Hudak is right on green energy contracts

Ottawa Citizen

It’s not surprising that those businesses trying to get rich off the Mc-Guinty Green Energy Act are coming out swinging after Tim Hudak’s announcement that he will cancel the $7 billion, 20-year contact with Samsung and kill the costly Feedin Tariff program. Their jobs are at stake.

These green energy supporters claim the renewable energy schemes will generate jobs and economic activity. What they don’t say is that subsidizing renewable energy results in a net loss of jobs.

European countries have been heavily subsidizing renewable energy projects for a decade. Studies show that for every green energy job created, two to three jobs are lost in the broader economy (2.2 in Spain; 3.7 in the U.K.)

The current global financial crisis is forcing Germany, Spain, the U.K. and California to back away from their green energy gambits. They’ve decided that the negligible returns from renewable energy simply don’t justify the massive subsidies required to support them.

Wind and solar energy are not viable without big government subsidies. These subsidies suck up tax dollars and push up electricity rates, both of which have a negative impact on the economy and job creation.

Faced with rising taxes and electricity costs, businesses struggle just to maintain their employment levels, never mind growing their workforce. Many will shut down.

Some will migrate to more business-friendly jurisdictions. Others will lay off workers.

McGuinty himself warned that electricity costs will rise another 45 per cent in the next five years, largely due to his heavy subsidization of wind and solar energy.

Hudak is right. The Samsung deal, which was signed in secret and without any competition, should be terminated, along with the entire FIT program.

We should also demand an immediate moratorium on signing any new FIT contracts and a public review of the Samsung contract. Hydro consumers deserve nothing less.

Emma McLennan, Ottawa

18 thoughts on “Hudak is right on green energy contracts

  1. General information to follow up on, so your next report is a bit more factual:

    The Samsung deal is $7billion of INWARD investment in Ontario.
    Do you like the idea that $7billion would not arrive in the province?

    The 80 cent payment everyone talks about is miroFIT only – i.e. small systems, residential, not big solar farms. At the moment renewables only account for about 3% of my hydro Ottawa bill, the biggest costs are nuclear and grid improvement. Of course the debt charge does not help the final cost.

    At peak time use (middle of summer when AC is running) the cost to generate and deliver a unit of hydro to a home can be in the region of $1.80. Obviously at that time, microFIT solar connected to the grid cost about dollar less, so solar also helps reduce costs at that time. Sure the householder gets 80 cents, but they also pre paid (invested) tens of thousands of dollars. Remember, this is about helping encourage investment.

    Energy costs will continue to rise throughout the whole world. So guess what, Canada wont have low cost energy in future no matter what party is in control in Queens park or Parliament. Investment is the only sensible option, unless you want to keep coal plants running?

    This is about kick starting a new industry, the FIT and microFIT rates will be reduced (as planned) because the cost of the equipment has fallen.

    FWIW the “backing away” from renewables is a myth, just look at the USA, China and many others to see what is being invested.

    I think the only thing that you got right is, if this political dogma kills the investment, then jobs will be lost.

    No matter who is in government they still face the same problem, maintaining or nuclear generation capacity has a massive cost (there is little choice on that, Canada subsidizes nuclear far more than renewables at this time). The grid in Canada needs a lot of work (that costs lots of $$); no matter what, in the end, we will all have to pay for it.

    Everyone has to wake up to the fact that we WILL all pay more for Hydro in future, start reducing your bill by being more efficient.

    • Your are setting up a false narrative here. It in no way follows logically, that if electricity prices are going up anyway due to grid refurbishments and new nuclear builds, we should waste resources on inefficient and unreliable sources of energy, which have a poor EROI, unnecessarily raise the cost of electricity, and introduce instability to the grid network due to intermittency. Funding should be directed towards the best long-term, efficient and affordable means of generation and there is ample evidence that the current government’s heavy-handed incursion into wind and solar does not fit that bill.

  2. These turbines are seriously flawed. I am all for protecting the environment. Wind turbines in their current form seem to be more of a problem than a solution. Mr McGuinty I believe a rethink is in order. Way too many people are unhappy about this program.

  3. Clearly you missed my point, I don’t care about the politics.

  4. The “green shift” to a green economy/low carbon economy was imposed on people by creating atrificial demand for “green” products and services where there is no “natural”/ordinary demand for these goods and services.

    This is easily done by enacting new laws that force undesired goods and services upon people. The green energy act is one example of this and outlawing incandescent light bulbs is another example. Requiring energy audits for the sale of property is also another example.

    But the “green shift” resulted in job loses in older sectors of the economy and not enough jobs in the new “green” economy and many of the new “green” jobs pay less than the old jobs. This has been the case in country after country around the world.

    Unreasonable CAFE standards for North America did a lot of damage to the auto sector. It’s likely that these jobs are gone forever.

  5. Investment is the only sensible option , unless you want to keep coal plants running. Exactly , keep the coal plants running IS the sensible option not expensive green UNRELIABLE options. Not to mention the health hazards associated with IWTs.

  6. “Before you start expounding on something you should first know something about the subject.”

    Clearly you have never met me and therefore you have no idea of my experience.
    Why is it that people start up attitudes before thinking?

    One key point to note is that Samsung would be in Canada, providing jobs for Canadians.

    If you really do not know about the real cost of electricity (hydro in Canada) generation, then there is little anyone can do to help you. Try contacting the power companies for details, I don’t waste time trying to convince someone who does not want to listen.

    I find it humorous that you tell me to back up numbers with facts, while you state “$20+ Billion dollars” without any supporting facts.

    Don’t bother replying, I am not going to be wasting more time on this. Your closed mindedness will not provide a good future for Canada, but renewables and nuclear in a hybrid mix will. It is the way forward and it is happening now, because living with dirty coal and rampant oil consumption is no longer an option. Even the most stubborn people understand that energy costs will increase massively no matter what the energy mix, the choice we have is how clean we want the world to be in future.

    • It’s 2000MW of wind and 500MW of solar.

      If you know the price and use the average capacity factors, it is approximately $20 billion.

  7. Denmark aqain….what does Denamrk have to do with Canada or it’s economy in natural resources and the manufacturing sector they are not apples to apples.
    I have studied this global shift now for over 15 years.
    I will make this simple..we had a good system with Ontario Hydro prior to dismantling.
    Electricty subsidized by the people for the people.
    Really evil idea right?
    I can’t think of a better reason to subsidize anything with our tax dollars.
    Along comes NAFTA , global markets blah blah blah..you get my drift..point is spare me the spin.
    A country that requires a product , energy ,an entire country being a captured market ,that must have this product just like water and food.
    It gets turned over to private business to turn profit.
    The entire engine , lifeblood of any “industrialized modern nation ” is energy.
    Without competitiveness globally , good paying jobs go south.
    We are then left with “junk jobs”.
    Thus comes the shift from have to have not..you know the transferring of wealth.
    Canadians become poorer as emerging nations get wealthier..on our dime.
    If you can’t understand that the intentional rise in cost of living for a country of 38 million people will not only ruin their quality of life and wipe out most of this countries social services then I have given you too much credit.
    Yes alternate energy movement will provide short term jobs for a small group.
    But 38 million people will pay for these jobs.
    Canada 38 million
    India 1.5 BILLION
    Africa 1 BILLION
    Do these numbers tell you something?

    Energy is a necessity.
    Why are we cutting our nose off to spite our face

  8. Ontario’s green energy policy is based on ideology and not logic. This is what is confusing people. Can’t make economic or scientific sense out of policies that are based on ideology so stop trying.

    Get real folks! End the confusion!

  9. Replacing traditional reliable power generators with industrial wind turbines is unrealistic as industrial wind capacity will produce anywhere from 0 to near maximum MW capacity of power. Industrial wind turbines would provide too much electricity, not enough or none at all. That could happen within an hour. Industrial wind turbine electricity does not support the grid so no matter how many square kilometres covered in industrial wind turbines there would still be a requirement for another reliable source of more or equal MW capacity. It is impossible to replace traditional reliable power generators with industrial wind turbines even if the lands were covered with industrial wind turbines.

  10. “Everyone has to wake up to the fact that we WILL all pay more for Hydro in future, start reducing your bill by being more efficient.”

    When that is done power producer complain about lost profits and demand more money for less power produced.

    Wake up to reality. On those hot summer days wind provides less than 7% of name plate, which is essentually nothing.

    Pay more? Then kiss goodbye to business:

    http://thegwpf.org/index.php?option=com_acymailing&ctrl=url&urlid=571&mailid=198&subid=78

  11. Higher electricity costs not only means job losses but higher retail consumer goods especially food which need refrigeration and freezing. We are not just hit by the monthly electricity bill. Job loss means people move out and less electricity used and that electricity just gets more expensive. Hudak will sort this out.

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