Ontario passes Green Energy Act
The Ontario legislature passed Bill 150, the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009, today. The Green Energy Act is intended to pave the way for the widespread deployment of renewable power while creating up to 50,000 "green collar" jobs in the province.
In the words of Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure George Smitherman, "the Green Energy Act will truly set us on the path to a 21st century green economy for Ontario, one that is sustainable, easy on the environment, and focused on the jobs of the future. We'll be working hard to ensure Ontario gets every benefit possible from renewable energy and from the efficiency and savings that come from developing a culture of conservation."
The bill passed third reading by a vote of 59 to 13, with opposition from the Progressive Conservatives, who were concerned that the Green Energy Act would burden consumers with increased electricity prices.
The enthisasm of environmentalists was qualified by a concern that the province still relies too heavily on nuclear power.
Renewable power investors and developers, however, are very excited about the new legislation. The combination of compelling feed-in tariff pricing and a streamlined approvals process sends a strong signal that Ontario is open for business in the renewable energy sector. Developers and investors from around the world have their eyes on Ontario.
As explored in our recent client seminar, translating the promises of the Green Energy Act into successful projects will require an in-depth understanding of the regulatory framework under the Act. Davis continues to track the evolving regulations and will provide updates through this blog.