FAQ: Green Energy Act and FIT Program

How does the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program affect my electricity bill?

  • The 80.2¢ /kWh paid for small roof top projects is misunderstood. It is only paid to homeowners, farmers and small businesses under the microFIT program. This program, for small scale solar projects under 10kW, represents less than 1¢ on the average monthly Ontario electricity bill.
  • Larger commercial and industrial projects range from 13.5 cents per kWh for wind power to 44.3 kWh for solar power.
  • The entire FIT program represents less that $1.50 on the average monthly household electrical bill.
  • The prices paid for electricity under the FIT program are scheduled for regular reviews. As the cost of technology decreases, so will the prices.
  • Ontario’s electricity bills have gone up primarily because of nuclear, natural gas, and infrastructure investments, not from renewable energy. Between 2003-2010, 90% of the new generation in Ontario came from natural gas plants.
  • Electricity bills have gone up 3.6% per year on average over the past 20 years, and they are projected to rise 3.5% per year on average for the next 20 years, including the FIT. (According to the Liberal Party platform)
  • Under the FIT programs, the price paid is for the actual generation.
  • Fit programs leave the taxpayer free of development costs for major power plant and cost overruns.

What is a Feed-In Tariff program or FIT?

  • A Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) is simply a predictable price that is paid for renewable power.
  • It gives energy producers a stable market at prices that encourages the development of renewable energy projects to feed electricity into the grid.
  • Under the current program, prices were set for a 2 year term to provide market stability to attract investors. FIT prices are scheduled for periodic and aggressive reductions and are currently being reviewed for reductions in November 2011.

How successful are Feed-In Tariff programs around the world?

  • FIT programs have enabled the development of 50% of global wind power, 90% of global solar power, and 90% of global biogas power.
  • Campaigns are under way in 45 US states for FIT programs in their jurisdiction as a result of Ontario’s initiative.
  • Japan passed a new law in August 2011 to establish its FIT program.
  • Spain’s FIT program has been an ongoing success.
  • Germany’s FIT program created 370,000 jobs and 32,000 MW of renewable energy. (equivalent to 10 x the Pickering Nuclear Generating Stations).
  • Germany’s renewable energy industry is now 2nd only to its auto industry.

What has been the result of Ontario’s renewable energy program?

  • 26,000 farmers and homeowners are part of the small-scale program (“microFIT”).
  • 1000 MW community-based and aboriginal larger-scale projects are in progress.
  • 20,000 new jobs created to date, with 50,000 total projected by the end of 2012 (according to the Ontario Ministry of Energy).
  • 17,000 MW of renewable energy capacity is being developed (equivalent to over 5 times the output of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station).
  • $20 billion in private investment has been committed to Ontario for renewable energy.
  • 1000 businesses in Ontario rely on the renewable energy sector.
  • 58 renewable energy manufacturers are now established in Ontario.
  • Sarnia has the world’s 3rd largest solar plant (80 MW, power for 13,000 homes).
  • Canada now ranks 7th in renewable energy investments in the world. The majority of these investments are in Ontario, primarily as a result of the Green Energy Act’s FIT program.
  • 74,000 jobs will be created in solar power by 2018.
  • 80,328 person-years of employment will be created in wind power by 2018.

Why Feed-In Tariff program for renewable energy?

What political parties have supported feed-in-tariff programs?

  • FIT programs have been initiated by various political parties around the world.

    For example:

    • Conservative governments in Germany, France, UK, and Nova Scotia.
    • Social Democratic governments in South Africa, Vermont, and communist China.

Why does Ontario need renewable energy?

  • Ontario plans to phase-out coal-fired plants by 2014. This phase-out is recognized as being one of largest emission reductions in all of North America.
  • Billions of dollars will be spent in the next 10 years to repair Ontario’s nuclear plants, upgrade half of its generating plants and replace half of its 50 year old transmission lines.

    Building traditional electricity plants takes time. A nuclear plant would take 10 years to build. Ontario needs to ramp up its clean electricity supply of solar and wind energy which will quickly fill that need as a valuable part of the energy mix.

  • Wind energy is now cost competitive with traditional sources. But on hot summer days solar power is best at meeting peak demands when Ontario’s system is strained and power is most expensive.

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