Articles filed under Energy Policy from Canada

Turbines part of green plan

Green energy is the only option for ending Ontario's reliance on coal plants, a spokeswoman for Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman said yesterday. While there may be unanswered health questions related to industrial wind turbines, there's no doubt about health risks associated with coal burning power plants, Smitherman's press secretary Amy Tang said. "We have to remember why we entered into renewable energy in the first place, which was our commitment to get off coal," she said.
10 Oct 2009

Is the NDP's energy overhaul on the rails?

Let me argue that the first test of an energy policy for the new age is not "alternative energy" at all - but rather conservation first, then energy efficiency and decentralization of the power structure. Renewables should serve these ends rather than be an end in themselves that may, in fact, be mostly useless. Wind power is especially troublesome in that regard. Even if NSP reaches 25 per cent renewables by 2015 based on wind, it will not have cut 25 per cent of greenhouse gases, which, after all, is the main goal. It may not have cut much greenhouse gas at all, in fact.
10 Oct 2009

Murdoch demands clear air before clean air

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch said he would call for a province-side moratorium on wind turbine projects later this month. Murdoch expects his resolution to be debated on Oct. 29 at Queen's Park. ...Murdoch said the Liberal government moved very quickly with the Green Energy agenda, that Bill 150 was passed into law within a short time, and as a result very many things got overlooked.
9 Oct 2009

Lynn backs moratorium

Mounting questions about how wind turbines affect people's health justify MPP Bill Murdoch's new call for a provincial moratorium, the region's top doctor said yesterday. "To me this is a real welcome move," said Dr. Hazel Lynn, the Grey Bruce medical officer of health. "When there's as much upset as there is, I think the politicians should be paying attention to it." Murdoch, the Conservative MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, said late yesterday he will introduce a resolution Oct. 29.
9 Oct 2009

Murdoch to seek moratorium on wind turbine projects

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch announced yesterday he will call for a provincewide moratorium on wind turbine projects later this month. Murdoch said in a news release yesterday he will introduce a resolution, which he expects to be debated on Oct. 29, that calls on the province and its chief medical doctor to state whether or not wind turbines cause health problems for people who live near them. Murdoch said the government has a responsibility as well as a mandate to investigate such claims.
8 Oct 2009

Rural residents paying price for green energy act

I wish to express my grave concerns with the passing of Ontario's Green Energy Act. No matter where anyone buys a home, if it is near agricultural land, there is no guarantee that this land will not be used to erect industrial wind turbines more than 400 feet high, a mere 550 metres from the centre of your home, and residents are now powerless to prevent such an unwanted intrusion.
3 Oct 2009

Law on turbines' side: MPP

It's too late to stop the surge of wind-farm development in Ontario, even by arguing the turbines cause illness, says Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch. "As far as what they can do about it, there really isn't a heck of a lot," he said yesterday. ...Emotions ran high at Thursday's public meeting, which the health unit organized to provide wind turbine information to residents.
3 Oct 2009

Winds of change; Power projects drive billions in grid upgrades

When the wind blows, a massive amount of power flows to the grid and "any time you get that amount of power into the auction system of the power pool, it's going to crush price," said Rob Falconer, director of distributed generation for the utility. The push to buy carbon offsets in a carbon-constrained world plays a strong role in developers' estimating profit margins, but existing uncertainty over prices makes the debate over sinking billions of dollars into extensive transmission projects even more relevant, he said.
3 Oct 2009

Ontario's iron-fisted energy model

At the G20 Pittsburgh summit, Canada endorsed a commitment to end subsidies to fossil fuel industries and step up subsidies to renewable energy sources. "We commit to...stimulate investment in clean energy, renewables, and energy efficiency," said the leaders. If anybody wonders what stimulating clean and green energy programs might mean to economic policy, a working model comes into effect today in Ontario.
1 Oct 2009

Liberals add 'Buy Ontario' to green plan

The tricky business of going green in Ontario just got more complex yesterday, as the McGuinty government introduced a mandatory "Buy Ontario" component for new solar and wind projects. The changes were part of a bundle of new policies designed to spark homegrown green manufacturing, as well as the wide deployment of its products -- everything from small, rooftop solar panels to industrial-sized wind farms. But in trying to strike a balance between competing interests, the Liberals appear to have rattled all sides.
25 Sep 2009

Ont. gives green energy price guarantee

Ontario will cover the total cost and provide "a reasonable rate of return" for investments in green energy projects through decades-long contracts with fixed electricity prices. The government said it is the first program of its kind in North America. ..."They're going to fast-track wind turbines ... without looking at the health related issues, and that ought to be a concern of everyone," he said.
24 Sep 2009

No fan of wind turbines

An Arran-Elderslie councillor wants his council to enforce its rights under the Ontario Municipal Act and impose a moratorium on wind energy projects. Elderslie ward Coun. Mark Davis said last week the municipality can impose moratorium legislation for one year, with the opportunity to extend it for another year, "if we feel an issue needs further study.
21 Sep 2009

Wind power Q & A with Nathalie Normandeau; ‘Yes to wind development, but not ... at any price'

Question: This week and next, the Bureau des audiences publiques sur l'environnement is holding hearings on two proposed wind projects in central Quebec. Last week, it heard from citizens affected by a 78-turbine wind farm near Thetford Mines. On Wednesday, it will hold hearings in St. Ferdinand on a proposed 50-turbine wind farm. Residents are deeply divided and some have reported acts of vandalism and threats. How concerned are you over how these projects have torn apart communities?
11 Sep 2009

Ontario Wind farms HUFF and PUFF and BLOW past environmental assessments

The National Post ran a story today about a group of Manitoulin Island residents who are attempting to take on a Toronto-based energy company, Northland Power Inc. The residents are accusing the company of fast-tracking a wind farm project without proper consultation. What that means for those not up to snuff on their provincial consultations, is that any company building wind farms is required to conduct what the province calls an environmental screening.
4 Sep 2009

Drafty reception for wind farm development; Green Energy Act; Northern Ontario residents critical of project

A group of Manitoulin Island residents is taking on a Toronto-based energy company, accusing Northland Power Inc. of fast-tracking a wind farm project without proper consultation. The dispute is the latest sign of a groundswell of unease over wind power projects in the province, fuelled by groups such as Wind Concerns Ontario, which have been highly critical of the effects of such development on local communities. of the project's most vocal opponents, says Northland has essentially "bulldozed" its plan over the community with little opportunity for a meaningful public response.
3 Sep 2009

Green policies offer fascinating case study in the difference between real PR and fake PR

If you promise something, you should deliver it. And sooner rather than later-especially if you engage in questionable PR tactics to win your case. I have argued in favour of governments financing both wind generation and nuclear generation, but not because both are equally capable of providing zero-carbon electricity. They are plainly not equal: nuclear provides large-scale, cheap, on-demand power; wind provides small-scale, expensive, erratic power. Comparing the two is like comparing a top-level NHL hockey player to a mosquito-level beginner.
28 Aug 2009

Regs may blow up wind farms

The provincial government plans to release more information regarding its proposed changes to wind farms under the Green Energy Act, a plan which has municipal officials wor ried about future development in Elgin county. Ontario's Ministry of the Environment received about 1,000 comments during a 45-day consultation period asking whether wind turbines should be set back a minimum of 550 metres from buildings, with different setbacks for roadways and property lines.
20 Aug 2009

Ontario's big windy gamble

Bryne Purchase, a former deputy minister of finance and energy in Ontario, now executive director of the Queen's University Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, says Dalton McGuinty's government seems to be flying by the seat of its pants when it comes to energy. "This has all been driven by relatively simple political thinking: coal bad, wind good," he says. A carbon tax, whatever the form, would have had the advantage of pricing the pollutants out of the market, rather than making wind the default winning technology.
12 Aug 2009

Plan will favour new wind projects

Proposition National cap-and-trade system will level out playing field between wind and other sources of energy: ministerFederal Environment Minister Jim Prentice says a national cap-and-trade system will not only curb carbon emissions, but also help boost the country's lagging incentives for the wind power industry. The federal government has recently been criticized for it's lack of incentives for wind power companies.
7 Aug 2009
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