Articles filed under Energy Policy from Canada
Phyllis Hartwig is not happy with the resolution, passed by the municipality of Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards on Jan. 7, requesting that the Ontario government place a moratorium on wind farms until further research is done ..."You're saying it's all good, good, good and we have people that have researched and come back and said bad, bad, bad. That's what council is facing. What we need are facts." Visneskie asked council members if they wanted to rescind their original motion, but they voted to let it stand as it is.
But the fact is that most alternative power technologies aren't a true solution to the globe's energy problems. The best illustration of this is the long-time poster child of the alternative energy movement, wind power. ... German government uses a feed-in tariff system that requires utilities to buy wind power and pay generous subsidized rates for that electricity". What kind of business case can be made for New Brunswick? What's in it for NB taxpayers and customers of NB Power? For New Denmark?
Last month, the Crown corporation asked its regulators for the authority to reduce its call for green energy projects by 40 per cent, a move welcomed by industrial customers but attacked by proponents of electricity produced without carbon emissions. But on Jan. 12, a new letter arrived at the B.C. Utilities Commission from BC Hydro, noting that forecasting is a tough business these days. The amendment to BC Hydro's long-range energy plan, tabled in December, "may not necessarily capture all of the uncertainties inherent in possible future demand for electricity," the letter states.
"All of these contracts are basically being done on the back of Nova Scotia Power's balance sheet," Chris Huskilson, president of Emera Inc., told The Chronicle Herald's editorial board Tuesday in Halifax. "Anybody telling me they can't raise money on Nova Scotia Power's balance sheet . . . I have a little trouble with that."
A slowing provincial economy is getting the blame for BC Hydro's decision to slash by 40 per cent the amount of power it sought in its recent call for green energy. Tumbling demand for electricity in the forestry sector, an expected decline in sales of consumer goods, and a presumed drop in housing starts over the next two years are all cited by Hydro in a recent filing to the British Columbia Utilities Commission.
My column in the National Post about Ontario's irrational windpower policy has elicited an electric surge of very interesting responses.
Must we destroy the environment in order to save it? In the province of Ontario, the answer seems to be "yes." This month, the Liberal provincial government of Dalton McGuinty will finish drafting its proposed Green Energy Act. The Act's early drafts call for a big increase in renewable energy production in Ontario. Sounds nice! How do we get there? The plan contains two big elements: (1) a huge cash giveaway and (2) a brusque slap-down of local democracy.
The only certain thing about the battle shaping up on the edge of Algonquin Park is that the green side will win. The question, however, is which green side will be the victor? In a conflict suited to the times, the Ontario government is running into resistance from self-professed environmentalists over its plan to expand the use of wind turbines, which are the darling of other self-professed environmentalists.
Certainly, local farmers are entitled to earn a reasonable living. On the other hand, the rest of us are entitled to a quality of life and enjoyment of property. The underlying issue is that a small group of people formed met in secret to unilaterally decide that what is best for their own financial gain is best for the community. Her entreaty to "talk to the neighbours" is even more risible. The fact that this has been planned for two years and that the public is only now learning the detail and extent of this proposal is a case in point. To quote an old saying: "the fix is in".
The provincial government needs to be more considerate when entertaining new uses for Crown land in the Central Okanagan. That's the message the regional district board is delivering to the province's Integrated Land Management Bureau ...Case in point, the land bureau received an application for the installation of five, 60-metre meteorological towers in Lake Country's Beaver and Oyama Lakes watersheds, to test for wind energy.
The eagerness with which regional council this week endorsed the call for a full-panel federal environmental assessment of the Lake Uist wind and hydro proposal is indicative of the success that critics of the project are having in getting their concerns across. It was as though council was anxious to make up somehow for having granted Cape Breton Explorations Ltd. its land use bylaw amendment last year, the first critical regulatory step needed to put the energy plan in motion.
The Town of Essex became the first area municipality to propose a ban Monday on wind turbine projects until all health questions raised by residents are clearly answered by provincial experts. "We are gambling with the health, safety and quality of life of the people around us," said Coun. Ron Rogers, who proposed the ban. "We need answers and guidance from our provincial ministries." ...Maureen Anderson of the Essex County Wind Action Group said a handful of Ontario municipalities have already proposed bans on wind turbines, and the number appears to be growing.
Exactly why Dennis Trochim believes Manitoba would be especially proactive in building wind farms, regardless of whether the financially troubled firm Babcock and Brown is involved is hard to fathom. If this province depended largely on imported power, the proposal would make some sense; but since it gets about 98 per cent of its electricity from hydro, what's the reason for any urgency?
Minister Smitherman's recent letter in Barry's Bay This Week (Wind power has important role, Oct. 29, 2008) revealed a disturbing lack of understanding of the true nature of this rush to wind-farm construction. He seems to think that it is about producing environmentally friendly power. But a sober look at the process shows that it is not. Any ordinary business would proceed slowly. In a marginal area such as ours, they would build one turbine, see how it worked out and gradually expand the operation. So why are these firms so eager to construct so many turbines so fast in untested areas?
Wind power can't survive without massive subsidies, courtesy of you and me. "If these hidden subsidies were taken away, there would not be a single wind turbine built in Britain," says David Bellamy, a well-known environmentalist who has been tramping the Scottish countryside to oppose a massive wind project there. ...When will we stop pouring billions into wind? I have no idea. Politicians really love their turbines. Meantime, that soft whooshing sound you hear is your friendly green government, vacuuming money out of your pockets.
Worried by rising fuel costs and keen to demonstrate concern about climate change, politicians across Canada are devoted to renewable energy. But even some environmentalists are questioning whether the push to introduce such energy sources -- and particularly wind power -- has overtaken the responsibility to prudently plan. "People want to get in on wind power," said Mark Mattson, president of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. "It's good public relations.... But when you look at it from a provincial point of view and the ratepayers who are paying for it, it's not clear that it's in the best interest to build them."
Imagine sections of the Great Lakes dotted with rows of gleaming, 12-storey turbines, blades whirring in the stiff breeze as they generate electricity for homes and businesses onshore. It's only an idea -- for now. But U. S. government regulators are bracing for an expected wave of proposals for offshore power generation ...Despite its allure as a plentiful source of clean energy, they say, offshore wind power could affect the aquatic environment and commerce.
When the 50-turbine Dokie wind farm just outside Chetwynd is up and running next year, it will be B.C.'s first commercial wind power project, making the province the last in Canada to have such a power project. A farm near Dawson Creek, B.C., called the Bear Mountain project is also scheduled to start generating power next year, and there are many other prospective sites being considered. ...And a group of homeowners near Bear Mountain has been rallying against the project there, insisting the wind farm will be too close to people.
The Chatham Daily News asked Mayor Randy Hope how much of the wind energy wave Chatham-Kent will ride? "We're doing everything we can to be in a more positive (position)," Hope said He said council included wind energy as a strategic economic direction and when it comes to securing this kind of business "we've probably got a better chance than most do." However, Chatham Coun. Anne Gilbert believes the municipality made a strategic error in stating wind power is among its strategic directions.
The creation of 500 megawatts of wind power will help provide energy security and price stability to Prince Edward Island, Premier Robert Ghiz said Friday in outlining a provincial wind development policy. Ghiz unveiled a paper called "Island Wind Energy, Securing Our Future: The 10 Point Plan" saying it was the first step toward that goal. The $1 billion undertaking will be the largest development on the Island since construction of the Confederation Bridge.