Ontario's proposed Green Energy Act

The Ontario government has just delivered a significant proposal for green energy legislation. The goals of the proposed Green Energy Act are to spur rapid growth in clean, renewable sources of energy, encourage widespread energy conservation, and create thousands of new ‘green’ jobs. The act will encourage the development of renewable energy projects by setting province-wide standards for approval (NIMBYism will not be welcomed here), and by subsidizing renewable energy generation with a feed-in tariff. A new smart grid will be designed to support renewable energy, demand management, and the widespread use of electric cars. I was particularly encouraged to see that tightening energy efficiency standards will be included in Ontario’s building code, and that energy efficiency standards will be set for new appliances. The government will also introduce industrial sector energy efficiency programs and demand management plans. A key long-term goal is to reduce peak demand by 20% (6300 MW) by 2025.

From The Star:

Ontario's Green Energy Act will create 50,000 new jobs in construction, trucking and engineering while laying the groundwork for developing projects more quickly, Energy Minister George Smitherman said today. Architects, contractors and installers will see more opportunities as they're asked to retrofit buildings for energy efficiency, Smitherman added. The legislation will also require inspectors to perform energy audits on all homes at the time of sale, seeks to cut red tape so projects can move ahead more quickly, and promises to issue permits within six months. It will also maintain the Energy Star standards for appliances and use time-of-day pricing and smart meters in homes to help people lower their electricity usage and bills. The plan includes provincewide standards on where new wind turbines and solar farms can be located, taking that power away from municipalities. McGuinty has warned activists and municipalities he won't tolerate any objections to new wind turbines or solar panel farms that aren't based on safety or environmental concerns.