The ongoing Feed-in Tariff (FIT) review means that green energy contracts have been frozen for six months and counting, killing jobs and threatening to bankrupt homegrown Ontario solar companies.
Yesterday during Question Period, Energy Minister Chris Bentley’s response to a softball question on the FIT review shows that he is out of touch with the dire situation of solar entrepreneurs across the province.
The FIT program provides entrepreneurs the chance to produce renewable energy for Ontario’s grid – a program that is good for our environment and our economy. While a review of the program was planned for 2011, no notice was given that contracts would be frozen. Worse yet, the Liberal government has suspended contracts awarded two months before the program review was announced last October.
Everyone in the solar sector supports FIT price reductions as input costs decline. But freezing contracts while making these adjustments has already cost Ontario jobs and threatens to derail a new, growing industry.
The Green Party is calling on the government to expedite the review for microFIT and community power projects so new contracts can be awarded at the new lower prices. Future reviews need to be transparent, without unfairly back-dating price adjustments. These simple actions will prevent unnecessary bankruptcies and job losses while moving forward with lower FIT pricing that protects electricity consumers.