Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario
Subject: CFFO Responds to FIT and MicroFIT Review
By Jenny Denhartog
GUELPH – The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) sees reason for optimism as well as reason for concern in the Ontario Feed-in Tariff Program Two-Year Review Report.
The continuing price reductions for both wind and solar, being reflective of the advancements in technology, are in line with the CFFO’s position on pricing. An annual review will ensure that the price reductions continue to be timely and predictable. In addition the CFFO, an organization that has long been a proponent of good land use policy, views the greater restrictions on solar panels on Ontario’s best farmland as a positive change. The organization recently called for land use considerations for the placement of FIT projects to be re-evaluated to reduce their placement on prime farmland.
The CFFO is especially pleased with the fact that municipalities that favour wind projects will have the opportunity to accumulate points to help them and that the report includes more consultation with communities when new projects arise. This allows communities in favour of more renewable investment to pursue it, while allowing communities to weigh in negatively is also a step in the right direction. This is in line with the organization’s endorsement of a resolution that the CFFO will only support solar FIT and wind FIT projects that are approved by and are to the benefit of the community and the municipality.
The organization sees reason for concern as well. According to Nathan Stevens, CFFO Director of Policy Development, “The troubling question we asked in our submission was, what happens when the gold rush ends in 2015? We are years ahead of schedule. The year 2013 will be a watershed year for the direction of this province on renewable energy. We hope that those discussions will be very broad and talk about our ability to compete globally as a producer of this technology, as well as a real plan to enable other businesses to increase efficiency and productivity as we enter a new energy cost paradigm.”
The CFFO maintains its position that the Ontario government needs to take firm control of the timetable for development and implementation of FIT projects to more closely conform to its long-term goals and that that the long term sustainability of clean energy procurement needs to take into account a triple bottom line that considers economic, environmental and social impacts.
For more information, please contact:
Nathan Stevens Interim Manager, Director of Policy Development (519) 837-1620