Ontario wind energy advocates say they’ll try harder to explain their projects to the public

CanWEA must pour on more lies and false promises

John Spears, Toronto Star

Buffeted in some quarters by opponents of wind farms, the Canadian Wind Energy Association says it plans to do a better job of building support for its members.

“One can’t deny there is opposition,” Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, said in interview, though he added: “We have also had a number of projects go through with relatively little.”

The wind industry is awaiting the outcome of a court case in Ontario that, at the most drastic, could leave the wind industry in a regulatory limbo by wiping out the rules governing how far wind turbines must be set back from homes.

Ontario currently has about 1,400 megawatts of wind generating capacity, one-third of Canada’s total. Ten more projects are due to come on stream this year, adding 450 megawatts.

“There are three things we need to do,” said Hornung.

“The first is more effectively engaging communities, more effectively engaging municipal leaders, and working toward making sure discussions at the community level are full, frank and well informed.”

The association ran a survey last year that showed broad support for wind energy. But opponents of wind farms have also banded together, and many developments have spawned local opposition groups who argue that the developments threaten the landscape, wildlife and residents’ health.

Second, wind developers have to talk about the benefits that wind brings, Hornung says. More components for turbines are now being made in Ontario, for example.

And Hornung says that in Wolfe Island, near Kingston, where turbines have sparked controversy, revenues for the local municipality have surged because of the wind development.

Hornung says wind proponents also have to combat “misinformation.” Some opponents have said Europe is turning away from wind energy when that’s simply not true, he said.

Opponents of wind also mistakenly compare the cost of new wind energy to the cost of existing generation, such as low-cost hydro-electric energy, Hornung says.

The correct comparison is to compare wind with the cost of any new development going forward, he said, and in that case wind is much more competitive.

The wind association may have a tough fight on its hands if the Conservatives form the next Ontario government.

While the Liberals have promoted wind development with the Green Energy Act and attractive feed-in tariff rates, conservative leader Tim Hudak has been skeptical.

“We cannot continue to pursue green energy policies that unnecessarily drive up the costs for consumers and have punitive impacts on our broader economy,” Hudak said in a speech last year.

Hornung acknowledged the uncertainty that an election year creates.

“Any time you have a change there is uncertainty,” he said

“Uncertainty makes everybody nervous. It’s important to be working with all parties. We’re talking to everyone and making the case for wind energy in Ontario.”

19 thoughts on “Ontario wind energy advocates say they’ll try harder to explain their projects to the public

  1. “The first is more effectively engaging communities, more effectively engaging municipal leaders, and working toward making sure discussions at the community level are full, frank and well informed.”

    I truly hope those are the words of a rat going down the sinking ship. But I doubt that.
    The industry is playing the victim now. Watch how that’ll play out to make US, yes US, look like a bunch of whining fools.

    Keep at ’em fellas. Let them choke on their thumbs.

  2. “The correct comparison is to compare wind with the cost of any new development going forward, he said, and in that case wind is much more competetive”. Ugggghhhhhh??????
    Soooo apparently it`s somehow wrong to compare antique, and useless ,new wind turbine costs, to established, proven,
    clean, high output, dependable,etc.,energy producers???
    How does one argue, with someone, so illogical /brain dead??

  3. Glad we have em chewing their nails! Keep up the pressure. Obviously those reps at the open houses are feeling ganged up on and asking for back up. They should be scared when tying to sell snake oil to an educated crowd!!!

  4. Again,any manufacturer can place a nameplate capacity on any kind of machine but this does not make it so.

    Actual performance data for wind turbines both in Ontario and the U.K., shows that wind turbines operate at far below nameplate capacity.

    Even if wind tunnel studies done on small wind turbine models or data fed into computers produces the stated nameplate capacity this does not make it so under actual,real circumstances of usage.

    Ontarians are being sold a “bill of goods” at a very high prices.

  5. Hornung makes his living finding the right words so he and his friends can make more money. He seems convinced that if he can just find the right words, he can keep the gravy coming. Facts (in this case about how their product has no benefits and significant downsides) aren’t perceived as facts, but merely “obstacles” to overcome.

    He talks not to communicate, but to convince. The appearance of truth is what matters to him, not truth itself. And people like him (politicians and marketers come to mind) always seem so surprised when they find they can’t overcome the stubbornness of the facts.

  6. “Ontario currently has about 1,400 megawatts of wind generating capacity”

    Seems about 300 MW high to me; Not a good way to start an editorial!

    “The association ran a survey last year that showed broad support for wind energy.”

    Sure they did! I’m guessing this was heavily urban biased? Ya think? A survey of people with their heads shoved firmly up their asses is likely going to find prevalent hemorrhoids! No surprises there! I wonder what the results of a similar survey would show today now that people are starting to pay the price for thieving bastards like Mr. Hornung!

    “The first is more effectively engaging communities, more effectively engaging municipal leaders, and working toward making sure discussions at the community level are full, frank and well informed.”

    DREAM ON! Were the wind industry to actually provide truthful information to the public, there would never be another turbine built anywhere in the world!

    “Hornung says wind proponents also have to combat “misinformation.” Some opponents have said Europe is turning away from wind energy when that’s simply not true, he said.”

    He is RIGHT! Well, except for Denmark! The EU IS turning away from SUBSIDIES in a big way though! Strange how the result has been a dramatic drop in wind farm construction! Who woulda thought!

    “The correct comparison is to compare wind with the cost of any new development going forward, he said, and in that case wind is much more competitive.”

    How in hell can intermittent and essentially useless generation be compared to reliable useful generation? What the hell does price have to do with it?

    If this is Mr Hornung’s best effort at “full, frank and well informed” we may see the end to wind power in Ontario sooner rather then later! He even LOOKS like a SLEAZE BALL!

    Keep it up Robert! Nice hair!

    B.B.W.

  7. BBW, I bet he gets punted and they’ll find a new “leader”.
    Once investors start getting a little squirmy, hell be dropped like a bad habit.

  8. Okay, I’ll say it…
    Horning, I think that you know as I do that you are lying.
    Get the hell out of this Province and find somewhere else to roost!
    Vulture!

  9. “The association ran a survey last year that showed broad support for wind energy.”

    That survey was slanted to favour their desired results. For example, suggesting that wind energy was free, clean and harmless. The survey area was urban where many are still uninformed of the true nature of wind energy.

  10. Skewed and screwed as well as I recall. Definitely it should get a McGuinty Screw award as the most biased survey of all time!

  11. Here is a link to the survey…

    http://www.canwea.ca/pdf/ipsosreid_ontariosurvey.pdf

    A pitiful document at best!

    And I must repeat my idea here!

    This is a clear example of where an award named “The McGuinty Screw” would be appropriate… An award for an idea, person or project best exemplifies the idea that the taxpayer is getting their pocket picked — or “being screwed” in the popular parlance…

    from before…
    Speaking of McGuinty. It is time we give him the honour that he deserves. I propose that we name that spinny thing on top of wind towers after McGuinty (And coincidentally honour Archimedes at the same time.)

    I vote we name that propeller-like thing at the top of Industrial Wind Turbines a “McGuinty Screw”. It could have several connotations — all of them accurate I believe. As many of you scientific types know a screw is a very efficient form of the lever and can be used in water pumps, motive devices for ships, and planes (not to mention trains)…. and is really the pre-cursor to the turbine.

    I believe that it is an appropriate monniker as the devices are very efficient at pumping our cash into the wrong hands — so calling it the McGuinty Screw will of course bring all the proper connotations together with but one phrase.

    Now of course I suggest a party-dance-protest to celebrate this new name for our dear friend(s) (person and turbine beanies)…. at which we will perfect a new dance called … YOU Guessed It! The “McGuinty Screw”.

    I envisage it performed as follows….

    Both partners revolve around a common axis flailing their arms round and round while making a loud HUMMING and SWISHING noise…

    The instant that your partner breaks their attention you immediately grab their wallet and take all their money — switch partners and do it again…

    Whoever has all the money at the end of the night will be judged the best dancer and a “Good Businessman” — but a better Politician.

    What say you…? Up for the dance?

    This Friday night — Wasaga Beach….

    Oh yeah…
    See wikipedia for more info….. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes

    We needed a reference…

  12. Whether or not “Europe” is turning away from wind energy, Germany’s annual production hasn’t changed much since 2006, and Denmark’s since 2003. They do seem to manage to continue increasing capacity figures, which means capacity factors are dropping – as they are in Scotland and elsewhere now too. Prices are not dropping, and the product is not getting more efficient. Economically, these are characteristics of a failed technology.
    By nameplate capacity, wind is competitive with other new sources, but.. 22 years ago Ontario Hydro produced a report, “Providing the Balance of Power,” that called for steady growth, of 2.2% annually, in peak demand, to 2014, which would necessitate 39800MW of generation capacity. Demand hasn’t grown at all for the first 22 years, and yet we have grown capacity to 34500, with commitments already made for 1600MW more nuclear, 2000MW more wind, and 650MW more natural gas. It is because all new sources carry expense that other jurisdictions don’t add them frivolously, instead taking action to clean up existing production capacity. The value of wind has little to do with the price of wind though, as the value is only the value of fuel not used when it is windy. Wind is not constructed instead of another production source, it is built in addition to another production source.

    Not in the article is the record of Hornung in arguing for short setbacks based on Ontario’s traditional rural street grids – or his lobbying against understanding the health issues involved with the location of IWTs.

  13. “McGuinty Screw”… LOVE IT!

    Additionally, we can use the term “McGuinty” in place of “SNAFU” or more accurately “FUBAR” or when telling someone to do a good job: “If something is worth doing; don’t “McGuinty it” for example…

    However, I submit that using the name McGuinty in the same breath as Archimedes would be of questionable honor to the latter. Archimedes is the antithesis of A “McGuinty” !

    And to be quite honest; a McGuinty screw bears little resemblance to the Archimedes screw.

    To save everyone the time to Google it; the Archimedes screw closely resembles an auger or corkscrew-in-a-tube.

    🙂

    B.B.W.

  14. BBW, Ontario had another record Wednesday at 2 am – 1297MW when capacity showed 1400MW. Hornung touch on elements of truth occassionally.

    I don’t quite follow the technical Archimedes screw discussion. I amm driving through Wasaga Beach tonight though … I’ll be particularly alert as I do.

  15. BBW, Ontario had another record Wednesday at 2 am – 1297MW when capacity showed 1400MW. Hornung touch on elements of truth occassionally.

    2 am is exactly when it was needed most….lol…in reality IESO was firing up the gas and coal generation to balance demand by 7 am.

    We can follow the path of Texas. Texas has the largest wind capacity in the US, but it has been so cold this past week that the state has bought power from Mexico and imposed rolling blackouts. Rolling blackouts that have shut down gas compressors, pipelines, and municipal water service. Now Texas and New Mexico are issuing boil water advisories. That is a neat trick when you have no gas or electricity.

  16. Hornung is just another “Wind Bag” blowing hollow words up the “flagpole” to ensure his fellow “investors” that he’s being pro-active in supporting their Scam to rip off the Ontario public of their hard earned dollars!

    Credibility used to be the “measure” of a man and now it’s who can spin the best that matters!…sad epilogue for a “Free Country”…………maybe Egypt’s example will flow around the World!

  17. Hornung… save your breath… you are going to need it when you are screaming in Hell

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