This column was originally published in the March 26, 2006 issue of Northern Life.
Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant who writes extensively on mining issues. [email protected]
The Ontario government is committed to closing the province’s four coal-fired generating plants by 2009 due to pollution concerns. This will eliminate 6,500 megawatts of power generating capacity, about 20 percent of production. These four power stations cost billions of tax dollars to build, and with regular maintenance, could continue running for decades. As a consequence, Ontario taxpayers will have to needlessly spend billions more to construct new gas-fired generating plants – powered with a very expensive source of energy that is in short supply.
We are entering uncertain times in a new globalized economy where reasonably priced energy is a key factor for investment decisions. Ontario’s manufacturing might is being put at risk with policies that don’t accommodate sensible and sustainable development of local energy sources.
Concerns about high sulphur and mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants are being cost effectively addressed around the world. Many jurisdictions significantly reduce these pollutants by co-firing coal with a variety of locally-derived biomass fuels. Continue Reading →