Ontario’s new energy minister says he’s committed to the province’s Green Energy Act, the game-changing legislation that has attracted billions of dollars in renewable energy investments.
Chris Bentley, who took over the energy ministry earlier this month from Brad Duguid, tells the Toronto Star that he’s committed to the Green Energy Act, which was initially signed into law in 2009 by Premier Dalton McGuinty.
“We’re very committed to the principles of the Green Energy Act,” Bentley tells the Star. He adds: “I believe the world is going greener, to a greater or lesser extent.Different countries will have different approaches. We might as well become leaders in the jobs aspect and be able to export our knowledge to the world — have the jobs right here.”
During the fall elections, which McGuinty narrowly won, opponent Tim Hudak, the leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party, blamed the law for the province’s rising energy costs and promised to kill it if elected. This had caused many green investors to take a “wait and see” attitude during the campaign, curtailing investments.
Bentley has not shutout possibly amending portion of the legislation but did not provide more details. One expected change, though, is a cut in the act’s province-wide Feed-In Tariff (FIT) system.
Since it was signed into law in 2009 the FIT program has attracted close to 2,600 megawatts, of renewable energy projects. The act’s largest deal so far are the C$7 billion ($7.5 billion) committed by Samsung to develop 2,500 megawatts of wind and solar projects.