificed enough so far.