Articles filed under Energy Policy from Canada
[D]ue to the threats of global warming and skyrocketing oil and gas prices that have caught everyone's attention, all the parties have jumped on the green bandwagon with many promising a future where our dependence on fossil fuels and their harmful consequences to our environment will be a thing of the past. Such Utopian visions are commendable but the devil will be in the details for whoever forms the next government
I find it amazing that the public is so uninformed on the topic of wind turbines. People think wind is the golden egg of green energy; in fact, turbine companies cannot exist as viable companies without government subsidies. ...Green energy is great, I'm all for it, but not at a cost that will put the average Canadian taxpayer in the poor house.
Wind power could be the central plank of a new provincial plan to make B.C. energy self-sufficient by 2016. But critics cited environmental and land-use concerns during a forum at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention today.
New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers are expected to focus on a regional approach to energy when they begin their annual meeting Tuesday in Bar Harbor, Maine. With an energy-hungry New England market and the five eastern provinces all looking to export new sources of energy, the premiers say maintaining good cross-border relations is crucial. "We'll be able to talk about the commonalities and that's around energy efficiency, around renewable types of energy," said Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald.
Next week Grand Mananers will be invited to a public meeting to hear about a wind farm planned for the "back of the island-" the high western cliffs facing the Grand Manan Channel and the State of Maine. The proponent, First Wind of Newton, Massachusetts, acquired the rights to the site on property owned by the off-island Crabbe forestry company, from a fledgling New Brunswick company that has since disappeared from the scene. The First Wind plan is for 13 wind turbines (over 200 feet or 60 metres high), with the potential for another 50 if all goes well.
Sierra Club Atlantic has asked the Energy Board of Canada for proof that green energy generated in Nova Scotia is used in the province, and not exported to the United States. Their six page submission makes several references to the Digby Neck wind farm and statements made by Barry Zwicker, developer of the project. ...Mark Dittrick, the club's conservation chair, says the New England states are eager to purchase green energy, and right now Nova Scotians have no assurance wind power and tidal power won't be exported from the province.
Ontario, which has developed and implemented some progressive policies for getting more renewable energy on the grid, hasn't found a way to tie these programs into a larger, economic-boosting industrial strategy. None of its request for proposals for new wind power has required any level of local content, nor does the province's standard offer program, which pays a premium for the electricity that comes from small-scale solar, wind, hydro and biogas projects.
Conventional wisdom, of which public opinion is a component, supports industrial wind power well beyond its negligible merits for electricity generation and CO2 emissions reduction. Although not well-informed, this popular view is understandable because of concerns about climate change, media hype, political policies that claim to address this issue, pronouncements by environmentalists stepping outside their area of expertise, and effective promotion by wind power organizations. Europe is looked to, undeservedly, as a model. This drives a political motivation for governments to take action in support of wind power, and for opposition parties to criticize any apparent lack of action. It has made having "green" credentials a political necessity.
As much as there's been lots of talk about wind addressing our energy needs in the future, that future would appear to be a long way off yet. Wind accounts for less than 1 per cent of the energy produced in Canada (Ontario is the wind-farm leader). The Canadian Wind Energy Association believes it can be 5 per cent by 2010. ...There's no shortage of people, including green enthusiasts, who believe the forecasts are wildly optimistic. While wind certainly offers us hope and will be a weapon in our collective fight for energy independence, it's also a technology that poses huge challenges.
Wind energy has its problems. It only comes when the wind blows. This reality - this Achilles' heel - makes wind a nuisance in the eyes of power-system operators, who have the challenge of trying to balance electricity supply and demand on the grid. This means we need to adapt the grid so it becomes easier to predict and manage such an intermittent, yet crucial resource. Too many jurisdictions - including Ontario - try to shoehorn wind and other renewable technologies into a 100-year-old electricity system designed for big central power plants. For this reason, wind bears a burden it inherited, and takes blame for inflexibility it didn't create
Experts suggest as many as 200 proposals could result from a call for clean energy projects issued last June by B.C. Hydro, the province's Crown-owned power utility. Energy proponents have until Nov. 25 to register their plans with the utility. The Crown corporation will announce its choices in June 2009. ..."The dilemma with this field is there is a lot of hyperbole and a lot of dramatic positioning driven sometimes by very real ecological concerns, sometimes by other factors," he said. Dauncey said the power issue in British Columbia has always been locked in an environmental debate between builders and preservationists.
New Brunswick is a rural province, and has low population densities. "So it's possible to locate wind generating facilities without intruding on residential areas," Howe said. "That's a key advantage over New England in terms of being able to locate a wind generator without having concerns on the part of resident who don't want a wind generator in their backyard."
The Alberta Utilities Commission's approval Tuesday of the proposed Montana Alberta Tie Ltd. line was the final Canadian permit needed for the 240-kV AC line, which would interconnect electricity markets and carry 300 MW north and south. The commission said the proposed line satisfied its conditions, including a process for negotiating disputes with landowners. ...Wind farm developers in Alberta and Montana have fully subscribed the line for marketing power both north and south.
Chatham-Kent council reaffirmed on Monday that it is open for business when it comes to renewable energy. The decision followed a presentation of a wind turbine action plan by economic development services. Kim Cooper, agricultural co-ordinator with the department, said there were concerns with mixed messages, especially since council recently voted to increase turbine minimum setback distances.
At least two companies are interested in offshore wind development in New York's Great Lakes waters - BQ Energy, which developed Lackawanna's Steel Winds, and AWS Truewind. "I don't think it's inevitable, but I think it's very likely," said Bruce Bailey, AWS Truewind's president. There are significant obstacles and unknowns. ...Installing wind turbines in water can be at least twice as expensive because of the cost of mobilizing marine crews, the specialized nature of the installation equipment and the turbines and the need to move the power onshore, experts say. And that doesn't factor in what would be necessary to deal with the ice that often covers the eastern end of Lake Erie in winter.
I have read many articles, columns and letters lately with regard to wind energy in general and the Wolfe Island proposed wind farm in specific. I have read these items with dread, as I know that it is inevitable that wind power will be coming to this area in spite of its unsightliness, inefficiency and expense. ...Climate change isn't going to stop tomorrow; weather patterns are changing. Who knows where the wind is going to blow tomorrow? You can't move a wind turbine once it's built; its placement is dictated by access to the resource.
Gilead Power, a privately owned renewable energy company, is proposing a wind farm of up to 13, 90-metre high turbines in Ostrander Point Crown Land block, directly west of the National Wildlife Area and in the heart of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area. ...now is the time to ask politicians and the candidates the hard questions about this important part of Canada's natural heritage. Is the provincial government willing to protect the integrity of migratory bird habitat and say no to the wind farm at Ostrander Point? Are our leaders in Ottawa ready to ante-up the required resources to get our national wildlife areas off life-support? Demand answers!
Governors from several western U.S. states and Canadian provinces met Sunday to discuss strategies for protecting wildlife that roams their region while also capitalizing on immense energy resources. ...The council´s task will be to identify key wildlife corridors and habitats for wildlife, such as pronghorn antelope, sage grouse and bear. The council will also study ways to protect animal habitat in the face of ever-increasing demand for domestic energy development _ both in the form of oil and gas drilling and new construction of solar and wind generation plants _ the building of new infrastructure for the region´s growing population and the effects of climate change.
Along-promised, never-quite-delivered revival of nuclear energy may finally be underway in Canada and one of the key reasons is, at first glance, counterintuitive -- the environment. Unlike coal, nuclear power plants produce negligible greenhouse gases, meaning the once-unpopular energy option is gaining currency in a post-Kyoto world. Another factor that was once considered a negative for nuclear energy has also become a benefit: cost. Unlike plants fired by natural gas, nuclear ones are relatively unaffected by the rising price of fuel. And in comparison to 30 years ago, when local protestors fought plans to build nuclear facilities, communities now woo the projects.
The best spots -- at least on land -- are around the Hudson Bay coast, but feature difficult terrain without any road access. So there is no question why more than a dozen wind companies have already flocked to Chatham-Kent, with the number of proposals drastically exceeding what could realistically be constructed. ..."The advent of wind energy has added yet another dimension to the planning landscape," he said. "There are different issues associated with wind energy. We're learning along the way." In April, councillors voted for staff to create a report on the potential proliferation of wind turbines and ways to mitigate the impact. This report would come before the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) proceeds with its third round of RFPs. Tim Taylor, OPA spokesman, said the draft RFP for renewable energy supply (RES III) is scheduled for release this month and involves approximately 500 megawatts.