Media Release

Supply Advice Misses the Mark

Dec 09 2005

The Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA) electricity supply mix advice, delivered today to the Ontario government, inappropriately emphasized reliance on nuclear power and vastly under-estimated the potential for energy efficiency and renewable power according to the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA).“The OPA report gave very low weight to the environmental impacts of radioactive emissions, impacts to air and water from the routine operation of nuclear power plants, and the long term hazards of dealing with highly toxic radioactive spent fuel,” stated Theresa McClenaghan, Counsel with the Canadian Environmental Law Association.  “It also failed to incorporate nuclear power plant accident risks in its assessment.”“Furthermore, the OPA report is recommending that the new nuclear power plant be built in addition to the replacement of the existing nuclear plants in the province as a contingency plan in case of greater growth in energy demand or to replace other power options.”However, the OPA report explicitly chose extremely low figures for energy conservation and efficiency.  The report also recommends that after Ontario invests 40 billion dollars in new and refurbished nuclear power, the province could cut back on renewable energy investment if our collective conservation and efficiency efforts result in less demand for energy than the OPA used for its calculations.The OPA strategy is in stark contrast to the findings by the Canadian Environmental Law Association and the Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development in their report, "Power for the Future", which found that 18 billion dollars of capital investment over the next 15 years with appropriate energy efficiency, increased cogeneration and fuel switching would reduce demand in Ontario by more than 40% compared to business-as-usual scenarios.  Furthermore, energy consumers would recover 96% of their investments through energy savings resulting from their adoption of more efficient technologies.   An update issued by CELA and Pembina last week gave the province a failing grade on its efficiency efforts to date.Today’s OPA report would see Ontario make multi-billion dollar, risky investments in nuclear technology at the expense of conservation, efficiency and renewable power development in the province.-30-For further information: Theresa McClenaghan, Counsel  (cell) 519-755-7579