The Ontario Government funded the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) to review the impacts and benefits of adopting a Standard Offer Contract (SOC) system similar to many countries in the European Union. Germany, Denmark and Spain have phenomenal sucess with this system, as evident by these countries high percentage of electricity from renewable energy sources and growth in renewable energy investment.
Currently Ontario uses a very complex and very competative tender system that discourages any but the larger corporations, scaring away many potential investors. Furthermore, the government has to fairly weigh and analyze all submission, at significant cost.
The OSEA report demonstrates that SOC’s eliminate these difficulties by granting approval to any project from any investor (go farmers!) while gauranting a higher than market price for the energy from these renewable energy projects. The application process is significantly streamlined and there are not limits on the number of renewable energy projects, giving renewable energy technologies one advantage over their fossil fuel counterparts.