Library filed under Energy Policy from Ontario
Federal and provincial Liberal governments are on a “green energy” spending spree. They recklessly tilt at climate change by funding unwanted and unneeded wind and solar projects that kill wildlife and harm humans. They generate super-expensive, intermittent, electricity that is exported at huge losses.
The costs may be high and the need questionable, but Ontarians signed up to buy a lot more renewable power last week when Ontario’s Independent Power System Operator (IESO) announced the results of the province’s latest procurement.
A new process to select sites for renewable energy projects was “open, fair and transparent,” says an evaluator hired to ensure selectors followed all the rules. But critics are furious the same rules let wind firms with low bids trump municipal objections and the “transparent” process doesn’t yet let them know why.
Wind farms were imposed on rural Ontario, study says. The Ontario government has betrayed rural municipalities by approving new wind farms in places that have explicitly voted against them, mayors say — including just east of Ottawa.
The origins of the current situation can be traced back to former Liberal leader and then-Premier Dalton McGuinty signing “enormous, outrageous renewable energy contracts.” ...over the next 20 years the wind turbine projects that are already built, as well as the projects on the books, will cost $60-billion and are only producing 4% of Ontario's overall electricity needs.
The auditor found the Green Energy Act is also driving up rates. Hydro customers will pay a total of $9.2 billion more for wind and solar projects under the Liberals’ 20-year guaranteed-price program for renewable energy than they would have paid under the old program. Ontario’s guaranteed prices for wind power generators are double the U.S. average, while the province’s solar power rates are three-and-a-half times higher.
Yet the madness initiated under Dalton McGuinty is being continued under Kathleen Wynne. If anything, she’s doubling down, continuing to award new long-term contracts at outrageous prices to produce power that we don’t need. And it will only get worse when her cap-and-trade scheme finally takes shape.
The Green Energy Act (GEA) is the target of a proposed judicial review to be launched this fall. CCSAGE Naturally Green, a not-for-profit public interest corporation argue[s] the GEA tramples rights and freedoms, punishes rural Ontarians, contravenes statutes and conventions the province is bound to uphold, and, at its core, is fundamentally unjust.
The committee’s message was that the province’s own regulatory apparatus, erected to safeguard the environment, nature, health and the electricity distribution system, was itself the problem. The province’s own protections discouraged investments in these projects. Developers need certainty. At each stage, a ministry bureaucrat could stall the process, creating delays that cost money.
Ontario Nature and Nature Canada jointly stated: “We sincerely believe [approval of the Amherst Island project] will further tarnish Ontario’s green energy industry, and ultimately undermine future projects in less controversial areas. The opposition of this project in the naturalist community is palpable. The risks of killing large numbers of raptors, swallows and bobolinks is high. Approval will further alienate a segment of Ontario’s population from the green energy agenda and tip an already fragile balance.”
The Ontario Liberals deliberately ignored the interests and wishes of rural Ontario and made all consumers, both urban and rural pay for it—to the tune of $1 billion to $3 billion annually, with increases projected every year. That’s $20 billion to $60 billion over the next two decades.
"With the municipal election over and the formation of new councils across the province, I thought it imperative to reintroduce this legislation as many of the new council members may not be aware of it," said Wilson. Wilson's bill restores municipal planning authority that existed prior to the Green Energy Act (GEA). The GEA exempted renewable energy projects from the municipal process.
In its latest 18-month outlook, the IESO forecasts that 99.5 per cent of Ontario’s 12,947 MW of installed nuclear capacity will be available during summer consumption peaks. But it predicts only 13.7 per cent of the 1,824 MW of installed wind capacity will be available. Solar is even less reliable. So, when wind and solar actually do produce power, it’s usually dumped.
A U.S. wind power developer that is seeking $653-million in damages under a NAFTA challenge accuses the government of Ontario of manipulating Green Energy Act rules to benefit the interests of Liberal-connected firms. ...The court filing, recently made public in the case that pits Mesa Power, a Texas-based developer owned by U.S. financier T. Boone Pickens, against the government, alleges Ontario replaced “transparent” criteria for the selection of energy projects with “political favoritism, cronyism and local preference.”
Anyone who has studied the Ontario Liberal government’s failed experiment with wind power knows what a financial and social catastrophe it has been.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) and Progressive Conservatives (PCs) – have differing views with regard to renewable energy. NDP leaders only support community wind power, and the PCs vehemently oppose all types of renewable energy and have used wind energy to club the ruling party. ...“If the Conservatives win, renewable energy is toast in Ontario,” predicts Kourtoff.
Wind turbine opponents say they're feeling encouraged by Lambton County council's decision to join the chorus of Ontario municipalities declaring themselves unwilling hosts for wind farms. County councillors passed a motion Feb. 12 joining approximately 80 communities making the declaration.
Thirty-six percent of respondents feel the Green Energy Act or environmental sustainability is a major worry for those living in the province's country lands.
In 2012, the Council for Clean and Reliable Electricity published a paper stating that Ontario consumers subsidized out-of-province electricity buyers to the tune of $1.2 billion over the previous three years. While it costs 8.55 cents a kilowatt hour to produce electricity in Ontario, excess power was sold to five neighbouring jurisdictions — Michigan. New York, Minnesota, Manitoba and Quebec — for 2.65 cents/kwh, Tabuns said.
To understand how much the Liberals miscalculated, it’s worth looking at another report that preceded this one. Prepared for influential clients in the energy industry by global consulting firm IHS-CERA, the title of this private study says it all: “Too Much, Too Fast — The Pace of Greening the Ontario Power System.” It treats our wind turbines as a case study on how greening the power system can plunge it into the red. A cautionary tale for international clients, the report would have been essential reading for provincial energy planners as they looked for the light at the end of our wind tunnel: