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Ontario stops buying renewable energy

Jill Buschlen | Moment | Getty Images

The Government of Ontario has announced it is to "immediately suspend" the second phase of its Large Renewable Procurement (LRP II) process and its Energy-from-Waste Standard Offer Program.

The decision will result in halting the procurement of more than 1,000 megawatts in solar, hydroelectric, wind, bio energy and energy from waste projects, the government said in a news release Tuesday.

The decision, the government announced, is set to save as much as 3.8 billion Canadian dollars ($2.87 billion) in electricity costs, relative to the province's 2013 Long Term Energy Plan forecast.

No additional greenhouse gases would be added to the grid, while consumers could save an average of around 2.45 Canadian dollars per month on their electricity bills, "relative to previous forecasts," the government said.

"Over the course of the last decade, Ontario has rebuilt our electricity system and secured a strong supply of clean power," Glenn Thibeault, Ontario's minister of energy, said in a statement. "Our decision to suspend these procurements is not one we take lightly," he added.

"This decision will both maintain system reliability and save up to $3.8 billion in electricity system costs relative to the 2013 LTEP forecast. The typical residential electricity consumer would save an average of approximately $2.45 per month on their electricity bill, relative to previous forecasts."

A new Long-Term Energy Plan – due to be released next year – would be developed, the government said, and Ontario would remain "committed to an affordable, clean and reliable electricity system, including renewables."

The president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) said in a statement that it was "shocked and extremely disappointed by Ontario's decision to suspend second round of its Large Renewable Procurement… process."

"CanWEA is concerned that halting procurement of 1,000 megawatts (MW) of new renewable electricity generation at this time will negatively impact Ontario's ability to meet its climate goals while remaining competitive in a rapidly changing global economy," Robert Hornung went on to add.

In other renewables news, Glencore has said that renewable energy would not be cost-competitive with fossil fuels until the middle of this century, according to Reuters.

On Tuesday the miner and commodity trader's chairman told a conference in London that he predicted renewables would not achieve cost parity with fossil fuels until 2051, Reuters reported.