Meanwhile in Ontario

Hydro-Québec announces $9-billion wind farm.

Hydro-Québec announces partnerships with Indigenous communities and a regional government in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region that will open the door to a C$9-billion wind farm, a major step in the mammoth utility’s plan to triple its wind power capacity by 2035 and wean the province off fossil fuels. Details

Photo credit: Anna Tallulah/wikimedia commons

Meanwhile in Ontario: Gas plant use triples under Ford. Sign petition

Gas plant use has tripled under the Ford government. In the middle of a climate and cost of living crisis, the Ontario government is betting the farm on gas, contracting new gas plants, despite having cleaner and cheaper alternatives available to meet the province’s electricity needs.

Ramping up gas generation will increase electricity emissions by over 400 per cent by 2030, and by almost 800 per cent by 2040. This is the wrong direction to go in. Ontario’s electricity demands can be met with wind and solar energy, combined with battery storage that allows for additional power during peak demand. Tell Doug Ford and our MPP Graydon Smith that you want a clean energy grid now. Say no to polluting gas plants in Ontario. Sign the petiton, organized by Environmental Defence. #TripleWindandSolar

Ontario passes bill to lend Enbridge a helping hand | National Observer

Doug Ford

May 16, 2024- National Observer – Premier Doug Ford’s government overrode Ontario’s independent energy regulator, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) on Wednesday this week by passing Bill 165.

The legislation gives the provincial government authority to reverse the OEB decision disallowing Enbridge from funding a major gas expansion by increasing rates for current and future gas customers. The OEB ordered the cost of new infrastructure be paid upfront by developers, which would effectively cause developers to seek out the least expensive way to heat and cool new homes eg with cold climate air source heat pumps.

It is worth noting that Minister of Energy Todd Smith’s chief of staff is David Donovan, who served as Enbridge’s senior government affairs strategist from 2013 until 2018, at which time he left the company to work with the Ontario government. Read story

Doug Ford’s Enbridge ‘scandal’ must be investigated: climate groups

 30+ climate NGOs, including Climate Action Muskoka, are calling on the Auditor General of Ontario to initiate a value-for-money audit on the environmental and financial impacts of Bill 165, which overrules the OEB decision. This call is supported by the NDP and Green parties, who have also written to the Auditor General requesting an audit.  

“Climate groups in Ontario are alarmed that this bill would pave the way for Enbridge to get its subsidy paid for by ordinary people, which will increase their monthly energy bills and will increase Ontario’s emissions,” according to Lana Goldberg, climate campaigner, “It is a scandal.” Well worth a watch! The climate groups’ press conference – here.

This gas utility will heat customers’ home without gas

Eversource is set to switch on decarbonized heating and cooling using underground pipes that exploit geothermal heat.

February 9, 2024 – CBC What On Earth

To meet net-zero emissions goals, many jurisdictions are starting to ban fossil fuel heating.

That’s a big challenge for gas utilities, which is why some have responded by fighting the bans, both in Canada and the U.S.

But a few are trying to evolve and transition into a new business that takes advantage of some of their existing skills and expertise — namely, geothermal (also known as geoexchange) heating and cooling networks, a form of district heating.

This spring, Massachusetts-based Eversource is set to switch on decarbonized heating and cooling for 140 customers in 37 buildings in Framingham, Mass., including a low-to-moderate income apartment complex, single-family homes, a fire station and a school building.

Read more here

Meanwhile in Ontario

Ontario sides with Enbridge Gas in fight to connect new homes to natural gas

January 25, 2024 – Fatima Syed – the Narwhal
Saying fossil fuel use will decline, the Ontario Energy Board told Enbridge Gas to charge developers, not homeowners, for new natural gas hookups. Energy Minister Todd Smith vowed to reverse the decision.

Climate Groups Decry Move to Override Climate Positive Ontario Energy Board Decision

January 25, 2024 – CAM
16 Climate groups, including Climate Action Muskoka, have responded to this threat to arbitrarily overturn a win-win-win situation for new homebuyers, for existing gas customers, and for reducing carbon pollution.

Enbridge Gas Caught Lying About its Home Heating Costs and Impacts

January 10, 2024 – Enviromental Defence –
In an attempt to expand its “natural” gas infrastructure across Ontario, Enbridge Gas is telling residents that gas is the cheapest way to heat their homes. It’s not. 
As of January 10, 2024, the Competition Bureau has seen merit in our complaint and launched an investigation into Enbridge Gas’ marketing campaign