Library filed under Impact on Economy from Ontario
Ontario lost between $732 million and $1.25 billion over the past two years selling surplus clean electricity outside the province, an analysis by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) estimates. That’s the difference between what Ontario agreed to pay to produce nuclear, water, wind and solar power, and the bargain basement price it sold it for on the international market.
This report by the Fraser Institute finds that Ontario’s Green Energy Act and its induced inefficiencies, have caused electricity prices to increase dramatically —now the highest in Canada—have cost the province an estimated 74,881 manufacturing jobs since the 2008 recession. High electricity prices are threatening industrial competitiveness, in particular that of the manufacturing sector for which electricity is a major input cost. The executive summary is provided below. The full report can be accessed by selecting the links on this page.
The board of Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro (NOTL) released a statement Wednesday that asked Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault to kill the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) 5 program — the latest round of renewable energy procurement — arguing it will further drive up already expensive electricity rates.
In yet another sign of the crisis caused for many in the province by soaring electricity rates, the Ontario Association of Food Banks says the fallout is putting the squeeze on the basic needs of many. “If people have to choose between keeping the lights on and going hungry, they go without food,” Carolyn Stewart, executive director of the association, said ahead of Monday’s release of the group’s Hunger Report 2016. Soaring hydro costs have become an Achilles heel for the Liberal government, which took a costly plunge into green energy in 2009.
The poll suggests the issues Ms. Wynne has spent most of her time on – building transit and fighting climate change – are low on voters’ priority lists. Infrastructure investments was the top issue for just 4.8 per cent of respondents, and the environment clocked in at 4 per cent.
Five years after Ontario pulled the plug on offshore wind installations, including a 130-turbine project in Lake Ontario, a NAFTA tribunal has ordered the province to fork over $25 million in damages plus $3 million in legal costs to Windstream Energy LLC, kicking up gusts of mixed reaction from environmentalists and trade activists.
The province signed long-term contracts with a handful of lucky firms, guaranteeing them 13.5 cents per kWh for electricity produced from wind, and even more from solar. Obviously, if the wholesale price is around 2.5 cents, and the wind turbines are guaranteed 13.5 cents, someone has to kick in 11 cents to make up the difference. That’s where the GA comes in. The more the wind blows, and the more turbines get built, the bigger the losses and the higher the GA.
If you live in Ontario and you think our hydro bill is a bit high, you’re not alone. The province has some of the highest electricity rates in the country and rural areas are the hardest hit by the rising costs. As Jacques Bourbeau, it means some customers have to choose between paying for power and food for the family.
Did the wind industry ever tell you that their turbines are of no practical use for most of the time? Do you now understand the meaning of the capacity factor? Repeat: it is time to put the welfare of Ontarians ahead of your ego and stop this waste now. We all make mistakes, and the smart people learn from them. It is now clear to all critical and realistic thinkers that wind and solar will never replace or even moderately supplement nuclear and other reliable sources of the electrical energy in Ontario.
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 report says that WPD Canada's plans for eight wind turbines west of Stayner would have a significant negative impact on airport operations. The study also says the project has the potential to jeopardize any proposed or future investment in the airport and the economy of the region.
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.
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.
On January 7, McNaughton received a letter from Wescast CEO Ed Frackowiak, which says the company is “deeply worried” about the future price of electricity in Ontario. ”If electricity rates do not become more affordable, Ontario risks losing important investments from companies like Wescast,” says Frackowiak in the letter.
The NDP estimate that exported excess electricity cost ratepayers just over $1 billion or about $220 for each customer. "Last year Ontario subsidized power to people in the United States and Quebec and Manitoba to the tune of over $1 billion. That’s the equivalent of cancelling two gas plants.”
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: