Great. Thank you for the question.
I'll start out with a compliment to the Conservative Party. Greenpeace supported the privatization of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. It was a good thing for ratepayers, and it is protecting ratepayers from ongoing cost overruns at Point Lepreau and future refurbishments in Ontario. So that was a good thing. Let's keep the dialogue open, because sometimes we can find common ground.
On your point around the Inuit, I can supply this information to you, but you may be very intrigued to see the work we've been doing in Clyde River. This summer we helped the community install solar facilities to help them get off diesel generation. That's been something going on. We've also been supporting their Supreme Court case against seismic testing. So there's a different type of relationship on which I'm happy to provide you with more information.
For clarity, for communities in the north—and this goes for Mr. Harvey as well—listen to what my message was: namely, be skeptical about the promise that's been given around SMRs but also look at what the other alternatives to SMRs are other than diesel, and that is renewable micro-grids. To get to a good decision, we need to have both options on the table, and right now, as I noted in my briefing note, the only options we have are SMRs against diesel. I think a fair way to approach those communities, to allow them to make their own decisions, is to say, “Here is an SMR option, and here are renewable micro-grids, which are already being done in Alaska. What do you want to do?” Right now that information isn't available, so I would encourage the committee to look for it.
When it comes to Ontario, you're right, there have been a lot of mistakes, and a lot of that has to do with the Green Energy Act and how it was implemented. The government bought a lot of solar power at really high levels. The way green energy acts are supposed to work, as in Germany, instead of putting out big offers and buying a lot of power at once, you buy it in small increments as the price goes down. What Ontario did was buy a lot of solar power in 2010, when prices were higher. They didn't do what Germany is doing, which is ratcheting the price down consistently.
As I mention in my briefing note, it's very interesting to investigate where the price points in the renewable sector are going. If we do a forward-looking analysis, the cost is dropping consistently. In the last RFP the Ontario government put out, they got wind power in at 6.5¢ for the first time. That's lower than nuclear generation, and it's lower than wind was five years ago at 13¢. That is where, for this committee that's studying innovation, you can look at what the real deliverables are. There is a trend line there that we should look at as evidence for what's going on and how we, as the federal government, take advantage of that for ratepayers, for everyone.
I would urge you to keep an open mind. Yes, there have been some mistakes in Ontario. A lot of the problem in addition to the Green Energy Act—I'm right now working on Greenpeace's submission for the province's long-term energy plan—is the fact that we're exporting the entire output of Pickering, the nuclear station, about 20 terawatts, to Michigan at a loss. They have kept that station online. It's going to close in 2024. It should have closed in 2014. All of it is surplus, so right now ratepayers are buying that power at 7¢. We're selling it to Michigan at 2¢, and the ratepayers are paying that difference.
We also need to protect ratepayers, and I agree with you on that, but let's look at the evidence on the other side. I think you're getting some distorted views of where the renewable sector and clean tech sector are going. They're actually bringing their price points down. Between Greenpeace and Conservatives, we can find agreement that this is a good thing. We need to find out how it can be used in the public interest.