The Canadian province of Ontario appears to be quite serious about slashing fossil fuel-based energy use and replacing it with clean energy. A recent statement from from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announces that several hundred new mid-sized clean energy projects are in the works and that, through the province’s feed-in-tariff program, the average price of energy per household, per year, stands to be reduced by about $150.00 on average.
OPA indicated that roughly 700 new clean energy projects were underway. These projects span the clean energy spectrum, including work in solar, biomass, biogas, water and wind power sources. The considerable growth in clean energy projects is attributed, in part, to Ontario’s Green Energy Act , which is expected to create 50,000 clean energy jobs by the end of 2012. OPA says that 13,000 jobs have already been created as a result of its clean energy plans.
Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff program is also a big part of clean energy’s success in the region. OPA reports that its 1,200 previously announced feed-in-tariff projects represents enough electricity each year to power 700,000 homes. The newly announced projects are expected to add 16,000 more homes worth of power to that figure.
Coal-fired power generation is out and solar is in, as far as Ontario is concerned. An OPA figure shows that power derived from the burning of coal was down 90% in the first three months of 2011 compared to the same time in 2003. Solar power generation has played a big part in knocking back coal-fired electricity. Ontario’s solar power capacity is said to be the third largest in North America, after California and New Jersey. Ontario’s 950 acre, 80 megawatt Sarnia solar farm is, presently, said to be the largest operating solar photovoltaic farm in the world.
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