Energy Policy and Canada
The Government of Ontario recently signed a $7-billion no-bid contract with two Korean companies to supply wind and solar power to the province. Officials claim the backroom deal will boost "green" industry and job creation. But it's hard to fathom how the additional employment can possibly be beneficial when each new manufacturing job will cost taxpayers a whopping $303,472. Nor do dramatic increases in electricity rates constitute much of a bargain.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has run afoul of two fallacies which plague governments with his new "Green Energy Act."
The Act, which does not have a defined price-tag, would supposedly create 50,000 new jobs, putting people to work building windmills, solar power plants ...But there are some hard realities that suggest Premier McGuinty's plan isn't the smartest way to do it. Let's review the reasons why governments cannot create jobs, and why labelling them "green" doesn't change the basic dynamics.
It's never pretty watching people's rights getting trampled by a government caught up in the latest fad, but it's happening across Ontario.
The victims are citizens living mainly in rural communities.
Their concerns about the possible adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines are being rolled over by Premier Dalton McGuinty.
We should all pay attention because our rights could be next.
July 12, 2010
in The Ottawa Citizen
Wind is fickle. Sometimes it blows, sometimes it doesn't. And the times it tends to ease off are frustratingly on those stifling summer days when we need it most ...We're not sure whether there's a technical term for wind too light to turn those expensive turbines, but sailors have a good word for it. They call it dead air.
The deal had a familiar shape. One partner was a successful international consortium with deep pockets and manufacturing expertise, the other a backward jurisdiction so hungry for jobs that it had to pay the big company what amounts to a bribe to do the deal. The whole thing was arranged directly with the jurisdiction's leader without the bother of competition.
Too clever for his own good?
That might be the case for Energy Minister George Smitherman, who aims to turn Ontario into a renewable-energy superpower and create thousands of green-collar jobs.
Both are great ideas. But a deal being made on the sidelines could undo much of what Smitherman and the Liberal government are trying to accomplish.
When industries look for government subsidies for money-losing propositions, a common business model these days, one of the most important strategic elements is to make sure you have a well-oiled public relations machine to keep the facts from getting in the way. Voters don't like to back money-losers, which means keeping them steadily misinformed or at least confused.
Renewable energy industries - wind, solar, biomass, human treadmills - have a particularly tough job.
The policy goals and intent of the Green Energy Act may well come undone under the withering glare of disaffected and angry consumers. Thus, there's an urgent need to begin the process of reducing the largesse provided to those who have become adept at securing private benefits -albeit under the convenient disguise of green - at the expense of the captive consumer.
Basically the Toronto Hydro Energy Services project team, led by Joyce McLean, did such a horrible job at responding to community concerns they lost control of the project and needed McGuinty to step in and use his position to dismantle well established democratic freedoms for force the project through to create these 50 000 jobs so called ‘NIMBYists’ were holding up.
Let’s look at the economics of the Toronto Hydro Energy Services plan and use facts from the Premier’s mouth, PACE Global Energy Services - an independent consultant on the proposed cancelled Long Island offshore wind farm, and Toronto Hydro Energy Services to figure out the economic impact.
Holliday has for several years been predicting that blackouts could become a feature of power systems that replace reliable coal plants with wind turbines in order to meet greenhouse gas targets.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is clearly floating a trial balloon through the wind-turbine community with his NIMBY message.
'Not in my backyard' isn't a reason for blocking new energy projects that will be tolerated by Queen's Park when its Green Energy Act is rolled out, the premier says. ...McGuinty and the Liberals can rail all they want about the NIMBY crowd, but there are many unknowns about new energy projects and what they will mean to our urban and rural communities.
It's not fair to people who've lived in their homes for years to have their peace and quiet, or their sunlight or their fresh air adversely affected.