Tell the Ontario government that you want to see more community power in this province!
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Please include your local MPP in your correspondence. Click here to find out who your MPP is. Feel free to add your own personal touch to the letter. Thank you.
To: Glenn Thibeault, Minister of Energy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
cc: Premier Kathleen Wynne (email@example.com)
Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Glen Murray, Minister of Environment and Climate Change (email@example.com)
Dear Minister Thibeault:
Ontario has shown great leadership in supporting renewable energy and moving away from coal power. However, maximizing the economic benefits and public support for clean energy is dependent on community participation and ownership.
In Ontario, community owned renewable energy projects, with participation from co-operatives, community groups, First Nations, Métis and municipal entities, have played an integral role in ensuring economic benefits are realized locally, with economic modeling showing that every $1 invested in a typical community solar project drives an additional $2 in economic activity.
Community ownership also increases public support for renewable energy, with polling showing that 78% of Ontarians believe Ontario should increase community ownership of renewable energy projects (see more details in this recent report, published by TREC: http://tinyurl.com/z8j2yu5).
The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program under the Ontario Green Energy and Green Economy Act has led to increased community participation of renewables, with 13% of Ontario’s renewable energy projects including a community, municipal, First Nations or Métis ownership component.
A great start, but we can’t stop now. The potential for community owned renewables to produce economic and environmental benefits is great, but Ontario’s shift away from standardized FIT rates towards a bidding process will make it impossible for community-owned projects to compete with commercial developers.
To keep community power alive in Ontario, I support the recommendations put forth by TREC in their report entitled ‘The Power of Community’:
- Maintain the FIT program for qualified community organizations
- Introduce a FIT for community wind that allows community groups to lead projects
- Provide provincial loan guarantees for co-ops and other non-profit projects
I hope Ontario will commit to continued support of community owned renewable energy.