Ontario Has Better Electricity Options than Nuclear Refurbishment

Oct. 18, 2005

According to the Pembina Institute, Ontario has faster, more reliable and more cost-effective options for meeting the province's energy needs than attempting to rebuild more aging nuclear reactors at the cost of billions of dollars. The Pembina Institute is one of Canada's leading, independent not-for-profit energy and environmental policy research organizations.

The Ontario government announced yesterday that it had entered into a $4.3 billion agreement to rebuild reactors at the Bruce Nuclear Station on Lake Huron.

Research completed by the Pembina Institute has demonstrated that an electricity system that does not include nuclear or coal-fired supply is not only technologically and economically viable, but also offers the best option in terms of reliability and economic and environmental sustainability for the future. The Institute's major conclusions have been published in the report: Power for the Future: Towards a Sustainable Electricity System for Ontario.

Research completed for the Institute demonstrates that Ontario has the potential to reduce its projected peak demand for electricity over the next 15 years by nearly 50% relative to "business as usual" projections.

These savings, which would reduce electricity consumption to levels below current demand, could be achieved through the use of proven, commercially available technologies and would be economically rational.

The achievement of these savings would require an investment of $18.2 billion, but energy consumers would recover 96% of their efficiency investments through energy savings. In contrast, providing the same amount of energy through new nuclear facilities would cost $26 billion.

The Pembina Institute's work has also identified the potential for major contributions from low-impact renewable energy sources, such as wind, hydroelectricity and biomass, to the province's electricity supply.

"Fully exploiting the potential for energy efficiency and low-impact renewables offer the best choices for insulating Ontario from shifts in the costs of out-of-province energy supplies, and for establishing a more reliable and environmentally and economically sustainable electricity system for Ontario," concluded Dr. Mark Winfield, lead researcher in the Power for the Future Project.

Power for the Future is available at www.pembina.org

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For more information contact :

Mark Winfield, PhD, Director, Environmental Governance

Tel: 416.978.5656 Cell: 416.434.8130 E-mail: markw@pembina.org

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