Re: Dec 3 Editorial “Ontario’s low-voltage electricity policy”
It is understandable that your editorial in response to the Ontario Government’s revised Long Term Energy Plan announced this week focuses on the high cost of energy. Clearly, higher energy prices are never welcome.
But what is unfortunate is that you characterize solar (and wind) power producers as “inefficient and environmentally ineffective”.
Solar has the lowest environmental footprint of any electricity resource and its environmental effectiveness has been scientifically proven. It does not produce polluting air emissions thus helping to improve air quality. We’ve already seen the payback on this front.
As for efficiency, solar provides electricity during high demand periods – during the day, when the cost of electricity is most expensive. It can defer the need for expensive high-voltage transmission lines or other generation infrastructure. So it is energy where you need it, when you need it. Through on-site self-generation, solar electricity technology also gives consumers more choices for managing their electricity costs. There are good reasons that Solar PV is now the most installed renewable electricity source in the world.
In your comments regarding higher electricity costs, you fail to note that there are legitimate and unavoidable reasons why consumers are facing higher electricity bills. We now have to cover costs of nuclear plant refurbishment, costs of new transmission infrastructure, costs of new gas plants coming into service, and yes, the introduction of newer sources such as solar energy. It can be said that increases in Ontario electricity prices were inevitable due to the need to update all aging infrastructure and invest in new green energy.
New investments in solar have upfront costs but as the industry gets stronger and grows, investments will pay off economically. Installation costs have declined significantly and they continue to go down at a fast pace. The fact that the fuel source is free ensures that input costs will never rise and provides protection against inevitable price fluctuations. Furthermore the solar industry creates four times more jobs per watt than any other generation source.
Ontario needs a variety of energy sources to work together to keep the lights on. Energy must be delivered to consumers when it is needed and each generation source has a role to play. When you take into account all the many benefits of solar power, it is clearly an efficient and environmentally effective energy source.
President & CEO