Canada

Canada

PROFOUND LEGISLATIVE SHIFTS

Ontario Hydro chair Maurice Strong has called for a major restructuring of the public utility, leading to increased competition, lower rates and eventual full privatisation. He argues that the present system is "obsolete and must be replaced." The current integrated monopoly structure cannot be modified gradually and profound legislative shifts are needed, Strong said. "Technological change is undermining the rationale for a single monopoly supplier. Reasonably priced electricity is now available from potentially thousands of new suppliers." Strong called for a new customer based supply system in which large centralised generating stations will no longer be built. He foresees "municipalities, shopping malls, and residential co-operatives installing local distributed generation as a complement to, and maybe even an alternative to, buying power produced several hundred miles away and transmitted across the province." The Independent Power Producers' Society of Ontario (IPPSO) welcomes Strong's statements, perceiving an important new opening for non-utility generators, including renewables. "We are once again impressed at Maurice Strong's vision and leadership," said IPPSO senior vice president and wind proponent Jeff Passmore. "Strong's comprehensive proposal is notable because it calls for sweeping changes without losing sight of sustainable development."

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