An Evaluation of Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act of 2009: Exploring the Role of Indicators in Community Energy Planning
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With increasing public concern over environmental degradation and Climate Change, community energy planning is now emerging as a new task for planners. Community energy planning are practices that foster energy sustainability, protect or restore the natural environment, avoid harm in relation to social and health indicators, result in a more equitable distribution of benefits, are economic to maintain over the long-term, and do not impede the emergence of other sustainable approaches at the local level (FCM, 2009; Neves and Leal, 2010). More specifically, planning how a community generates, receives, utilizes and conserves energy can greatly contribute to the goal of stabilizing green house gas (GHG) emissions, reducing air pollution, diversifying energy resources and fostering a secure, accessible and stable energy supply that supports the local municipal economy. As the role of energy planning is closely tied with supportive provincial Legislation, this research study aimed at analyzing the effectiveness of Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEGEA) to local municipal planners. The overall goal of this Legislation is to foster the growth of renewable energy projects, promote energy conservation and energy efficiency while strengthening Ontario’s economy. This Act also has significant implications for municipalities across the Province, as it amends the Planning Act and removes barriers to the development of renewable energy undertakings in the overall planning process.