March 15, 2004

Clean air group urges adoption of clean, renewable sources as base for energy strategy

In a report called New Energy Directions, the Ontario Clean Air Alliance proposes an electricity strategy for Ontario which it says is low-cost, low-risk and in keeping with the Ontario government's goal of ensuring consistent supplies at reasonable cost with maximum conservation and minimal environmental impact. This includes Premier Dalton McGuinty's call for phasing out Ontario's coal-fired electricity generators by 2007.

The Alliance is a broad coalition of electricity generators, public utilities, district energy companies, energy co-operatives and public interest groups. Its report's key recommendations call for the Ontario government to:

*mandate the Independent Electricity Market Operator, or another provincial agency, to introduce a competitive bidding process and long-term power contracts for providers of electricity to the province;

*recognize that energy conservation and efficiency, new renewables (wind, water, biomass), district energy, cogeneration and high-efficiency natural gas combined-cycle power plants offer the optimum low-cost, low-risk options to phase out Ontario's coal-fired power plants; and

*obtain the province's additional electricity supplies from a diverse and decentralized pool of power producers, including energy co-operatives, municipal utilities, district energy companies, shopping centres, hospitals, manufacturing companies and investor-owned power companies.

The New Energy Directions report is supported by: Access Capital, AIM PowerGen, Bracebridge Generation, Canada Composting, Canadian District Energy Association, Canadian Hydro Developers, Calpine, Collingwood Utility Services, District Energy Windsor, Eco-Energy Durham, ecoPerth, Enbridge Gas Distribution, Energy Ottawa, Enwave District Energy, Energy Action Council of Toronto, Environment North, Grand River Eco-Energy Network, Greenpeace, Hearthmakers Energy Cooperative, Hamilton Utilities Corporation, Markham District Energy, Mississippi River Power, Oakville Hydro, Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Regional Power, St Catharines Hydro Generation, Sierra Club of Canada, Sky Generation, Veridian, Vestas - Canadian Wind Technology, Vision Quest, Whitby Hydro Energy Services and Windfall Ecology Centre.

More information is available from Jack Gibbons of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, 416/926-1907, ext 240. The report may be viewed on-line at www.cleanair.web.ca.

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