The Big Lie

by Rick Conroy, Wellington Times

If you oppose industrial wind energy you are, according to the McGuinty Liberals, in favour of coal-fired electricity— an energy source that kills and damages children’s lungs.  Unless you support Dalton McGuinty’s plan to blot the horizon with wind turbines you are worse than a NIMBY— you are complicit in killing children.

The shrillness and sheer emptiness of the McGuinty Liberals’ arguments on the energy file has been revealing in recent weeks. It is, I think, a measure of the desperation the provincial government is feeling less than a year away from an election. They realize the anger and resentment they’ve stirred up in rural Ontario, where they have unleashed their industrial wind energy experiments. More worrisome for the provincial Liberals is the average Ontarian is losing faith that Dalton McGuinty is on the right track when it come to managing the province’s electrical system—a feeling confirmed each time we open our hydro bill.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. The promise of a clean, green energy future was thought to be a sure vote getter for the provincial Liberals. Even if it didn’t work the mere appearance of massive turbines dotting the horizon and shiny panels covering thousands of acres of tillable farmland was evidence that McGuinty was doing something— and that something was better than nothing. And besides, if we built the wind and solar factories the technology required to make it work— electricity storage, a new, more flexible grid etc.—would surely follow along shortly. Just to be safe McGuinty courted the Korean industrial giant Samsung, with $7 billion of taxpayer dollars—believing naively, and wrongly, they would have the technical capability he found lacking in his own province.

In fairness, McGuinty always said his clean, green energy future would cost more. The ironic bit is that it is the one part of the story, namely higher electricity bills, in which he was straight with voters; yet is the one aspect most likely to bring him down next fall.

Let’s however, return to the propaganda—the lie that opponents to industrial wind energy support coal-fired electricity. It’s a talking point McGuinty Liberals have repeated again and again—lately with greater urgency. Local MPP and McGuinty cabinet minister Leona Dombrowsky repeated it three times for effect in a brief interview last week. It is a myth the faithful have mouthed for years.

It is however, the reddest of red herrings. Aclumsy diversion at best. It is akin to suggesting that opponents to fiscal policy love poverty. One has nothing to do with the other— but is offered as if there is a meaningful relationship between the two. And repeated until it is believed.

The truth, however, is all the wind turbines in all the world won’t replace a single coal-fired electricity generating plant. They haven’t anywhere in the world and they won’t here. The reason is very simple—coal, gas, hydro and nuclear generated electricity can be turned up and turned down to meet current demand. Add more fuel (or water in the case of hydro) and electricity production rises. Reduce it, the power production falls. These forms of electricity generation can be harnessed and managed.

This is important because our power needs, as a province and a household, fluctuate during the day. And since electricity, on the scale of a grid, can’t be stored, the electricity must be produced at the millisecond it is needed.

Intermittent electricity sources such as wind and solar energy only produce electricity when the wind blows and the sun shines—and their production varies depending on the strength of the wind and the number of clouds in the sky.

You cannot call up wind energy and you can’t turn it down. This means that behind every wind turbine is a gasfired generator with an operator on the pedal—riding the whim of the wind and the sun. But even under this flimsy arrangement the combination can’t replace coal-fired generation. It is simply too difficult to generate a meaningful amount of electricity in this way. Allowing intermittent generating sources to amount to anything more than a symbolic portion of generation capacity would put the safety of our residents, the health of our economy and security of the grid assets in jeopardy.

These two charts provide just a couple of glimpses into the difficulties Ontario’s electricity system operators face in dealing with wind and solar energy sources. Both charts were prepared by Ken Kozlik, chief operating officer of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the government agency that “makes the market” for electricity in the province. The charts are from a presentation he made to an industry conference in Washington last year.

The chart at right shows a solid line with steps upward depicting the amount of wind energy theoretically available if every turbine was spinning at the optimal speed. The other line illustrates the actual electricity produced over the course of a year by Ontario’s wind turbine fleet. It paints a clear picture of the challenges in managing a source of electricity that is so erratic and unpredictable, that it never achieves a stable production point.

The second chart is perhaps more revealing. Each horizontal line represents a single day (24 hours) of energy production by Ontario’s wind energy fleet in Dec. 2008. No two days are alike. Output ranges from zero to 700 megawatts. It is a very good graphic representation of why wind energy cannot be used for base-load generation. Wind energy is available only when it is available and even then must be backed up by a nimble alternate generating source at all times. This is why wind energy has never displaced a coal-fired plant, nor can it.

Does this mean wind energy will never work? Who knows what the future will hold? Today, however, it means Dalton McGuinty is spending many billions of dollars filling the pockets of wind and solar developers as well as industrial conglomerates in pursuit of an electricity generating source his own energy officials know won’t be meaningful to the overall supply of electricity in the province.

For this reason his government will likely pay a price next fall.

rick@wellingtontimes.ca

10 thoughts on “The Big Lie

  1. FINALLY! TRUTH IN THE MASS MEDIA!!!!!

    Too bad it was The Wellington Times and not the front page of the Toronto Sun!

    I suspect it’s comming!

    Here’s hoping!

    B.B.W.

  2. its time for a change in ontario. dalton has ruined a once beautiful province with ugly turbines and solar panels that only work part time. our hydro bills keep going up and our hospitals keep falling behind in patient care. the green energy act has priority and damn anything else in this province.

  3. Lies? What lies? Clearly everyone has their facts wrong. Get your facts from a reliable source — like this one…

    http://www.canwea.ca/images/uploads/File/NRCan_-_Fact_Sheets/11_consumers.pdf

    “Environmentally and economically sound, free from the increasing cost of fossil fuels, wind has a lot to offer Canadians. Wind farms can be built quickly – faster than many other types of power plants – and can meet our growing need for electricity in cities, towns and rural areas.

    With wind energy, the cost of electricity is predictable because there are no escalating fuel costs. Investing in wind also helps us offset our use of other precious resources. That’s why wind energy is a great choice for today and tomorrow.

    ****************

    giggle, snarf, snark, uh uh uh bwahwahwah hehehehe rotflmao

  4. Hey! It’s reliable too…
    http://www.canwea.ca/images/uploads/File/NRCan_-_Fact_Sheets/3_reliability.pdf

    Wind turbines are reliable.

    Wind-generated power is a reliable source of electricity. Wind turbines have one of
    the highest availability factors – a term that refers to the reliability of the turbines
    and the percentage of time that a plant is ready to generate energy. Wind has an
    availability factor of 98% – much higher than conventional forms of energy production.

    *************

    Is this true?

    Yes.

    Wind turbines are available 98% of the time. Unfortunately their partner (The Wind) only turns up at the dance less than 30% of the time, and often when their partner does turn up, they are just too plum tuckered out to dance!

    Not that they were trying to fool you or nuttin’…

  5. Dear friends,

    A new book, ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory,’ (Amazon, etc.) debunks the theory of man-made global warming and exposes some of the filth that UEA, NASA, NAS, NOAA, etc. are still trying to hide.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    One of many coauthors
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  6. The media is being spoon fed and supported by the government scare tactics. From what I can find there are only 3 coal fired plants still operating in Ontario, witness below. And at that they refused to take the nuclear option on the Nanticoke plant.

    Status of Fossil Fuel Plants in Ontario
    Reference: http://www.opg.com/power/fossil/brochures/nanticokebrochure.pdf
    Atikokan (211 MW coal)
    has 90 employees
    Nanticoke (4,096 MW coal) – The largest coal-fired power plant in North America. Units 3 & 4 were closed Oct 1/2010. This plant had 600 employees.
    Of special note:
    The Government of Ontario had originally targeted to phase out all of its coal plants by 2009, but abandoned this target in 2006 to the ire of organizations representing nurses and physicians, community groups and environment groups.[3] The province could not replace Nanticoke’s energy output by the deadline. The province was examining replacing this output using nuclear power by refurbishing its existing fleet, and building two additional reactors at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. Bruce Power, Canada’s only private nuclear power company, also proposed building two reactors on former Stelco lands in Nanticoke. However, this was met with immediate opposition and dismissal from the government. “It’s a speculative move on the part of a private company…It doesn’t enjoy the support, encouragement [or] approval…of the Government of Ontario,” stated George Smitherman, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.[4]
    Thunder Bay (303 MW coal) – Thunder Bay, Ontario
    Used low sulfite coal

    Decommissioned/Demolished
    • Lakeview Generating Station – demolished (2,400 MW coal) – Mississauga,
    Ontario
    • Lambton (1,972 MW coal)
    had scrubbers but was closed Oct 1/2010
    • Wesleyville (Mothballed/Never Completed), land purchased in the early-1960’s was to have been an oil-fired plant.
    • Hearn Generating Station – gutted, structure remains (1,200 MW coal) – Toronto, Ontario

  7. Maybe all those underfunded doctors and nurses would rather suck on the smokestack of a natural gas plant? I heard the finer particles penetrate far deeper into the lungs…Or better yet, on those same coal smokestacks once they switch to biofuels!

    Of course, if Dummy McGoofy didn’t throw all our money at these green energy thieves it is likely all those doctors and nurses would not be so egregiously underfunded!

    DON’T GET ME STARTED!

    🙁

    B.B.W

  8. Thank you Oliver K. Manuel. Fox News on the Cabuto program just featured a piece on the Cancun conference — attendance way down, and former pro-believers in Climate Change/Global Warming now leaving in droves and admitting this was purely political and a scare tactic to redistribute wealth. At the same time a German scientist maintains (sorry missed his name) that coal shold be left in the ground, thus actually preventing poor and underdeveloped nations from reaping earnings for their export or further development. Thanks for the heads up on the book.

  9. OMG if they get voted back in I am leaving this province,,, simply haveing to tolerate this stupidity for this many years is one thing but to know that a majority would re-elect this group of absolute f’n idiots only proves how utterly ignorant and stupid they are. no wonder average IQ scores are so low in this province,,, it has far to many liberal voters.
    This BS is going to make the history books for sure, 100 years from now why is onatio so f*** up,,, still? and a big picture of Dalton macaswipe will apear on a big screne…. to boot that prick gets to retire with a nice juicy pension,, ON US….. and will get to make his $50,000 apperences at conventions to give detail on how to completely bankrupt a province and its population.

    Whoever voted for this idiot in the last election should be completely ashamed of themselves, and volentarily pay all the increased amounts on everyone elses bills and taxes.

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