Unreliable wind

By R.T. Richards, Ottawa Citizen  

Re: Powering the future, Feb. 9:     Your editorial names gas, coal, and hydro-generated electricity as all having major flaws. By implication you suggest that wind and solar power are preferred alternatives for Ontario’s energy requirements. This is a misconception.

Wind power comes with its own drawbacks, such as health and social risks, unreliability, erratic generation and excessive, subsidized cost. Wind can never replace coal-generated power, because of the parallel need for gas, or coal backup capacity. The operation of these parallel systems results in more, not less, CO2 emissions.

Your figure of 1.9 per cent current production for wind is based on optimum output of all 700 turbines at maximum capacity. In fact, this rarely, if ever, happens. As you reported last summer, on some days wind output was zero. Ontario’s own agency, the Ontario Power Authority, stated in 2007 that wind could never be more than a niche supplier of electricity.

R.T. Richards, North Gower

5 thoughts on “Unreliable wind

  1. Even the Dutch agree with you sir!

    “In a radical change of policy, the Netherlands is reducing its targets for renewable energy and slashing the subsidies for wind and solar power. It’s also given the green light for the country’s first new nuclear power plants for almost 40 years.

    Why the change? Wind and solar subsidies are too expensive, the Financial Times Deutschland.”

  2. Jeezuz!

    A government finally displaying a modicum of intelligence?

    Say it ain’t so David! Say it ain’t so!

    …And the dominoes start to fall…


  3. Good question “ConcernedResident”. COuld you go here and pick some MP’s and send your question?


    However, the concern about Health is a Canard. Google Ross McKitrik…

    * McKitrick, Ross R. (2004). “Power Plants, Air Quality and Health: The Case for Re-examining Ontario’s Coal Policy” Prepared for the Power Workers Union, May 2004.

    A related paper is my 2004 paper on particulates and affluence, published in the Fraser Forum.

    * McKitrick, Ross R. (2004). “Particulates, Energy Consumption and Affluence” Fraser Forum April 2004

    Ross can point you to a study by English Researchers who used Canadian Data and found that there was no correlation to air pollution and the death rate.

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