It’s a Good FIT: Green Energy Act – FIT and microFIT

Dublin-St-United-Guelph-solarinstallationGreen Energy Act – FIT and microFIT Since the launch of Ontario’s Green Energy Act in 2009, the Ontario Power Authority, now the IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) has signed about 2,000 small and large FIT contracts with clean energy producers. These contracts total approximately 4,600 MW. In addition, almost 12,000 families, farmers, community groups and small businesses are participating in the microFIT Program. There are also over 130 faith communities that have participated in the program.

There seems to be no middle ground with Ontario’s Green Energy Act and the FIT and microFIT programs, if you have an opinion, then you either love it or hate it. On one hand, you love it primarily because it supports cleaner, greener electricity sources by paying a premium for the electricity produced. If you hate it, it is because you think that it is leading to higher electricity costs without actually being very reliable. There are many other reasons why you might be in one camp or the other, but these seem to be the general sentiments.

If we take electricity costs and politics out of the discussion, (I know, completely unrealistic), what are we left with?

For me, the Green Energy act has paved the way to a carbon friendly, distributed electricity system. It has raised public awareness of alternative technologies, and brought them into the mainstream. It has brought Ontario world recognition as a leader in solar, despite our federal government, and it has brought a new industry and jobs to the province. Perhaps the most significant result of the act though, is that it has helped to drop the cost of solar. The installed cost of a 10 kW system 5 years ago was approaching $100,000. This same system, can now be installed for under $40,000.

That the Green Energy Act is increasing electricity prices is debatable, but for me, it would be a small price to pay for the changes necessary to mitigate global warming.

Read more from David Patterson at David’s Corner.