Articles filed under Energy Policy from Canada
That eerie hissing you hear may well be the air beginning to seep out of the green energy bubble. The sound is similar to the pfffffft and sshhhhsssssp noises we heard in the early days of the dot.com bubble collapse or the subprime mortgage meltdown. If you can't hear it, you are not alone. While investment analysts are telling their clients to get out of solar power firms and warning about the continuing risks in wind and bioenergy schemes, Ottawa and the provinces are on a mad populist stampede to throw billions of dollars at the green energy monster.
The Ontario government's rush into renewable energy, and industrial wind turbine-generated electricity in particular, is likely to reveal the law of unintended consequences. The government needs to rigorously re-evaluate this precipitous policy before committing billions more in subsidies to it. First, as to the cost of wind-generated electricity, the feed-in tariff for on-shore wind turbines in Ontario provided for under the Green Energy Act is 13.5¢ per kWh (and higher for smaller projects).
The current Ontario government’s headlong rush into massive subsidization of various forms of renewable energy, including wind power and solar energy, is likely to reveal the law of unintended consequences from these precipitous policies unless we take a deep breath and calmly and rigorously re-evaluate these policies before committing billions more dollars from consumers and taxpayers to them.
The British Columbia government has promised to introduce a Clean Energy Act that may emerge as a highlight in the introduction of Tuesday's budget, if only because the government is facing a huge deficit as the global recession continues to resonate through the provincial economy. Premier Gordon Campbell has been promising the act will simplify and stabilize the process to develop renewable energy projects in B.C., and attract new investment and job opportunities.
To date the Ontario government has refused to either impose a moratorium or initiate any serious investigation into the adverse health effects on their own citizens. Instead they have introduced a Green Energy Act that will effectively allow the wind industry and its contractors to bypass already inadequate safeguards and legislation.
Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones says the Ontario government's recent $7 billion deal with a South Korean consortium to bolster the province's green technology industry will have dire consequences for electricity consumers. Premier Dalton McGuinty signed an agreement with Samsung C and T and the Korea Electric Power Corporation that will see $7 billion invested in Ontario to create 16,000 new jobs over six years.
The deal had a familiar shape. One partner was a successful international consortium with deep pockets and manufacturing expertise, the other a backward jurisdiction so hungry for jobs that it had to pay the big company what amounts to a bribe to do the deal. The whole thing was arranged directly with the jurisdiction's leader without the bother of competition.
The McGuinty government is spending the Ontario electricity revenue to encourage investments in wind and solar green-power generation, without any chance of a benefit to the system or to the customer. The big corporate investors in wind farms and maybe solar farms will reap rich rewards for 20 years, while the customers pay higher and higher prices for electrical energy.
There is mounting anger within the Liberal caucus over Premier Dalton McGuinty's decision to award a $7 billion green-energy deal to a South Korean consortium, sources told the Star. MPPs, who were advised on a conference call that the controversial accord with Samsung C&T and Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) would be proceeding, complain they had no input on an arrangement.
An Oshawa-based power supplier says the province turned its back on the local green energy industry and is giving a South Korean-based company special treatment in an energy deal announced Thursday. Premier Dalton McGuinty announced that the province negotiated an agreement with the consortium of Samsung C&T Corp. and the state-owned Korean Power Electric Corp.
Ontario's $7-billion energy deal with South Korea's Samsung Group could jeopardize construction of Essex County's biggest wind turbine project, which has had eight years of local planning and environmental study. Brookfield Renewable Power wants to build close to 100 turbines in Lakeshore with a cost in excess of $400 million for the 200-megawatt project.
In a signing ceremony Thursday for a $7-billion deal with Samsung to build wind and solar facilities, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said: "This means Ontario is officially the place to be for green energy manufacturing in North America." Quite right. Texas lost that title last week when billionaire T. Boone Pickens abandoned his plan to build 4000 MW of wind capacity in Texas - twice as much as the Samsung wind plan - when no financier could see how building the things made any financial sense.
Niagara businesses could cash in on a $7-billion green-energy investment in Ontario by a South Korean conglomerate headed by Samsung, but local wind developers wonder whether they'll be muscled out of the clean power picture. Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the massive deal Thursday, which includes a $437-million provincial subsidy over 25 years.
"We might see windmills out on the water on the lakefront. We might see windmills close to shore in Port Dover," Travale said Thursday following Queen's Park's announcement that it has approved a $7 billion wind-solar project by a Korean consortium headed up by Samsung. "We have no say in the matter anymore. We can jump up and down and beat our chests but they have total control."
Critics of a $7-billion green energy agreement between Ontario and South Korean giant Samsung said Wednesday it gives a foreign consortium an unfair advantage over local wind and solar producers and will be a bad deal for taxpayers. The agreement, which was to be signed Thursday by Premier Dalton McGuinty, would see Samsung build wind and solar farms across Ontario to generate 2,500 megawatts of renewable energy, a source close to the deal said Wednesday.
A strategy to subsidize the province's nascent green energy industry is starting to sting businesses and many households that find themselves paying the biggest markups on electricity pricing in the country. Even as electricity demand - and market prices - dropped last year with the global economic downturn, electricity bills have risen steadily on the back of generous contracts signed by the province's power planning agency.
GDF SUEZ Energy North America invested $200 million in the project, and pumped about $40 million into the local economy during construction. In return, the Texas-based company has a 20-year agreement for NB Power to pay them for every kilowatt they put onto the grid. Speaking with reporters in Fredericton this month, Keir said that agreement would be upheld regardless of whether the proposed deal to sell most of NB Power goes through.
Maine's attempt to create clear rules to guide multibillion-dollar energy corridor projects through the state came up short Wednesday, because of deep philosophical divisions that foreshadow debate next year in the Legislature. The impasse came during the final meeting of a 13-member study panel. The group was formed by the Legislature to recommend rules to give Maine the maximum benefit from proposed electricity, gas and petroleum corridors.
Its capital, Copenhagen, won the moral right to host next month's climate change summit in good part because Denmark seems to have found the winning balance between growth and carbon reduction. Wind power is coming on strong. Its citizens are willing to pay sky-high electricity prices to encourage conservation. Its hot-water-based district heating system is considered a marvel of energy efficiency. ...But this small, wealthy Nordic country - population 5.4-million - may not be as green as advertised. The fine print in Denmark's Energy Agency data paints a paler picture.
Over the next few years, Nova Scotians will be required to make some tough decisions on energy. The Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, unanimously endorsed in the Legislative Assembly in April 2007, sets very aggressive environmental preformance targets for the province.