Articles filed under Energy Policy from Canada
If the preliminary report stands, Ontario might have to dismantle parts of its controversial "feed-in-tariff" program that pays high prices to producers of wind and solar power, as long as they buy a certain proportion of their equipment in the province.
Those complaining that industrial wind turbines are making them sick and forcing them from their homes are no longer on the margins. Their numbers are growing. Their voices are becoming louder. The glow that folks once felt in supporting renewable energy is wearing thin once they learn that generating really expensive, poor quality electricity is ruining their neighbours' lives.
Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter says he is surprised Amherst's town council has asked him to delay the development of new wind turbines in the area.
The Harper government, an ardent defender of oil sands extraction, is taking a keen new interest in Ontario voters' concerns that wind power generation may be harmful to humans. ...Ontario's Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty has run into resistance from rural landowners over wind turbines - opposition that may have cost him his majority in the last election.
"The fact the federal government feels this study is necessary is reason enough to put a halt to any more wind turbines being built in Ontario right now.'' ..."The house vibrates, it becomes like a guitar. The noise and the vibration enters the home and it actually increases the effect.''
"There's a reduction in coal use from 2010, but it's not being replaced primarily by green-powered wind energy," Fedeli said. "That hole is being filled mostly by power from other sources. For example, the output increase from natural gas plants was 36% greater than that of wind."
Ontario's Green Energy Act is stacked in favour of wind developers. Its authors seem not to have cared about basic rights. They just bash ahead despite evidence that turbines provide little in the way of jobs, reduce property values, make some homes unsaleable, affect the health and social well-being of locals and kill migrating birds and endangered species. Our descendants here in Prince Edward County will inherit a devastated local economy, landscape and way of life, not to mention an increasing (province-wide) financial burden to pay for wind-company profits.
We'll get the old "bait-and-switch." The "bait" will be that money extracted from us through higher energy prices will go towards improving the environment and to help "the poor" cope with higher energy costs. The "switch" will be that most, if not all, of the new revenue will go down the black hole of general revenues to pay for anything the government wants.
By the end of 2013, Ontario household power rates will be the second-highest in North America (after PEI), and they will continue to accelerate while they level off in most other jurisdictions. Even more alarming for Ontario's economic competitiveness, businesses and industrial customers will be hit by almost $12-billion in additional costs over the same period.
Under a review of the province's Feed-In Tariff program released March 22, wind farm developers - even those with projects in the pipeline for years - may have to reapply for the Feed-In Tariff contracts that guarantee them a market and price for their power.
He said by stripping the municipalities of power, they took away the peoples' only opportunity to express their concern or object to any wind or solar projects at public meetings or information sessions which would have been required prior to the Green Energy Act.
The Progressive Conservatives blame the "massive subsidies" for creating what they call a gold rush in Ontario's power system. "The feed-in-tariff, the green energy program, has created a huge economic bubble, and we know that all bubbles will one day burst," Hudak said. "You can't power a 21st century economy based on when the sun shines and the wind blows."
Shortly after the premier delivered his speech, he made a promise to give municipalities more say on green energy projects. He told reporters the province will "do a better job in terms of incorporating the local perspective on this" when it completes a review of its feed-in-tariff program for green energy projects by the end of March.
"Further be it resolved that if the (one-year) moratorium (on wind turbine developments) is not announced prior to the start date of the conference, that all municipal officials in attendance ...shall leave the room immediately when the agenda reaches the point that the premier or his designate addresses the conference, in a show of solidarity to once again demonstrate our frustration, anger and disappointment over their complete and total mishandling of the Green Energy Act. and Industrial Wind Turbines in particular."
The situation regarding Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT) has become untenable. The proliferation of wind turbines across rural Ontario has seriously polarized our rural communities. Residents not engaged in turbine developments have been pitted against neighbours, over concerns with health impacts and quality of life issues. IWT development currently preoccupies the rural agenda.
The Ministry of Energy says a provincial moratorium on wind projects enacted almost a year ago will remain in place until the province is satisfied such projects are safe. It is currently studying an offshore wind turbine development in Sweden and another planned pilot project in Ohio and will not approve any projects in Ontario until results are known.
"At this point the best science says you should be two kilometres away," McMurtry said. "I'm a clinician. The proponents have not engaged with people who have suffered." Health Canada says the draft guidelines will undergo a public consultation phase prior to their finalization.
As a result, Ontario's renewable energy future is, yet again, in a state of uncertainty. Fortunately, projects that already have an existing FIT contract with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) will not be subject to the new rules and pricing. Over the past month and a half, the OPA and Deputy Minister Fareed Amin, tasked with spearheading the FIT review, have held numerous consultation sessions.
But he also implicitly acknowledges that he moved too aggressively on some fronts. And one of his related recommendations will deservedly get a lot of attention. Nothing has fuelled more green-energy opposition than the decision to strip municipalities of their decision-making power when it comes to the placement of wind turbines. Liberals have long contended that doing so was necessary ...But Mr. Smitherman now sees the need to assuage what he called "unsettling circumstances in some municipalities."
Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter found billions of dollars in solar and wind projects were approved without appropriate oversight, including and regulatory and planning procedures. ...The controversial Samsung deal, which will pay $110 million over 20 years over and above the already hefty FIT premium in exchange for $7 billion in investment, was done with "no formal economic analysis ... to determine whether the deal was prudent."