Power policy in Ontario “new levels of irrationality”: Financial Post
Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli looks to the heavens for answers on high, job-killing electricity rates: he won’t find them
Financial Post, July 21, 2015
The Wynne government discovers its electricity regime is not cost-effective. But flying off to Newfoundland & Labrador will not fix it
In its 2013 long-term energy plan, the Ontario government said it would begin looking at importing electricity from other jurisdictions when such imports “are cost effective for Ontario ratepayers.” On Monday, Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli appears to have noticed that electricity rates in the province have already soared beyond the point of cost-effectiveness, thereby making it attractive to look at importing cheap power, as per plan, from other jurisdictions.
In comments surrounding the announcement of a joint “high-level working group” to study electricity trade between Ontario and Newfoundland & Labrador, Chiarelli said the objective is to “bring down rates” in Ontario. Well, that’s news.
Anyone who follows his public pronouncements knows that he has been blissfully unperturbed by Ontario’s soaring electricity prices. So his acknowledgment it might be necessary to bring rates down will be welcome by consumers and industries. In the past, the minister has mostly rejected the idea that electricity rates are all that high and need to be reduced. Less encouraging, however, is the proposed source of the cheaper electricity, hydro power development in Newfoundland & Labrador, from where electricity would have to be wheeled about 2,400 kilometres to make it to Toronto. As my friend Lawrence Solomon quipped, “Well, at least the power would be cheaper than wind.”
Read the full article here.