Library filed under Energy Policy from Canada
A U.N. conference working to fix long-term rules to fight global warming beyond 2012 "as soon as possible" was split on Tuesday over whether that meant an accord should be struck in 2008, 2009 or even 2010. Industrial investors, weighing options ranging from coal-fired power plants to wind energy, are frustrated at the possibility of years of uncertainty about rules for fossil fuel emissions upon which carbon markets depend.
Nova Scotia’s first wind farm developer is a fan of the Tories’ proposed legislation on wind turbine taxation. “Wind energy has a lot of potential in Nova Scotia,” Charles Demond, president of Pubnico Point Wind Farm Inc., said Monday at Province House. “The bill provides certainty for wind developers and, in our view, a very healthy, . . . very attractive stream of revenue in the municipalities where they are developing . . . wind power.” He said his 30.6-megawatt operation was facing a $450,000 tax bill before this legislation. It had launched an appeal and, if successful, the bill would have been reduced to around $75,000.
A natural gas plant here. New nuclear reactors there. Massive wind farms in northern Ontario. Surplus hydroelectric power from projects in Manitoba and Labrador. Who says Ontario is facing an electricity shortage? On top of conservation efforts aimed at reducing how much electricity we all consume, the reality is there are plenty of opportunities — some cleaner than others — to generate the power this province needs over the next two decades. Even, it should be noted, with the shutdown of all coal-fired plants. But generation is only part of Ontario’s electricity equation. Under-appreciated in the power supply debate is the crucial role transmission plays in moving electricity around the province. Power generation, like a car, is useless if there are no roads on which to drive, or if the only route into a big city is limited to one lane during rush hour. “Transmission is undervalued; without transmission you can’t do anything,” says engineering consultant Frank Macedo, a 25-year veteran of the electricity sector who once oversaw Hydro One’s provincial transmission assets.
Wind power has become a key part of Canada’s energy mix, with the number of installed wind turbines growing exponentially in recent months. But the fact the wind doesn’t blow all the time is creating a potential roadblock that could stall growth in the industry. Alberta and Ontario, the two provinces with the most wind turbines up and whirling, face concerns that there are limits on how much power can be generated from the breeze before their electricity systems are destabilized.
Andre Boisclair affirmed his leadership of the Parti Quebecois yesterday, rejecting a motion calling for the nationalization of wind power. Boisclair characterized the motion - adopted by a majority of delegates to a meeting of his party’s national council - as “expropriation” in his closing speech. And then he delivered his answer to the takeover call: “It’s no.”
Tench says with 5-thousand megawatts of potential, if every wind farm that could be built, actually is built, Ontario wind power could equal the output of all the nuclear reactors at Bruce Power. But Tench says the study does not break down where in the province the most wind potential is, adding some possible wind farms are not practical, being too far from existing power transmission lines.
A study released yesterday by Ontario’s electricity authorities says wind power could represent nearly 20 per cent of the province’s power-generation capacity with little compromise to system reliability. Critics say the numbers are suspiciously high. Ontario has four major wind farms in service now with a potential of producing 396 megawatts of emission-free electricity. About 1,300 megawatts are to be operating by 2010. The problem with wind energy is that another source of power generation, or “operating reserve,” is required to pick up the slack when the wind isn’t blowing. Add too much wind to the mix and the whole system can become unstable.
OTTAWA — The grain needed to fill the fuel tank of a typical SUV could feed a person for a year, says a leading international environmentalist. Lester Brown, executive-director of the Washington, D.C.-based Earth Policy Institute, says a global rush to alternative fuels made from food crops is likely to increase hunger in the poorest countries.
WINNIPEG -- Canada's wind energy industry added 534 megawatts of new production capacity in 2006, ahead of a previous record of 240 MW set in 2005, the Canadian Wind Energy Association said Monday, while warning that the federal government's lack of policy direction on new funding could delay more development.
Last week, when questioned about the Electricity Marketplace Governance Committee recommendations intended to allow large consumers (such as HRM) to purchase electricity directly from independent power producers, EnergyMinister Bill Dooks was less than enthusiastic. First, the minister stated that he supported NSPI’s monopoly on the distribution of electricity, since he had to protect Nova Scotians. Second, he said, "If someone depends totally on wind energy, what happens if the wind stops blowing?" Taken together, these two statements leave the reader with the impression that the minister wants to protect Nova Scotians from interruptible and potentially unreliable sources of energy. This is reassuring, as energy security should be the focus of any government.
In May, citing a potential for reliability problems for the provincial network, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) — which oversees the electricity market and transmission network in Alberta — surprised the industry by announcing that wind power generation in Alberta, currently at about 300 megawatts (MW) of capacity, would be capped indefinitely at 900 MW. However, there are proposals for about 3,000 MW of projects above and beyond the ones already lined up and paid up to meet the 900 MW mark.
Canadians would see their hydro and natural-gas bills spike dramatically should the three opposition parties succeed in forcing the government to comply with Kyoto, Environment Minister Rona Ambrose warned Thursday. Ms. Ambrose was appearing before the Commons environment committee for the first time since she was sworn in to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet in February. Though she outlined the broad direction of her fall environmental plan and gave a few more hints as to where the government is headed, opposition MPs left frustrated that she did not provide any new information.
It’s hard to square with the caricature of an oil-obsessed, red-neck land, but nearly 350 modern windmills — winged giants that look like children’s pinwheels on long, skinny, off-white sticks — have sprouted near here in southwestern Alberta within the last four or five years, mostly in close-ordered ranks on wind-swept ridges between this town of 3,666 and similar-sized Fort MacLeod a half hour east on Highway 3.
Nova Scotia’s bracing physical winds are the best on the continent for making electricity. But the political winds here are a problem. In terms of public policy that allows eager renewable-energy entrepreneurs to do business, the Nova Scotia government is stuck in the doldrums. Wind developers have the investment and are confident they can line up willing retail customers. But the government can’t get its head around the idea of letting this market work.
Prince Edward Island has set an ambitious new target for renewable energy use, saying it is committed to producing 30 per cent of its total energy needs from renewable sources by 2016. Premier Pat Binns said Thursday that renewable energy is a key to strengthening the Island economy.
OSLO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Wind power could generate almost 30 percent of the world's electricity by 2030 and is growing faster than any other clean energy source, a wind business group and environmental lobby Greenpeace said on Wednesday.
Vermont's energy future has become a hand-wringing issue, tangled up in the uncertainty of power sources and worries about climate change. Quebec Premier Jean Charest offered another opinion Friday, a more optimistic view. Just north of the border in his province, billions of dollars are being invested in renewable energy -- hydro-electric and wind -- and Quebec wants to increase its power exports. Vermont, which relies on Hydro-Quebec for a third of its electricity, has been a longtime, valued customer and Quebec would expect to continue that relationship, Charest told an audience at Champlain College in Burlington. "We will be there in times of need for each other," he said, referring to shared energy and environmental concerns. Such words, albeit with no specific price tag or contract attached, send an encouraging message to Vermont.
Talk of an east-west power grid for Ontario to import surplus power from Newfoundland and Quebec has a North Bay wind power consultant shaking his head at Queen’s Park. “It’s mind boggling why they don’t want to spend the money on transmission infrastructure here,” says Terry Wojick, president of Northern Wind Power. “Why are we (considering) transmitting from Labrador when we’ve got an abundance of potential in Northern Ontario?” Wojick was reacting to Ontario’s plan to open talks with authorities in Newfoundland and Quebec to examine how feasible it is to transmit hydroelectric power from Labrador into Ontario. Many of his projects in northeastern Ontario are being hampered by a restrictive provincially-imposed 50 megawatt cap on new electricity generation.
The Manitoba government plans to build enough wind towers over the next two years to quadruple its wind-generated power, Energy Minister Dave Chomiak announced Thursday. The province, along with Manitoba Hydro, hopes to add 300 megawatts of wind power to the province's energy grid — enough power for 100,000 homes. That could mean up to 160 more windmills, although newer and evolving wind turbine technology could make that number smaller.
CHARLOTTETOWN — The municipal government in the Island capital is preparing for a future when a windmill in the backyard could well be the norm.