Toronto, June 29, 2023:
Following on the heels of the federal government, Ontario’s Ford government has announced its plans to pursue “electrification”, meaning replacing technologies that use fossil fuels with technologies that use electricity, ideally generated by renewable sources. Ontario’s Electrification and Energy Transition Panel is soliciting input from various groups on the prospect of electrification of the Ontario economy. The Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses Canada (CCMBC) submitted their report today.
“Electricity currently provides 16 per cent of Ontario’s energy needs, whereas oil and natural gas provide two-thirds”, said Robert Lyman, economist and author of the report. He added “Transitioning away from oil and gas presents an enormous challenge that borders on the impossible, especially within the time frames planned.” Despite that reality, the Ontario government does not appear to be aware of the magnitude of this challenge and its very negative impacts on Ontario households, businesses and the economy overall.
Ontario’s electricity system is already one of the cleanest in the world. As it is 94 per cent emissions-free, it contributes only 3 per cent to the province’s overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Lyman noted that “Ontario’s GHG emissions in 2021 were only 0.4 per cent of the world total. The climate effects of eliminating them would be too small to measure.” The cost of electrification will also be prohibitive. Although there are no reliable estimates of the cost, the Royal Bank has conservatively estimated it to be $2 trillion for the Canadian economy. Lyman added “There are good reasons to question whether this is even feasible, as many of the technologies needed are unproven, very expensive and would never be used without significant government subsidies.”
To date, much attention has been focused on encouraging electric vehicles (EVs). Yet even if every car, SUV and truck in Canada were made emissions-free, Canada’s total emissions would only drop by 11 per cent. Electrifying households would impose considerable costs on families. And electrifying industry would be so expensive businesses would merely move their operations – and the jobs they provide – to other more competitive locations.
Lyman commented that “The electricity system infrastructure would also need to be greatly increased to accommodate all the added demand, at enormous cost. Large projects of this type also need considerable lead time, making the government’s stated time frames unrealistically short.” Most of the climate alarmists also foresee eliminating the use of natural gas, one of the most reliable and affordable sources of energy, and replacing it with wind and solar power. As has been seen in other jurisdictions that have tried this approach, the result is reduced reliability and increased risk of brownouts and blackouts.
The electrification of Ontario is simply not possible within the time frames cited, if at all. Despite all of these realities, the Ontario government seems determined to plow ahead and expose Ontario taxpayers to a hugely risky and expensive venture that will hurt Ontarians. The full CCMBC report can be found here.
Our Response can be found here.
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