Photo: Flickr, CC
In Germany's Footsteps... And About as Sunny
Canada's most populous province has been signing deals left and right since it increased its feed-in tariffs (the danger is now arguably that they're too generous, and this could lead to a backlash from rate-payers). The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has recently announced deals for 184 new projects, mostly wind, solar, run-of-river hydro, and landfill gas capture.OPA writes: "The 184 projects announced today will generate enough energy to power 600,000 homes. Located in communities across the province, the total 694 Feed-in Tariff (FIT) contract offers announced to date will create 20,000 direct and indirect green jobs and attract about $9 billion in private sector investment, as well as investment in new Ontario-based manufacturing."
This adds up to about 2,500 megawatts of nameplate capacity, though the actual production factor should be lower than that. For wind and solar it usually falls in the 20-35% range, and for hydro it's usually higher than that (there are many factors).
Here's the breakdown on the types of projects: "Seventy-six of the approved projects are ground-mounted solar photovoltaic, 47 are on-shore wind and 46 are waterpower projects. There are also seven biogas, two biomass, four landfill gas, one roof top solar and one off-shore wind projects."
It's great to see it all happening so fast (the feed-in tariffs were introduced about 6 months ago), but I'm afraid that Ontarians might be paying a bit too much. Depending on the scale of the project, they're paying up to 50-80 cents/kWh, which is very high, and he contracts are for 20 years. This might not be sustainable (as we've seen in Spain). A better return on investment could probably have been had with more investments in energy efficiency and conservation (something that Ontario is already doing, but could ramp up).
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