Ontario Ministry of Energy Initiates Consultations on LTEP
On October 13, 2016, Ontario's Ministry of Energy announced details about promised consultations on the new Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP), including a Discussion Paper titled "Planning Ontario's Energy Future" and a schedule for public consultation sessions across Ontario.
The Discussion Paper builds on the Independent Electricity System Operator's (IESO) Ontario Planning Outlook, which "provides a 10-year review (2005-2015) and a 20-year outlook (2016-2035) for Ontario's electricity system." As we discussed in an earlier post, the Ontario Planning Outlook is intended to serve as an "objective baseline" for the Ministry of Energy and stakeholders for information about electricity demand and supply outlooks, and will inform the Ministry's formal consultation process for the development of the LTEP.
The Discussion Paper highlights the goal of setting a path towards an affordable, reliable, clean supply of energy to meet Ontario's anticipated needs. Among the items addressed are measures to combat climate change (including the Climate Change Action Plan), an expanded focus on how fossil fuels (oil, natural gas) are used (this includes the recently-issued Fuels Technical Report) and consideration of how changes in energy consumption will impact electricity demand. Another focus of the Discussion Paper is energy pricing and measures available to increase affordability. Finally, the Discussion Paper includes sections addressing "changes on the horizon," such as distribution and grid modernization, natural gas expansion, microgrids, storage, conservation and clean energy supply. In connection with each of these topics, as well as some other items (such as indigenous energy policy, supply mix and regional planning), the Ministry of Energy poses a number of questions or issues for consideration. Presumably, these are areas of focus about which the Ministry is seeking input.
The public consultation sessions will be held in 17 locations across Ontario, starting in Toronto on October 24th and finishing on November 30th in Mississauga. Interested parties are invited to make presentations, addressing items in the Discussion Paper or other items. The list of locations for the consultation sessions is found here.
Interested persons can also provide their comments, suggestions and ideas for the LTEP online. A recent posting on the Environmental Registry invites comments to be submitted by December 17, 2016.
According to the Discussion Paper, the Ministry of Energy intends to publish the LTEP in 2017 and then work with relevant agencies to implement the recommendations in the LTEP.