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The Development of Renewable Electricity Policy in the Province of Ontario: The Influence of Ideas and Timing

  • Ian H. Rowlands
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    This article examines the development of policy to promote renewable electricity in the province of Ontario (Canada) between 1995 and 2006. Drawing upon both the role of ideas in policy development and a "multiple streams approach," it is argued that changes in the problem, policy, and politics streams-and their coupling by key political entrepreneurs-account for two significant shifts in Ontario's efforts to promote the increased use of renewable electricity. The first shift occurred on July 3, 2003 when the Ontario Commissioner of Alternative Energy, Steve Gilchrist, announced that sole dependence upon free markets to support renewable electricity was being displaced by a new commitment to a renewable portfolio standard. The second shift occurred on March 21, 2006 when the Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty, announced that dependence upon a bidding system to promote renewable electricity was being supplemented by a commitment to feed-in tariffs. A focus upon the evolution of ideas, combined with an appreciation for timing, continues to provide the explanation for the development of renewable electricity policy in Ontario. Copyright 2007 by The Policy Studies Organization.

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    Article provided by Policy Studies Organization in its journal Review of Policy Research.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 3 (05)
    Pages: 185-207

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:revpol:v:24:y:2007:i:3:p:185-207
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