POWERWORKS PWU Newsletter July 2016

“Three Amigos” Statement on a North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment strategy

On June 29 Prime Minister Trudeau, U.S. President Obama, and Mexican President Peña Nieto released a joint statement confirming a shared commitment to a competitive, low-carbon, sustainable North American economy.

This should be good news for the likelihood of successful climate change action plan development and for PWU members.

The parties’ recognition of nuclear electricity generation as a clean energy technology is an important step forward toward developing a comprehensive strategy that can supply North America with clean, low-carbon electricity at a reasonable cost.

It also recognizes the value of electricity trade between countries, and this could open up even more opportunities for low-carbon Canadian electricity generators to displace fossil fuel generation in some parts of the U.S.  Many Canadians are surprised to hear that Canada is already the largest net exporter of electricity in the world and that exported electricity is virtually greenhouse gas emission-free.

These North American strategies should also be helpful in setting some of the context for the development of Ontario’s and Canada’s approaches to carbon reduction and climate change action plans.

Some key quotes from the statement: 
“We announce a historic goal for North America to strive to achieve 50 percent clean power generation by 2025. We will accomplish this goal through clean energy development and deployment, clean energy innovation and energy efficiency.” 

“Building from ongoing efforts by our respective energy ministers through the North American Energy Ministerial Memorandum Concerning Climate Change and Energy Collaboration, a range of initiatives will support this goal, including:…” 
·        “Collaborating on cross-border transmission projects, including for renewable energy. At least six transmission lines currently proposed or in permitting review, such as the Great North Transmission Line, the New England Clean Power Link, and the Nogales Interconnection, would add approximately 5,000 megawatts (MW) of new cross-border transmission capacity….” 
·        “Conducting a joint study on the opportunities and impacts of adding more renewables to the power grid on a North American basis….” 
·        “To accelerate clean energy innovation, our energy researchers are identifying joint research and demonstration initiatives to advance clean technologies in priority areas such as smart grids and energy storage; reducing methane emissions; carbon capture, use and storage; nuclear energy; and advanced heating and cooling, including energy efficiency in building….” 
“Together, we estimate that the development of current and future projects and policies to achieve this goal will create thousands of clean jobs and support of our vision for a clean growth economy.”

This announcement is a good step but many will still try to push and bully all levels of governments into making poor policy decisions that will be bad for PWU members and bad for Ontario’s economy and environment.

Let Your Elected Representatives Know What You Think:
It never hurts to send an email or a note to your elected government representatives to let them know that you support the refurbishment of the Bruce and Darlington Stations, the extended operation of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station to 2025, and building 2 new units at the Darlington site.

Ontario’s GHG free nuclear electricity generation supplies over 60 percent of the province’s electricity. Canada’s nuclear industry, centered in Ontario, is by far the largest contributor to Ontario’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and supports over 60,000 jobs.

Converting the idle coal stations at Nanticoke and Lambton to biomass and natural gas for peak supply makes use of Ontario grown resources, produces electricity on demand, extracts value from existing generation and transmission assets, and reduces GHG emissions.

These are all good policy directions for Ontario’s economy and greenhouse gas reduction (GHG) strategy, and they should be supported by our elected policy makers.


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