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Canada

Ontario privatisation framework stresses renewables

The Ontario government is recommending the break up of Ontario Hydro into several competing companies, with customers free to choose where they buy their electricity. It also wants wholesale and then retail electricity competition phased in, and a "stranded asset charge" imposed on electricity consumers to pay for Hydro's "stranded" nuclear assets. The recommendations are contained in a report released June 7 entitled A Framework for Competition. The need to support energy efficiency along with the introduction of renewables is stressed so they can "provide substantial cost-effective electricity supplies -- reducing the need for more environmentally harmful sources of power generation." Tom Adams of Toronto based Energy Probe said recently: "Breaking up and privatising Ontario's electricity system -- now bloated, polluting and propped up by secret rate discounts for big business -- will make the system trim, green and fair." According to Adams, "Financial accountability would reverse Ontario Hydro's dependence on mega projects, risky uneconomic nuclear plants and dirty coal plants."

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