Ontario green tax incentive extended to nuclear

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The Ontario government, as part of its quest to boost tight electricity supplies in the province, is extending tax breaks planned for the green power industry to nuclear generators. The province has filed regulations to implement previously announced tax incentives for the renewables industry, including a 100% corporate income tax write-off for assets used to generate electricity, a sales tax rebate on building materials and a ten year property tax holiday for new generation facilities (Windpower Monthly, December 2002). The corporate income and sales tax incentives will be available to certain nuclear power facilities in Ontario, because, the government explains, "They are a source of energy that does not emit air pollution." Agriculture minister Helen Johns says: "People in my riding have seen the benefits of using nuclear energy, and we're also home to what is currently Ontario's largest wind farm." She adds: "Anything that encourages industry to consider new generation opportunities can only be good for the people of Ontario." Plagued by smog problems, the government wants to shut down Ontario's 7519 MW of coal-fired generation by 2015. The province is also facing potential power shortages through the summer and winter if temperatures turn extreme. In addition to temporary supply problems, Ontario needs to add about 15,000 MW over the next 15 years to meet demand and replace retired generation. Government critics say nuclear is not the answer, arguing the waste produced by the plants is as much a problem as emissions from coal generation.

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