Ontario is the place where the most bizarre energy policy in the world has seen thousands of these things speared into the backyards of homes – in the most agriculturally productive part of Canada. When we say “bizarre” we mean completely bonkers.
Canada has one of the “cleanest” power generation mixes on the planet, with the vast bulk of its electricity coming from zero emissions sources such as nuclear and hydro.
Adding to the lunacy is the fact that wind power outfits are guaranteed to reap fat profits despite market conditions.
Where the wholesale market price for power in Ontario is between $30-50 per MWh, wind power generators pocket a fixed price of $135 MWh – even if there is absolutely no market for it and the Province literally has to pay neighbouring US States to take it.
Now, adding insult to injury, the much vaunted claims about wind power crushing CO2 emissions in Ontario’s electricity sector have (like everywhere else) turned out to be a monstrously cruel hoax.
If “saving” the planet is – as we are repeatedly told – all about reducing man-made emissions of an odourless, colourless, naturally occurring trace gas, essential for all life on earth – then Ontario’s energy/environmental policy has manifestly failed. And what an expensive failure it is.
Huron County residents concerned about new green energy contracts
7 April 2016
A former wind advocate in Huron County says the province’s green energy approach is creating more emissions.
A former organizer for Citizen’s for Renewable Energy in Huron County calls it ridiculous that province is continuing to bring more wind projects on line.
Bob Budd says unreliable renewable energy must be backed up by emissions-creating natural gas, which must increase along with the green energy production.
Budd quotes the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers who say by 2032 we’ll increase emissions as we increase our reliance on natural gas.
“We’re taking this mix of intermittent wind and solar, combining it with a lot more natural gas, so we end up with a grid that’s dirtier, because that natural gas and renewables is replacing about a third of our nuclear fleet, the gold standard of emissions free power production,” says Budd.
Budd says private fossil fuels companies are being paid for power that used to come from publicly owned clean nuclear and hydro-electric sources.
He adds more companies, farms and residents are converting to cheaper dirtier natural gas. Ontario has no natural gas resources of its own and is relying on natural gas through fracking in the U.S.
He adds that our electricity system only creates about 9% of Ontario’s emissions, compared to 39% created by the transportation system. But he says its difficult to encourage clean electric cars when we keep pushing the price power up.
Budd says it would have made much more sense to have used all of the money we are pouring into offshore corporations for green energy, to reduce transportation emissions.
He adds we are forced to export power costing us about $0.12 a kilowatt hour for a price of about $0.02. He says it’s bizarre that we are helping neighbouring jurisdictions offer cheaper power to lure companies to their regions.
“That last round of contracts for wind, we basically curtailed five times that amount,” says Budd. “We paid them not to produce five times the amount that we just contracted last year. So to add that this year, and to double that again next year, it’s just almost ridiculous.”
The province recently awarded Just contracts for five new wind farms, and is now opening competition for twice that amount of wind energy.
Ontario will accept the bids for 600 megawatts of wind energy, 250 megawatts of solar, 50 megawatts of hydroelectricity and 30 megawatts of bioenergy.
Budd says renewable energy like wind only makes sense for small scale applications.
Mentioned is made in the piece above of is a presentation given by the Professional Society for Engineers – specifically slide 15.
Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma – achieving low emissions at reasonable electricity rate
Ontario Society of Professional Engineers
OSPE Energy Task Force
Why will Emissions double as we add wind and solar plants?
- Wind and Solar require flexible backup generation
- Nuclear is too inflexible to backup renewables without expensive engineering changes to the reactors.
- Flexible electric storage is too expensive at the moment.
- Consequently natural gas provides the backup for wind and solar in North America.
- When you add wind and solar you are actually forced to reduce nuclear generation to make room for more natural gas generation to provide flexible backup.
- Ontario currently produces electricity at less than 40 grams of CO2 emissions/kWh.
- Wind and solar with natural gas backup produces electricity at about 200 grams of CO2 emissions/kWh. Therefore adding wind and solar to Ontario’s grid drives CO2 emissions higher. From 2016 to 2032 as Ontario phases out nuclear capacity to make room for wind and solar, CO2 emissions will double (2013 LTEP data).
- In Ontario, with limited economic hydro and expensive storage, it is mathematically impossible to achieve low CO2 emissions at reasonable electricity prices without
See the full presentation here – Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma – achieving low emissions at reasonable electricity rate
If ‘achieving low emissions at reasonable electricity rates’ is what Ontario was really out to do, it would have never erected a single one of these things. All it had to do, was do nothing: with secure, reliable and affordable nuclear and hydro power dominating its power supply, it already had the Gold Medal.
By throwing $billions at wind power, Ontario’s only achievement is monumental economic waste, and its only legacy will be the destruction of thousands of power hungry businesses and the wreckage of hundreds of hate-filled and bitterly divided rural communities. What on Earth were they thinking?