Articles filed under Impact on Economy from Canada
Ontario lost between $732 million and $1.25 billion over the past two years selling surplus clean electricity outside the province, an analysis by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) estimates. That’s the difference between what Ontario agreed to pay to produce nuclear, water, wind and solar power, and the bargain basement price it sold it for on the international market.
The board of Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro (NOTL) released a statement Wednesday that asked Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault to kill the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) 5 program — the latest round of renewable energy procurement — arguing it will further drive up already expensive electricity rates.
In yet another sign of the crisis caused for many in the province by soaring electricity rates, the Ontario Association of Food Banks says the fallout is putting the squeeze on the basic needs of many. “If people have to choose between keeping the lights on and going hungry, they go without food,” Carolyn Stewart, executive director of the association, said ahead of Monday’s release of the group’s Hunger Report 2016. Soaring hydro costs have become an Achilles heel for the Liberal government, which took a costly plunge into green energy in 2009.
The poll suggests the issues Ms. Wynne has spent most of her time on – building transit and fighting climate change – are low on voters’ priority lists. Infrastructure investments was the top issue for just 4.8 per cent of respondents, and the environment clocked in at 4 per cent.
Five years after Ontario pulled the plug on offshore wind installations, including a 130-turbine project in Lake Ontario, a NAFTA tribunal has ordered the province to fork over $25 million in damages plus $3 million in legal costs to Windstream Energy LLC, kicking up gusts of mixed reaction from environmentalists and trade activists.
The province signed long-term contracts with a handful of lucky firms, guaranteeing them 13.5 cents per kWh for electricity produced from wind, and even more from solar. Obviously, if the wholesale price is around 2.5 cents, and the wind turbines are guaranteed 13.5 cents, someone has to kick in 11 cents to make up the difference. That’s where the GA comes in. The more the wind blows, and the more turbines get built, the bigger the losses and the higher the GA.
Did the wind industry ever tell you that their turbines are of no practical use for most of the time? Do you now understand the meaning of the capacity factor? Repeat: it is time to put the welfare of Ontarians ahead of your ego and stop this waste now. We all make mistakes, and the smart people learn from them. It is now clear to all critical and realistic thinkers that wind and solar will never replace or even moderately supplement nuclear and other reliable sources of the electrical energy in Ontario.
“The high incidence of energy poverty in Canada, particularly when gasoline expenditures are included, should be of central concern when policies regarding energy are devised. Policies that raise prices could exacerbate problems faced by families who are in energy poverty, or those on the cusp of energy poverty.”
The origins of the current situation can be traced back to former Liberal leader and then-Premier Dalton McGuinty signing “enormous, outrageous renewable energy contracts.” ...over the next 20 years the wind turbine projects that are already built, as well as the projects on the books, will cost $60-billion and are only producing 4% of Ontario's overall electricity needs.
The report says that WPD Canada's plans for eight wind turbines west of Stayner would have a significant negative impact on airport operations. The study also says the project has the potential to jeopardize any proposed or future investment in the airport and the economy of the region.
The auditor found the Green Energy Act is also driving up rates. Hydro customers will pay a total of $9.2 billion more for wind and solar projects under the Liberals’ 20-year guaranteed-price program for renewable energy than they would have paid under the old program. Ontario’s guaranteed prices for wind power generators are double the U.S. average, while the province’s solar power rates are three-and-a-half times higher.
In its latest 18-month outlook, the IESO forecasts that 99.5 per cent of Ontario’s 12,947 MW of installed nuclear capacity will be available during summer consumption peaks. But it predicts only 13.7 per cent of the 1,824 MW of installed wind capacity will be available. Solar is even less reliable. So, when wind and solar actually do produce power, it’s usually dumped.
Indications are mounting, however, that green capitalism will not be able to meet all expectations. In courts around the country, complaints are mounting from wind park investors who haven't received a dividend disbursement in years or whose parks went belly up. Consumer protection activists are complaining that many projects are poorly structured and lack transparency.
On January 7, McNaughton received a letter from Wescast CEO Ed Frackowiak, which says the company is “deeply worried” about the future price of electricity in Ontario. ”If electricity rates do not become more affordable, Ontario risks losing important investments from companies like Wescast,” says Frackowiak in the letter.
The NDP estimate that exported excess electricity cost ratepayers just over $1 billion or about $220 for each customer. "Last year Ontario subsidized power to people in the United States and Quebec and Manitoba to the tune of over $1 billion. That’s the equivalent of cancelling two gas plants.”
To understand how much the Liberals miscalculated, it’s worth looking at another report that preceded this one. Prepared for influential clients in the energy industry by global consulting firm IHS-CERA, the title of this private study says it all: “Too Much, Too Fast — The Pace of Greening the Ontario Power System.” It treats our wind turbines as a case study on how greening the power system can plunge it into the red. A cautionary tale for international clients, the report would have been essential reading for provincial energy planners as they looked for the light at the end of our wind tunnel:
From Germany to Spain and Ontario to British Columbia, taxpayers are waking up to the fact that their power bills are going straight up. A major reason? Poorly thought out - some would say hopelessly naive - energy policies that encouraged an explosion of highly subsidized solar, wind, biomass and hydro projects, all in the name of saving the planet from evil fossil fuels. ...in some cases, these policies have led to an increase in carbon emissions.
The fees range from posting $100,000 performance bond for each turbine during the 20 year projected life of the machines, to $50,000 deposit for a peer review of reports generated in the renewable energy application process. Other security deposits include $50,000 for use of a municipal roadway by heavy equipment during installation and maintenance of the turbines.
Because wind is so inefficient, the only way to make it economically viable is to do what the Liberals have done. They're forcing us to pay inflated prices for it on our hydro bills, for 20 years, and forcing us to buy wind power first, even though we don't need it, because Ontario has an energy surplus, due to its beleaguered manufacturing sector. This means we dump less expensive (and "green") hydro power, for example, or sell it at a loss to Quebec or the U.S., to pay for wind.
Anxious to put a good face on their climb down on green energy, the Liberals touted a so-called $24 per year saving on the average hydro bill as a result of the fact they will now be spending $3.7 billion less of our money on green energy. Your hydro rate isn't going to drop by $24 compared to what it is now. All it means is that, theoretically, going forward, your bill will be $24 less than the even higher number it would have been under the original Samsung deal.