Our Energy, Our Future?

I received an information pamphlet from the Government of Ontario last week, and I just tossed it on my kitchen table with the other junk mail I get. I figured it was another one of those blue Energy Costs are Changing leaflets. Not until today did I get a chance to look through it. It’s actually called Our Energy, Our Future: It’s Time To Talk About Our Electricity Future.

It’s written by the Ontario Power Authority, and it details the looming energy gap (that they predict for 2025), and the alternatives and solutions they think will be most effective. According to the OPA, a mix of different power sources (including renewables), AND more effort put into conserving energy, is required in order to prevent a serious lack of supply later in the next 1/4 century.

Apparently, the current mix is 51% nuclear, 23% renewables, 19% coal and 7% natural gas. The OPA’s suggestion is this mix: 50% nuclear, 43% renewables, 6% natural gas and 1% gasification (clean coal).

I’m actually surprised at the amount of renewables we already have in use, and happy to see the OPA wants to increase that by almost double. I’m disappointed that we rely on nuclear power so much, since it seems to me to be the most dangerous form of power supply, and the risks involved with and the cost of disposing the toxic waste makes it almost not worth it to me. But alas, it’s not as bad as coal.

They’re are saying they want to have all coal-fired plants replaced by 2009 (yippee!).

They also mentioned three easy ways to help conserve energy:
– replace light bulbs with CFL bulbs
– wash your clothes in cold or warm water, not hot
– use your hot water wisely (fix leaky taps, insulate water heater, low-flow shower heads)

The pamphlet is asking us for our ideas and opinions. To submit your thoughts, visit www.ontario.ca/energy.

View, albeit distant, of the Toronto windmill at Dufferin and the waterfront.

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