Response to “Quebec Holds the Answer to Ontario’s Power Problems”

November 12, 2013

Article by Jack Gibbons, Toronto Star
November 11, 2013

November 12, 2013

Toronto Star
1 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5E 1E6

Dear Editor,

Ontario Clean Air Alliance chair Jack Gibbons’ commentary (Quebec holds the answer to Ontario’s power  — Nov. 11), about replacing Ontario’s nuclear-generated electricity with imports from Hydro Quebec failed to mention a few essential points.

Mr. Gibbons suggested that existing transmission lines would enable Quebec electricity to displace 86% of Darlington’s output. That’s 3,000 megawatts (MW). What about the remaining 9,700 MW available from Darlington, Bruce Power and Pickering? The transmission lines he describes could displace only 24% of Ontario’s nuclear-generated electricity. We’d need massive investment in power lines, obviously.

Nuclear-powered electricity provided 56.4% of Ontario’s electricity last year. Natural gas provided 14.6%. As a clean-air advocate, Mr. Gibbons should want to replace gas as well, given that it emits 29 times more greenhouse gas than nuclear (Source: United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).  Surely if clean air is his goal, shouldn’t his argument focus on replacing gas?

Moreover, replacing both nuclear and gas would put 71% of Ontario’s electricity supply in the hands of Quebec. That’s a lot of eggs for one basket.

Ontario’s current policy of diversifying electricity sources is the prudent choice. It also supports thousands of well-paid jobs, not to mention all that clean air provided by nuclear.

Let’s keep what we have.

Yours Sincerely,

John Barrett

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