Ontario - useful learning

From the 1970's Ontario Hydro had a monopoly on all aspects of the provincial electricity sector. However enormous nuclear debt led to it becoming financially and operationally dysfunctional in the 1990's.  The government reacted by producing, in 1997, a report which detailed their plans to open electricity markets to competition (Direction for Change: Charting a Course for Competitive Electricity and Jobs in Ontario).

As part of the process of introducing competition - Ontario also enacted various pieces of legislation to introduce renewable energy and/or encourage conservation. The most significant of these, from the point of view of wind energy, was the 2006 Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP). The RESOP certainly encouraged construction of significant amounts of wind but, and due to its substantial administrative burden, it favored large wind projects - in other words communities were excluded.

The RESOP was followed by the 2009 Green Energy Act. The GEA has certainly led to the construction of a very large amount of wind (and solar). However the GEA has had a number of controversial aspects not least of which is community opposition. This is reflected by statements from Ontario's current energy minister, Bob Chiarelli, when he started in this position.