Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, will shut down the last of its coal plants in southern Ontario by the end of 2013, a year ahead of schedule. This will lead to a significant reduction in harmful emissions, cleaner air, and a healthier environment.
“When we came to government in 2003 we decided to stop burning coal and to protect more green space to help clean our air," says Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario. "Thanks to the conservation efforts of Ontarians, we were able to do just that, and today, all Ontarians can breathe a little easier.”
The early closure of Ontario’s two largest coal-fired electricity plants, Nanticoke and Lambton, comes as a result of the province’s improved, smarter electricity grid, increased efficiency, strong conservation efforts and diversified supply of clean energy. Coal-fired electricity emits high levels of pollutants that affect human health and the environment.
Clean energy and a modern electricity system have created tens of thousands of jobs and contribute to making Ontario one of the most liveable jurisdictions in North America, a hub of innovation and an attractive place to work and invest.
- Since 2003, Ontario has cut its use of coal by nearly 90%.
- Ontario currently uses less coal-fired generation in its energy mix than any G8 nation.
- In 2014, Ontario’s use of coal is expected to be less than 1% of total electricity generation, down from 25% in 2003.
- The province will have shut down 17 of 19 coal units by the end of 2013. By the end of 2014, Ontario will be one of the first places in the world to eliminate coal as a source of electricity production.
- Today, more than 80% of the power generated in Ontario comes from clean energy sources such as water, nuclear and renewables.
- Ontario’s elimination of coal-fired electricity is equivalent of taking up to 7 million cars off the road.
- Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector will decrease dramatically as a result of becoming coal-free, from a high of 41.4 megatonnes in 2000 to only five megatonnes post-2020.