From the Editor of Springwater News, Simcoe County

Personally, not so many years ago, I may have been a proponent of wind energy. But after researching the costs and with reports from many sources, I think there’s some second guessing to do.

• From independent professionals with expertise … Let’s take a look at what Dr. Nina Pierpont said: “I can tell you,definitely and unequivocally, that wind turbines of the size you are contemplating do, in fact, cause harm to human health when placed within two kilometres of peoples’ homes.” There is no peer-reviewed scientific report written by a certified clinician that disputes Dr. Pierpont’s conclusions. Indeed, her research findings are supported by eminent research scientists, academics and medical bodies around the world.

• If we take a look at the media, it’s obvious there are concerns. From the Ottawa Citizen: “The Premier’s new green energy plan is just a badly planned distraction from Ontario’s worsening economic outlook.” If we take a look at the National Post, “The Province’s Green Energy Plan Is Turning Ontario into a Green Police State,” and if we take a look at the Hamilton Spectator, “Green Audits Won’t Work.”

• Another question that needs to be answered is whether wind power really is that green, or even a viable economic alternative to other renewable energy options. Has the McGuinty experience, where wind power has been in existence for a decade or more?  Unfortunately, the evidence is mounting that wind power has not delivered on its promise. We know that Denmark is the world’s most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity. But, apparently, not one fossil fuel power plant has closed, 50% more coal-generated electricity is needed to cover wind failings, pollution and carbon dioxide emissions rose 36% in 2006 alone, and Danish electricity costs (33 cents per kilowatt) are higher than in Ontario (5.6 to 6.5 cents on residential rates).

• And what are the Danes saying about wind power now?  “Windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense,” says Niels Gram, Danish Federation of Industries. “Wind turbines do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” says Flemming Nissen, head of Denmark’s largest energy utility. In fact, Der Spiegel, in Germany, says this about the German plants: Germany’s “CO2 emissions haven’t been reduced by even a single gram,” despite all their wind turbines. In fact, Germany has had to build many
more coal- and gas-fired plants.

• The minister talks about subsidies that will support renewable power. This will be accomplished through the feed-in tariffs. That’s how it works in Europe, and that’s where we’re taking our example. In Europe, prices have soared as much as 40% for electricity and energy, and I’m not sure the people of Ontario understand how all that is going to happen. The sorry part of all that is that the carbon footprint is no smaller now than it was before they started renewable energy and feed-in tariffs in Europe.

• Under Bill 150, private developers are guaranteed their rates and revenues no matter what they build, where they build it, or when they operate it and Ontarians are required to pay the tab.

• And we haven’t even touched the unexplained noises caused by these towers justifying a 2 kilometre or more setback from residential homes. When you and I pay 5.6 cents or 6.5 cents a kilowatt, how does our government guarantee the suppliers of green energy such high rates.

Our government pays more for this green energy than they sell it for, and in the case of solar and biomass, it could be as much as 80 cents per kwh. It is not uncommon to pay three times the selling price per kw for wind energy from a wind turbine that works 9% of the time. 

And is there a better way?

Some people suggest that more energy efficient light, appliances and homes is the solution. Maybe, someone should pay attention.

 Springwater News