Ontario’s power plans fade to black

So, wow, two whole power plants might ultimately end up not being built, derailed by a combination of NIMBYism and a skittish government. Good thing we’re building all of those wind farms out in central and eastern Ontario. We’re going to need the power! Wait, what’s that? There’s opposition to virtually every proposal? Well, how serious can it be? No government is in trouble until protesters stand outside the legislature saying they’re making their families sick. Whoops, that’s happened, too. Okay. So let’s not put out hopes in wind power, then.

Matt Gurney, National Post 

After much public pressure, the Ontario government has bowed to pressure and announced that it will not be building a gas-fired power plant in the charming, affluent Toronto-suburb of Oakville.

Now there are calls for a similar gas-fired plant about fifteen minutes north of Toronto in King City to be to shelved, as well. Locals have all the same concerns — noise, pollution, smog, softening land values. Southern York Region already tends to be relatively friendly to the Ontario PCs, so certainly, what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander — having already given in to public pressure in Oakville, why not also cave in to the citizens of King City (who haven’t thus far been as loud or as organized, but that may change now that a precedent has been set).

So, wow, two whole power plants might ultimately end up not being built, derailed by a combination of NIMBYism and a skittish government. Good thing we’re building all of those wind farms out in central and eastern Ontario. We’re going to need the power! Wait, what’s that? There’s opposition to virtually every proposal? Well, how serious can it be? No government is in trouble until protesters stand outside the legislature saying they’re making their families sick. Whoops, that’s happened, too. Okay. So let’s not put out hopes in wind power, then.

Thank God for solar. Those feed-in tariffs are allowing farmers and businesses to set up huge solar operations, so that should spur a lot of … Hmm? Those got cancelled? McGuinty backtracked and left a lot of early investors high and dry? Oh. Well, no solar, either, then. Are the plans for new nuclear reactors still moving along according to plan, then? They’ve been suspended indefinitely? Right, then. Not really surprising at this point.

So let’s review. Gas power is good until someone says it’s not, then it’s cancelled. Wind power is hated and expensive and, oh yeah, only works when it’s windy, so you need gas power as a backup … and those are getting cancelled. So we could go to solar power, except McGuinty already backtracked on that, making a lot of potential investors nervous. And our plans to build nuclear reactors to pick up the slack are on hold. Well, then. I guess we should count ourselves lucky that the population is “only” projected to grow a mere 36% over the next generation.

It might actually grow a lot more than that, given that the province is going to get a whole lot more romantic over that time. Because we’ll all be living by candlelight, and candles are romantic, right? If the blacked-out house be rockin’, you know what I mean? A smart meter joke seems called for, but … nah.

Well, okay, so what? Lots more people, not enough power. Big deal. As long as the cost remains reasonable … What? It’s not? It’s going up and up and up with no improvement in service and despite claims that smart metering would REDUCE our bills? Good Lord, Ontario. Why do you put up with this insanity?

National Post
mgurney@nationalpost.com

2 thoughts on “Ontario’s power plans fade to black

  1. How does our energy policy get this confused?

    Simple. Choose an energy minister with a high school education. Push him into the the Arms of the Pembina Group, stir well and cook up an energy policy based on Green Math.

    When that creates disaster and confusion replace him with another non-technical person — a career politician (our very own Duguid) — keep the engineers scientists and economists away from the mix. Those types of nerds want to ask stupid questions like: Does it work? Will we have enough power? What’s the cost? Does our transmission system actually work? Is there a shortage of power? Is there a surplus? What is the most efficient generation system. What is the cleanest. How do we need to upgrade our transmission network? Who should pay?

    Those types of questions embarrass people who do not have the technical knowledge to come up with a workable plan.

    As for this comment:
    “I guess we should count ourselves lucky that the population is “only” projected to grow a mere 36% over the next generation.”

    I simply ask, “What is our current situation?, do we have a surplus or a shortage?”

    Instead of the rhetorical questions in the article it would be nice to see more facts and less hysteria.

    Maybe the author should visit this site more often as part of their research. 🙂

  2. Time for questions is way behind us….we know the answers and all signs point to an absolute Disaster!

    If we as a citizenry don’t rise up in a unified voice and tell the Government that they have to take a “Time Out” just like we would tell our small children who need to stop and listen to some semblance of reality then Rural Ontario and Urban Toronto will not be fit to live in!

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