Ontario, Canada looks to ban coal-fired electricity by end of 2014

Ontario, Canada proposes new bill that would eliminate existing and future coal-fired electric power stations by the end of 2014. (Pictured: Thunder Bay Coal-Fired Generating Station)

The government of Ontario, Canada has introduced the Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act, which is aimed toward the end of coal-fired electricity generation in the province.

If passed, the Bill would end the use of coal at Ontario’s four remaining coal-fired power stations and prohibit the development of new, stand-alone coal-fired power plants after December 31, 2014.

On November 21, at the the MaRs Discovery Centre in Toronto, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the closure of the coal-fired Lambton and Atikokan facilities, and the upcoming closure of the Nanticoke Generating Station - the largest coal plant in North America.

Wynn also announced that over the next year, Ontario’s coal-fired Thunder Bay Generating Station would cease burning coal and undergo a conversion to advanced biofuels for power generation.

“Our work on eliminating coal and investing in renewables is the strongest action being taken in North America to fight climate change,” said Wynne. “I believe we can work together as stewards of our natural environment and protect our children, our grandchildren and our fellow citizens.”

The proposed Bill will not apply to coal-fired electricity-generation at most industrial facilities. Exempt are facilities that produce a product other than electricity or steam, and where electricity generation is not the primary purpose of the facility.

Ontario’s elimination of stand-alone coal-fired electricity is the single largest greenhouse gas reduction initiative in North America and is a signature initiative under Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan, according to the proposal submitted to the Ministry of the Environment.

Public comment and additional information are available here: Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act Proposal

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