Statement by Environmental Defence’s Keith Brooks on the demolition of the Nanticoke Generating Station
Toronto, Ont. – The demolition of what was once the largest coal plant in North America is a significant moment in Ontario’s energy history. With plans in place to build a 44MW solar power project on the site to generate clean energy, Nanticoke is a clear symbol of Ontario’s transition from smog-spewing, polluting energy sources to cleaner, renewable energy.
Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel. Over its lifetime, the plant spewed hundreds of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and other toxic pollutants into the air. The Nanticoke Generating Station was shuttered in 2013 as part of Ontario’s commitment to eliminate coal power, a monumental accomplishment that remains the single largest greenhouse gas emissions reduction action on the continent. The end of coal power also led to the end of Southern Ontario’s smog problems.
The plan to build clean, renewable solar energy where one of Canada’s top ten greenhouse gas emitters once stood is a powerful sign of the unstoppable global transition to clean energy. Ontario showed early leadership in transitioning away from coal to renewables like wind and solar power. Other provinces have now followed suit, validating Ontario’s early action.
It is unfortunate that after such progress, Ontario’s commitment to clean energy is now in doubt. There are currently no plans to expand wind and solar energy sources in Ontario’s supply mix, despite their rapid drop in price. Ontario needs to demonstrate it remains committed to supporting the province’s clean technology industries and the tens of thousands of workers they employ.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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