The green lobby in Europe is so strong that it has pushed EU politicians to oppose virtually every kind of reliable non-renewable energy. ..."Ordinary families and small and medium-sized businesses are essentially subsidizing the investments of green do-gooders," who can afford to install solar panels on their homes and their businesses. But what's really starting to cause citizens and policy-makers to question their green energy agenda, is that soaring energy costs are driving energy-intensive industries in Europe to move to the United States.
A certain degree of local congestion and general oversupply is often planned into the system. However, given the relatively narrow operating margins of wind and solar projects, typical project leverage ratios and the debt service coverage ratio covenants by which most projects are bound, an annual curtailment of generating capacity of more than one percent can have a devastating impact on project viability.
Widespread myths about Ontario's energy sector have led to disastrous policy choices like the Green Energy Act. Regarding health effects, I am more concerned about the way soaring energy costs and stagnating employment are taking a toll on household budgets, leading to, among other things, compromised family nutrition and higher stress levels. The energy politics promoted by Dr. Oliphant have been a 'cure' far worse that the supposed disease.
A deliberate attempt to obscure the cost of those decisions by releasing only partial numbers? Testimony before the justice committee this week has shown the Liberals knew the $40-million cost of the Oakville cancellation that the former energy minister had insisted was the only true cost, in fact, referred only to sunk costs, and that the final bill would actually be much higher.
On one "side" of the wind-turbine debate are wealthy corporate behemoths supported by a government that removed the democratic rights of its citizens, without debate, to launch a misguided and ill-advised initiative that's going to cost taxpayers' into the billions. On the other "side," you have vulnerable Ontario residents with limited financial resources who have had their democratic rights trampled and monster industrial monsters rammed down their throats.
The simple truth is that the Liberals' foolish pursuit of wind power has resulted in the creation of a massive Potemkin Village in Ontario, an outwardly impressive but ultimately useless facade.
In the real world, it would have been smarter, cheaper and greener for the Liberals simply to have replaced coal-fired electricity with gas-fired electricity, while completely avoiding the boondoggle of wind.
Ontario is still paying green energy producers more to generate clean power than customers are charged for it. That maybe made sense to get the infant industry going, but it's hardly defensible now. Instead, the government is papering over the difference, spending $1 billion a year to discount the higher cost on consumers' bills.
Today, the wind power generated in Ontario is both expensive and useless. The province actually pays hundreds of millions of dollars to other jurisdictions to take surplus power off its hands. Energy-intensive companies are leaving because their hydro bills are too high. And taxpayers are stuck with 20-year contracts that will add billions to their hydro bills (and/or the provincial deficit).
I realized I had a story that was bigger than just the effectiveness of wind energy. You can like it or you can hate it-that isn't the point. What this is about is government and business rushing ahead with new technology without ever making sure it's safe. A car manufacturer would never get away with releasing a new model without extensive safety tests. Same goes for food, appliances-anything. And yet these machines just kept going up, and up, and up.
Wind energy continues to flunk the market test. Ontario buys wind energy at a price 50% higher than it would have to pay for electricity from natural gas. (A new natural gas facility can make money selling electricity at 7-8 cents a kilowatt-hour. Ontario buys newly installed windpower at prices of about 11 cents per kilowatt-hour.)
When Ontario's auditor general looked at the Liberals' renewable energy policies in 2011, he found they (a) rushed into the field without knowing what they were doing (b) failed to develop a business plan (c) did no internal audit work ...(f) grossly over-estimated the number of jobs they would create.
As a result they have added billions of dollars to the cost of electricity Ontarians will be paying for years to come.
Biodiversity that takes centuries to evolve cannot be reinvented overnight, neither can the bald eagles that nested in a 100 year old cottonwood tree at Fisherville be expected to accept a Tupperware nest platform on a pole somewhere, when their instinct tells them they should be in a natural tree somewhere else. Legislation is purportedly in place to protect species at risk - that's why it is there. Legislation that can be bought, and then twisted to serve the needs of development is not legislation. It smacks of a corrupt system of the worst possible kind perpetuated by money and greed.
This home to nature is shortly to be under attack, not from hunters or foragers but from a Government approved industrial wind developer. Those of us throughout the province who admire and want to protect nature stand in disbelief at the carnage that will unfold and that is a result of the Green Energy and Economy Act (GEA) passed by the GTA centric Liberal Party.
By using mathematical formulas derived from these studies, the average distance of a large bird carcass found under the 2.3 MW turbines at Wolf Island would be 101 meters from their towers. This average is far outside the search areas used. The Wolf Island mortality studies used search areas of only 60 and 50 meters. These studies clearly missed most of the carcasses. It also does not account for wandering cripples and wind personal interference.
It was inevitable of course, when you pit feather and bone against a turbine blade 45-metres long, the blade wins. And if the blade belongs to big energy the deal is cinched.
It doesn't take a master's in quantum physics to predict the grim result of anchoring a mega-fan in the path of migrating birds.
Under the WTO pact, Canadian provinces have wide leeway to demand local content in government procurement contracts. ...But the key here is that a public body does the purchasing. In the green energy case, Japan and the European Union successfully argued that the purchasers to whom Buy Ontario rules apply (the private generators) are not public bodies.
Researchers have published the first-ever peer-reviewed study linking wind turbines and ill health. ...The study found that a random sample of residents living within 1.4 km of wind turbines in two Maine communities suffered more from impaired mental health and sleep deprivation than those who lived at least 3.3 km away.
The absolute best face that the Ontario Liberals can put on the decisions to cancel gas-fired power plants in Oakville and Mississauga, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars to taxpayers, is that the government was "responding to local concerns."
Government documents released under Freedom of Information showed environment ministry staff issued internal warnings the province needed stricter rural noise limits on turbines, that it had no reliable way to monitor or enforce them and that computer models for determining setbacks were flawed.
Despite that, McGuinty forged ahead with his industrial wind development plan through his Green Energy Act, which stripped local municipalities.
The idea that windmills will save the Ontario economy is the kind of wisdom you might pick up down at the local hemp shop. But wherever the idea came from, it has yet to power Ontario forward. Unemployment in too many cities sits in double digits even as turbines spin in that wayward wind. But even if subsidized wind energy hasn't powered the mighty Ontario job creation machine, it has been jet fuel for Ontario deficits.