Dalton McGuinty’s wind policy blows: Editorial

Toronto Sun

There’s an obvious solution to prevent a repeat of the recent fiasco where Ontario had to pay Quebec and the U.S. almost $1.5 million to take surplus electricity generated by wind turbines on New Year’s Day.

It’s turn off the turbines.

In a logical world, that’s what would have happened when mild temperatures and low power demand — to be expected on a statutory holiday — caused the surplus.

Unfortunately, we’re talking about Premier Dalton McGuinty’s so-called “green” energy policies, where nothing is logical.  Under it, the province has to take super-expensive power produced by wind turbines first, regardless of whether we need it.

The private operators of these turbines have signed long-term contracts to supply this electricity, power which is already heavily subsidized by electricity consumers, since wind energy isn’t financially viable without those subsidies.

This situation is only going to get worse in future, as 5,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity is scheduled to come online in Ontario by 2013.

Meanwhile, we aren’t consuming anywhere near the amount of electricity predicted just a few years ago — when we were warned we were facing a looming energy shortage, complete with blackouts and brownouts.

That’s because of the 2008 global recession and the fact Ontario’s manufacturing sector was already in trouble long before that.

To be fair, McGuinty and the Liberals aren’t responsible for the global recession and accurate predictions about energy needs have always been difficult to make.

But the fact the province is only now beginning to study such simple things as turning off wind turbines when they’re not needed, is a clear indication of the haphazard way in which McGuinty has implemented his “green” energy plan.

The bitter irony for energy consumers is that, logically, a surplus of electricity compared to demand should lower prices.

But not when that energy is already being heavily subsidized by consumers and has to be bought and used, whether it’s needed or not.

To be clear, electricity prices in Ontario are also skyrocketing because of blunders by previous governments and long-term neglect of the power grid that McGuinty and the Liberals inherited when they took office in 2003.

That said, it was McGuinty who decided to introduce the Harmonized Sales Tax July 1, which immediately added 8% to already rapidly rising hydro bills.

That fiasco left the premier — with an election looming — scrambling to lessen the economic blow, with a 10% rebate on electricity as of Jan. 1, and an enhanced tax credit for some seniors.

But the fact his government still hasn’t come up with a way to turn off expensive, surplus wind power when it isn’t needed, suggests McGuinty is still making up energy policy on the fly and doesn’t have a handle on the file.

Assuming he still enjoys his job, the premier had better do so by the time the Oct. 6 general election rolls around.

6 thoughts on “Dalton McGuinty’s wind policy blows: Editorial

  1. McGuinty and Duncan were out “stumping” the other day saying they may have had to pay out a couple of million of our tax dollars for the US to take our excess power in one day but Ontario received 300 million back in the bigger picture!

    Now my question here is: Where did this 300 million go once it was collected by McGuinty?………………………I bet you a nickel to a donut it was immediately paid out to owners of the Wind “Farms”

    In other words the Ontario consumer would never get a break on this “income”, but actually would have to pay more for their use of electricity so the “fat cats” can see their investments pay off!!!!!!

    Too bad McGuinty left that small fact out of his “psycho-babble”.

  2. The smirk on McGimpy’s face is so annoying trying to fool us like we are all idiots. That jerk needs to go. Lets tell him were to go, he needs to finally listen to us taxpayers that are feeding his buddies in the wind industry and his family. Ultimately we are the boss and until we in masses get fed up with him as soon as possible the better it will be.

  3. Industrial wind power on the grid requires shadowing of an additional reliable power generation source even when additional power is not needed on the grid. The costs associated to running surplus reliable power generation is one thing, but the fuel used to support nothing more than surplus erratic wind power is a total waste of fuel and money.

  4. Quixote – here’s where McGuinty’s figure came from:
    Ontario exported 15.2 TWh in 2010, and imported 6.4 TWh.
    The $300 million dollars is likely how much more we got for our exports than we paid for our imports. That works out to about 3.4 cents/kWh we received for exports, while the people in Ontario paid, on average, 6.5 cents/kWh for the same production.

    Mr.Duguid, and Mr. McGuinty, tell you that $300 million is gravy. In other words, they intend on contracting out 10 watts for every 9 we need – and the other one is worthless unless somebody throws us a pittance for it.

    2010 consumption totals were almost exactly what the IESO expected them to be. If everything goes according to plan, we’ll increasingly subsidize exports to other markets in the next couple of years.

    For those interested, I did write about it on the blog – http://morecoldair.blogspot.com/2011/01/mcguinty-thinks-this-is-fun-it-hasnt.html

  5. “To be clear, electricity prices in Ontario are also skyrocketing because of blunders by previous governments and long-term neglect of the power grid that McGuinty and the Liberals inherited when they took office in 2003”

    REALLY!?

    Didn’t Mcgoofy SCRAP the Eve’s government long term energy plan because it didn’t get rid of coal fast enough?

    And didn’t that bunch of stupidity end up polluting Ontario’s air MORE because pollution controls for Nanticoke were scrapped as a result?

    Look what THAT got us!

    An IDIOT could do better the Dummy McGoofy!

    B.B.W.

  6. Renewables, chewables — whatever… not doing well no-how…

    MONTREAL – Alternative energy producer Boralex Inc. says it may indefinitely idle a thermal power plant in Ashland, Maine, unless it wins a contract by March.

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/boralex-may-idle-maine-thermal-plant-wins-contract-20110131-082515-774.html

    McGunity will jump into that one — shore as nothin’!

    “Boralex is a major renewable power producer, operating 46 wind, hydroelectric and thermal power stations with a total installed capacity of 700 megawatts in Canada, the northeastern United States and France.

    It also has 300 MW of wind and solar power projects under development.

    On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Boralex shares were unchanged at $9.23 in morning trading Monday.”

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