Ontario promises to eliminate coal-fired generation by the end of 2014. Along with the closure of the Lakeview Generating Station in 2005, the province's coal capacity will be reduced by 40 per cent.
Coal plants will close as Ontario brings other energy producing sources such as wind power, modern gas fired units and refurbished nuclear units online, Deputy Premier George Smitherman told reporters this morning.
"We are determined to eliminate coal fired generation from our energy supply mix," Smitherman said at the Ontario Power Generation offices on University Ave.
In the first six months of 2009, coal fired generation was more than 51 per cent less than the same time last year, Smitherman said. In that same six-month time frame, wind generated electricity is 80 per cent higher, he added.
"This speaks very well to the transformation ongoing in the province," Smitherman said.
Globally, burning coal for electricity is the largest source of green house gases that drive the devastating effects of climate change, said Keith Stewart, director of the climate change program at the WWF Canada. Shutting down coal fired plants and Ontario's green energy act are positive steps, Stewart said.
"It is important to recognize the timing of this decision and move," Stewart said. Political leaders will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark, later this year to craft a new global deal to limit and stop global warming.
"By speeding up the implementation of what will be the largest, single reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Canadian history, Ontario is signaling to the world they are willing to be part of the solution," Stewart said.
Nanticoke station, near Simcoe, will see two of eight units closed and at the Lambton plant, near Sarnia, two of four units will close by next fall.
Ontario's goal is to be one of the first jurisdictions in the world to eliminate coal-fired electricity generation, the province says.