Electricity in Ontario has historically been generated from hydroelectriciy, coal, and nuclear power. Amidst aging infrastructure and diminishing capacity combined with escalating demand, Ontario's electricity policy must contend with growing concerns about air pollutants, global warming, and the environmental impacts of fossil fuel production. Sources of hydroelectric power in the province are limited, while nuclear power is expensive and raises safety concerns. In turn, green energy is also costly and in some cases intermittent. As a result, Ontario's electricity policy requires careful balancing of environmental goals and values against costs that must be borne by consumers and taxpayers. Current Affairs brings together the views of a number of international experts on electricity and environment along with commentators familiar with Ontario's situation to begin a discussion of these issues. The contributors suggest that in Ontario, as in other jurisdictions, solid environmental policy must be married with thoughtful information programs and regulations to encourage the behavioural and institutional changes that will lead the region to a sustainable electricity future.
Doug Reeve is a professor and chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. Donald N. Dewees is a professor in the Department of Economics and in the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. Bryan W. Karney is Associate Dean for Cross-disciplinary Programs and a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto. Professors Reeve, Dewees and Karney are all also appointed to the School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto.