Ontario’s upcoming review of the Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) provides an opportunity to create energy policy focused on energy diversity. Access to natural gas is a strategic competitive necessity for the economic development of rural Ontario.
Policy decisions with electricity and natural gas will best meet the needs of agricultural industries severely hampered by energy costs. Only a diversified plan will ensure the necessary types of energy are available to properly support economic development while also ensuring we have the tools to reach emission targets in vital sectors including transportation and energy intensive industry.
Affordable natural gas offers a significant competitive advantage to Ontario commercial and industrial customers and is vital to maintaining and growing these businesses, especially in light of the Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP). As an abundant, affordable fuel, we need to leverage the strategic advantage Ontario natural gas provides compared to our international competitors.
Rural homeowners and farm businesses need a combination of many fuel solutions to best meet their needs. Geothermal installations, CNG, micro-CHP, CHP and Distributed Energy Hubs for small rural communities can all be tailored to meet rural farm and community needs. Renewable Natural Gas injection will also be necessary to fulfill green energy needs; land-fill gas, municipal organ waste, agricultural feedstock for biogas and lumber waste must also be part of the rural solution. Conventional and renewable natural gas are the clear place to start.