Clean Technology Canada

Does “Ontario’s clean energy opportunity” adequately define “energy transition”?

February 20, 2024
By Anthony Capkun

Presented by:
EB Mag
Clean Technology

February 20, 2024 – Nearly two years ago, Ontario’s Electrification and Energy Transition Panel (EETP) was tasked with advising government on the highest-value short-, medium-, and long-term opportunities for the energy sector to help the province’s economy prepare for electrification and the energy transition.

Comprising David J. Collie (chair), Monica Gattinger, Ph.D., and Chief Emerita Emily Whetung, the panel delivered its final report “Ontario’s Clean Energy Opportunity” to Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Todd Smith.


• Establish a government-wide commitment to develop a clean energy economy by 2050 to align private, social and public forces.

• Articulate a clear strategic policy vision to focus the sector, bring alignment in managing change, and deliver an orderly transition that prioritizes affordability, reliability and resilience.

• Build meaningful partnerships with Indigenous communities that advance reconciliation and provide opportunities in electrification and energy transition.

• Modify the existing institutional framework in which the Ministry of Energy continues to lead energy planning. Government will need to provide direction on complex and contentious issues to ensure an orderly transition that allocates resources effectively and protects customers.

• Undertake a series of actions to ensure that Ontario’s planning and regulatory systems are ready for electrification, support the move to a clean energy economy, and can manage increasing pressures. The Independent Electricity System Operator and the Ontario Energy Board will play central and distinct roles in this process.

• Ensure effective collaboration and integration in energy planning across fuels—especially electricity and natural gas—to ensure investments and innovation can be deployed in a way that unlocks their full value.

• Build and maintain public support for electrification and the energy transition with a principled pragmatic approach grounded in cost-effectiveness and solutions tailored to the specific and often local needs and circumstances of people as customers, citizens and community members.

QUEST Canada believes the panel’s final report can help achieve collaborative and integrated community energy transition across Ontario “if key recommendations are followed”.

“Acknowledging the need for a strengthened framework for local energy planning and decision-making—and taking steps to facilitate its implementation—is a critical recommendation,” said QUEST’s Tonja Leach. “Ensuring municipalities are actively involved and adequately supported in the energy transition is vital for realizing our goal of a sustainable energy future.”

However, J. Mark Rodger—co-chair of the Energy Markets Group with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP—notes that the panel’s report lacks specificity regarding what actually constitutes “energy transition”.

Rodger points out that, while the report makes multiple references to “addressing climate change”, the “clean energy economy” and “net-zero”,

“Ultimately, the Government of Ontario will determine what is—and what is not—energy transition”.

In fact, in some highly energy-intensive processes (e.g. steel-makers who are switching from coke-fired blast ovens to electric-arc furnaces), Rodger says “the conversion to natural gas is the energy transition”.

“To provide needed clarity about what energy transition means for Ontario, we support the EETP recommendation that ‘Government will need to provide direction on complex and contentious issues to ensure an orderly transition that allocates resources effectively and protects customers’,” Rodger concludes.

Meantime, the Minister of Energy says he will work with “leaders from Ontario’s energy sector to carefully review the report’s recommendations and advice”.

DOWNLOAD REPORT (PDF): energy-eetp-ontarios-clean-energy-opportunity-en-2024-02-02

“I look forward to announcing our next steps toward an integrated energy planning process later this year,” said Minister Smith.

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