Ties that bond.

A friend sent me a copy of a letter he sent to two liberal members of the Ontario Legislature the other day. He was concerned about Ontario’s lack of planning for electrical generation in the next couple of decades. He is particularly concerned that Ontario’s nuclear generation capabilities are well past their ‘best before’ dates and have to be taken off line in that time.

This leaves Ontario few options. I can tell you from a study I did for the Ontario ministry of energy back in the 1980s under the Peterson government that new nuclear plants are not an option. They are too expensive to build, they are not wanted anywhere in the province, and they take too long to run up to full power and too long to shut down.

The only really flexible form of power generation, at present, are gas-fired plants that can be located where needed—when users allow them.

But the negative is that you have no way of knowing what the cost of gas will be 10 to 15 years down the road. This is just another craps shoot.

The other choice for Ontario is to contract with Manitoba and Quebec for our long-term electrical energy needs. Both provinces want to export energy as they have the water power resources for the growth of large-scale hydro plants that can provide low-cost energy for many years to come. And committing to Ontario’s needs is a far better deal for them than selling into the U.S.

In addition, provinces can get support from the federal government for the interprovincial transmission lines. As Canada moves to meet its commitments to reduce global warming, all provinces will want to share in our hydroelectric resources.

High-speed national rail lines, high-efficiency commuter lines and the continued move to electric vehicles all depend on reliable sources of low-cost electricity. It is a resource for all of us.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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