Smart Generation: Powering Ontario With Renewable Energy

By Paul Gipe

The report, authored by leading experts in the field, summarizes the potential of five sources of renewable energy – wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal and solar. It analyzes the economic benefits for each source and makes specific policy recommendations on how to rebuild Ontario’s power system with renewable energy.

For example, the report explains how Ontario could install 8,000 megawatts of wind power by 2012, generating about nine per cent of current electricity demand. Doing so will produce nearly $14 billion in economic benefits and create 5,000 wind industry jobs.

“Wind energy offers a new cash crop for Ontario farmers, potentially pumping billions into the rural economy,” said Paul Gipe, author of the report’s wind chapter. “Wind turbines require only a very small land area, in some cases allowing farmers to plow to the base of the towers. Farmers, by either leasing their land to wind developers or by installing the wind turbines themselves, can earn tens of thousands of dollars per year in revenue while continuing to produce their traditional crops.”