Articles filed under Energy Policy from Canada
CALGARY - The Stelmach government foresees nearly doubling the amount of wind-power generation allowed in Alberta, says Energy Minister Mel Knight, even as the province remains the only jurisdiction in Canada to cap the production of wind energy. Industry groups are demanding the province go further than raising the amount of production permitted and remove the cap.
QUEBEC - The nationalization of Quebec's hydroelectric power in the 1960s was the crowning achievement of Rene Levesque, then a Liberal energy minister, who later became the first Parti Quebecois premier. More than 40 years later, some suggest the province should follow in his footstep and nationalize a booming new industry - wind power. Government-owned Hydro-Quebec has become a symbol of Quebec's pride and know-how and developed into the largest single electricity producer in North America. The utility has a virtual monopoly on the distribution of electricity in the province, most of it produced by its own dams. Quebec has been called the "Saudi Arabia of wind energy" and experts say it gives the province a bright future.
Shouldn't eco-friendly Townshippers want in on this kind of technology? "It's not the technology we're opposed to, and it's not because we have a 'not-in-my-backyard' mentality," said Fabien Poirier, a fourth-generation resident who restores old houses and furniture, has a head for statistics and history, and is a member of the 'No' committee. "It's just that we don't think these wind towers should ever be put up in an inhabited area, so close to where people live. They're totally out of proportion to everything around them." The residents fear a variety of ills documented from turbine use in other countries: the shadows of the blades at sunrise and sunset, creating a strobe effect that catches the eye and makes people nauseous; interference with analog TV reception, making channels hazy; blinking lights atop the towers that distract and annoy at night; falling house prices caused by the towers being so close; the constant noise of the rotating blades (generally under 40 decibels), likened to the uneven pitch of an overhead fan, the hum of a beehive or the sound of a school bus approaching from a distance; the effect on bird and bat migration; and disruption of drainage caused by a soil structure that gets degraded by the foundations of the towers, each one with a footprint that is wide and deep and hard: 600 cubic litres of poured concrete.
In St. Joseph, south of Winnipeg, a citizens' group is protesting a proposal by Bowark Energy Ltd. of Calgary to install 63 wind turbines across a 13-kilometre stretch of arable land. In Elie, just west of Winnipeg, some residents are demanding a study on long-term costs of a wind turbine proposal by Sequoia Energy. Residents' complaints about wind power systems include noise, bright lights at night, loss of property value and a perception that the turbines are eyesores. Applications for the next wave of wind turbines in Manitoba closed Tuesday. The province and Manitoba Hydro will approve three of about 30 proposals submitted.
Renewable does not mean green. That is the claim of Jesse Ausubel of the Rockefeller University in New York. Writing in Inderscience's International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology, Ausubel explains that building enough wind farms, damming enough rivers, and growing enough biomass to meet global energy demands will wreck the environment. Ausubel has analyzed the amount of energy that each so-called renewable source can produce in terms of Watts of power output per square meter of land disturbed. He also compares the destruction of nature by renewables with the demand for space of nuclear power. "Nuclear energy is green," he claims, "Considered in Watts per square meter, nuclear has astronomical advantages over its competitors."
The Ontario provincial government, complicit in deception, has effectively sanctioned the wind power industry to prejudicially reform planning policy, willfully and knowingly, not only supporting, but utilizing industry proffered guidelines, fundamentally biased and flawed at the most basic level. Increasingly, unacceptable human impacts transpire, the aftermath of profit skewed noise and setback policies.
I would ask the Nova Scotia Government to take a serious, long, hard look at this whole industry and take some leadership by declaring the minimum standards by which wind energy projects must abide. A responsible, intelligent set of standards could set the way for the rest of the country! Use the experience of those who have had turbines for decades and learn from their mistakes. Blindly surging ahead into wind energy without considering health and safety factors and reasonable enjoyment of a resident's property is not looking after your constituents - the people of Nova Scotia.
We're missing the point with all these half-baked ideas that will somehow lead us to some environmentally sound utopia of the future. Climate change isn't being caused by too many plastic bags or ignorant car owners idling their cars for hours on end. No, global warming is caused by four things - fossil fuels, natural gas, coal and petroleum........."Right now in Alberta they have numerous wind farms that are producing energy, but that's only when it's windy," Weaver said. "You can't just shut off a coal burning plant when it's windy and switch to wind power, it doesn't work like that."
THEY say the population in Pugwash more than triples in the summer months with the huge influx of cottage owners, none more distinguished than singer Anne Murray. These seasonal residents have a right to be heard just like any others............This squabble reveals the growth of the wind industry in Nova Scotia is occurring in a largely unregulated environment. The province wants 20 per cent of electricity generated by renewable sources by 2013. This means more wind projects are coming and the government should adopt uniform regulations to bring certainty to developers and the public. Voluntary Planning, an independent and trusted board, should be asked to consult with the public and experts, and come up with recommendations on rules to harness this energy.
AMHERST - The developer of a proposed wind farm in northwestern Nova Scotia says singer Anne Murray's opposition to the project isn't helpful and will only inflame the situation. Charles Demond of Atlantic Wind Power reacted Monday to Murray's highly publicized comments last week about the company's plans to build between 20 and 27 wind turbines in the Gulf Shore area, where Murray has a summer home. "It's not helpful at all for the business of our company and wind farms at large to have someone like Anne Murray saying this is going to be a catastrophe for the area," Demond said. "We don't accept that and it's categorically not true.
Legislator, Claude Roy, has denounced wind energy as a free-for-all and unseemly. The representative from Montmagny-L' Islet hopes to present a proposal aiming to nationalization the industry in the province. UnTil that happens, he wants to see a moratorium on all projects.
AUGUSTA — A new study of the legalities and logistics of an electrical utility partnership involving Maine and New Brunswick shows no significant barriers to such a cross-border collaboration. It also shows “significant economic and environmental benefits” are possible on both sides of the border through closer coordination in the production and transmission of electricity.
He's Dr. Reid Bryson, considered by many the "father of scientific climatology," and he's also pronounced on the most consequential climate issue of the day - man-made global warming. His verdict: "That is a theory for which there is no credible proof."
The answer to Canada's energy needs might be found blowing in the wind or in controversial nuclear technology -- or a combination of both. Sun Media's Lorrie Goldstein, a proponent of nuclear energy, and national comment editor Paul Berton, who says Canada is lagging in development of alternate sources of power, recently engaged in an energetic debate.
There's an end in sight to the cap that put the kibosh on further development of wind power in the province that once led all the rest in developing wind farms. With billions of dollars of wind power projects stalled by a year-long cap on further development, it looked like Albertans could be getting their electricity from nuclear reactors before the province jumped on the green bandwagon sweeping the rest of North America. But the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) will "soon" remove the cap, says Ally Sutherland, AESO communications advisor.
With summer approaching and electricity demand on the rise, the Ontario government announced Thursday a plan to encourage more small-scale energy producers, including aboriginal and northern communities, to add power to the grid in the future. The province is taking a cue from the Ontario Power Authority and will offer financial incentives to help reduce barriers for small clean-energy projects to go online.
There is also a tremendous amount of interest in renewables, particularly wind power. In British Columbia, construction of the 700-MW Nai Kun Wind Power Project, with an estimated capital cost of $1.6 billion, is expected to begin on the Queen Charlotte Islands in 2007. In Quebec, six wind farms are planned for the Gaspé region at a total cost of $1.1 billion. In Ontario, the 99-MW Erie Shores Wind Farm near Port Bur-well, the 40-MW Kingsbridge I Wind Power Project near Goderich, and the 67-MW Melancthon Grey Wind Project near Shelburne are three of the 19 new renewable energy projects the province has supported to date. Combined, these projects should help Ontario reach its goal of generating 5 per cent of its electricity capacity through renewable generation by 2007, and 10 per cent by 2010. Since 2003, the amount of wind energy in the province has increased 80-fold and brought an estimated $2.5 billion in new investment to Ontario.
Earlier this month, the National Academy of Science put forward some compelling evidence that industrial wind power has some serious flaws. Also, recent U.S. Congress hearings brought forth several expert testimonies that warn of a potential environmental disaster (birds, bats, etc.) due to poor siting of turbines and lack of accountability. There are gaping holes in the protection of wildlife, birds and bats in particular, from poorly sited, constructed and monitored wind turbines in both the U.S. and Canada.
Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell recently had a tête-à-tête to discuss how B.C. could assist California in dealing with its energy crisis. At the same time, the California Utilities Commission gave Pacific Gas and Electric US$14 million to explore renewable energy sources in B.C. and the feasibility of a new transmission corridor stretching from B.C. to the Golden State. Conspicuously absent from the self-congratulatory press releases about co-operation between the jurisdictions in pursuing a "green" agenda was the most important issue: Who will own - and benefit from - the development of B.C.'s renewable energy? A closer look at the B.C. government's wind energy policies reveals an enormous giveaway of literally billions of dollars in wind farm assets and future public revenues to private power developers. Yet there has been virtually no public discussion of the scope and cost of the government's wind energy policies.
It's no surprise that the Society of Energy Professionals, a shareholder of nuclear operator Bruce Power, wants the government to order several new nuclear reactors for Ontario. More curious is the society's belief, expressed in a series of recommendations last week, that the provincial government should make wind-energy development a part of Ontario Power Generation's mandate as a publicly owned corporation. The society has been arguing this case ever since the McGuinty government took wind and other renewables out of OPG's mandate two years ago.