Energy Policy and Canada
Ontario's Green Energy Act should more accurately be called Ontario's Gangreen Act.
No piece of legislation in memory will do more to simultaneously undermine Ontario's economy and environment. This one act rolls back decades of environmental gains in the energy sphere and opens the door to a future of environmental outrages. ...The Green Act undermines the advance of conservation by making renewable energy, particularly wind power, the enemy of conservation.
B.C. consumers will soon pay much more if the province follows the lead of Ontario where power prices are soaring, not just as a result of higher generation or transmission costs. ...Under Ontario's Green Energy Act, a feed-in tariff (FIT) will siphon $3.8 billion from consumers' pockets.
Ontario ratepayers are already being punished by excess supplies of intermittent and non-controllable power generation. ...many environmental organizations have been claiming that wind power developed offshore from Toronto would help eliminate the need for real transmission reinforcement. Ontario's actual wind power experience proves that wind power is least reliable during summer peak demand periods.
With the market for wind shrinking, Denmark's Vestas, the world's largest wind-turbine company, recently announced it is closing five production facilities in Denmark and Sweden and laying off 3,000 workers ...The coming collapse of the renewables industry - largely a creature of backroom lobbying for government favours by multinationals - is also evident on this side of the ocean.
The Green Energy Act seeks to do away with any need for proper environmental assessments for renewable energy projects, strip all planning decisions from municipalities, silence citizens and give more power to the energy companies with the help of a new Energy Czar. Rural Ontario will be wide open for exploitation and local government will be have absolutely no say. This is greenwashing with a gun to your head.
It was with a great measure of trepidation that I watched George Smitherman introduce the much vaunted Green Energy Act (Bill 150) in the legislature last week.
It only got worse. As I read the Bill, visions of Orwell's Big Brother danced in front of my eyes. The Liberal government has managed to take the same action we did - making it easier for private sector risk takers to invest in Ontario - and use that to completely undermine a competitive market for energy in Ontario.
The Green Energy Act (proposed in Bill 150) will allow the Ontario Government to push through the installation of thousands of industrial wind turbines across the province without going through the time-honoured environmental assessment process. ...Premier McGuinty and his deputy seem to believe the thousands of complaints they are receiving about Bill 150 can be ignored. Doesn't it matter to them that the bill allows the World Biosphere Niagara Escarpment to be devastated by infrastructure development, or that our precious natural heritage systems will no longer be protected ...?
That eerie hissing you hear may well be the air beginning to seep out of the green energy bubble. The sound is similar to the pfffffft and sshhhhsssssp noises we heard in the early days of the dot.com bubble collapse or the subprime mortgage meltdown. If you can't hear it, you are not alone.
While investment analysts are telling their clients to get out of solar power firms and warning about the continuing risks in wind and bioenergy schemes, Ottawa and the provinces are on a mad populist stampede to throw billions of dollars at the green energy monster.
The Energy Minister's reason for this five kilometer proposal, which was quoted to be in response to "the concerns of some moderate people, who were concerned if they go to the beach, they could be looking up at a huge wind turbine." In other words, the proposal is in reaction to urbanites' concerns about aesthetics, which is not considered to be a valid concern in rural areas.
The advantage for the rest of Canada is Ontario has literally become a "hothouse" of all things "green" imposed by governments, ostensibly to help the environment, that don't actually work.
Or rather, that work not to clean up the planet, but to separate hapless taxpayers from an ever-increasing amount of the "green" in their wallets.
The Green Energy Act has wobbled on the way toward its goal of replacing coal-fired electricity in the province with clean, renewable energy. ...The Liberals conceded that the 1 per cent rate increase promised a little over a year ago was wildly optimistic, and that the hike would be 7.9 per cent annually for the next five years.
The McGuinty government is spending the Ontario electricity revenue to encourage investments in wind and solar green-power generation, without any chance of a benefit to the system or to the customer.
The big corporate investors in wind farms and maybe solar farms will reap rich rewards for 20 years, while the customers pay higher and higher prices for electrical energy.
If you promise something, you should deliver it. And sooner rather than later-especially if you engage in questionable PR tactics to win your case. I have argued in favour of governments financing both wind generation and nuclear generation, but not because both are equally capable of providing zero-carbon electricity. They are plainly not equal: nuclear provides large-scale, cheap, on-demand power; wind provides small-scale, expensive, erratic power. Comparing the two is like comparing a top-level NHL hockey player to a mosquito-level beginner.
The Ontario provincial government, complicit in deception, has effectively sanctioned the wind power industry to prejudicially reform planning policy, willfully and knowingly, not only supporting, but utilizing industry proffered guidelines, fundamentally biased and flawed at the most basic level. Increasingly, unacceptable human impacts transpire, the aftermath of profit skewed noise and setback policies.