Ontario has announced standardized fixed price contracts for energy purchases from small scale renewable projects: $0.42 CDN / kWh for solar, $0.11 CDN / kWh for wind, small hydro, and biomass. The contracts will be valid for 20 years, and can be for a maximum of 10 MW per project.
Tyler Hamilton has rounded up reactions; technical background is available from the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. With a guaranteed rate of return and simplified process stimulating small-scale renewable producers, Ontario has a chance to safeguard future energy supplies, build a domestic renewable energy industry, and help the environment - not bad for a piece of legislation.
It sounds good and exciting, but in a way I see it just as a lazy way for the gov't to get some more energy into the Grid while they hum and haw some more about Ontario's energy crisis. i.e. Short term relief. And as one who dreams of living off grid herself, I'm with Tyler Hamilton that it's not going to make much difference without a tax break. It's too bad Ontario is always so slow to embrace change.
Good news. But it doesn't appear that Ontario will offer a guaranteed price for "negawatts" - that is, for efficiency improvements. Too bad.