From Nuclear to Renewables: The role utility-led voluntary contribution, community renewable, and grid modernization initiatives can play in allowing for a transition to nuclear-free electricity production in Ontario
Ontario’s present electricity supply is one that relies heavily on nuclear generation to provide energy. Though it does not release greenhouse gases during operation, nuclear houses several other ecological risks. This paper looks at voluntary contribution initiatives, community renewable energy generation, and grid modernization, as three areas where initiatives and are being undertaken by utilities that will contribute to a greater portion of Ontario’s electricity demand being met by renewables as opposed to nuclear. Ultimately this paper seeks to determine if initiatives in any of these areas could ultimately lead to an electricity system transition in Ontario away from nuclear towards renewables. Grid modernization appears to have the highest potential to significantly increase the contribution of renewably-sourced electricity to Ontario’s supply. However, utilizing voluntary contribution strategies, and supporting the development of community renewable projects, while unlikely to eventually prompt a large electricity-system change, can meaningfully contribute to goal of increasing the supply of renewably-sourced electricity in Ontario.