Coal replaced with natural gas

Toronto Star     

Gideon Foreman, of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, says that Tim Hudak’s “proposal to kill green energy will be a disaster” since “it will mean returning to coal and the thousands of illnesses and hundreds of deaths that coal causes in Ontario each year.” Since the coal-fired plants are being replaced by natural gas-fired plants, and not by solar or wind, “killing” green energy has no bearing on whether the coal plants run or not. Is killing green energy the same as killing the feed-in tariff program, which is what Hudak proposes? The illness/deaths attributed to the small amount of coal-fired generation in Ontario are not based on fact and have been repudiated by independent analysts. Ontario presently generates more than 75 per cent of its electricity from nuclear and hydro that has no emissions.

Donald Jones, Mississauga

5 thoughts on “Coal replaced with natural gas

  1. McGuinty —–> People wanted less pollution but instead they had their energy rates quadrupled….

    There were a lot more problems with energy production, pricing and distribution in Ontario that should have been addressed….with “REAL” solutions…not Fake Green Energy..

    Politicians treat energy like another Government social program….

  2. Wind energy does not create less pollution as the base load generation coal and gas-fired plants aren’t turned off when the wind is blowing. More coal and gas are required to accelerate the electrical output from these plants when the wind drops. Hence, higher fuel consumption equals more pollution.

    • That’s bull. Do you work for the OPA? If not then how could you use such a blanket statement?
      Coal is baseload which is a problem. This is why they have peaker plants to deal with demand spikes. These Natural gas peaker plants can start and produce full power in seconds when called upon. These peaker plants are nothing new, they have been around for decades and now we’re adding wind and solar to the mix which in a way, reduces demand on the coal, nuclear and peaker plants. That’s it, no one is getting ripped off.

    • The OPA is irrelevant – directives are given by the minister demanding the OPA do certain things, and adding wind to the grid is primarily initiated by the minister of energy.
      Wind on the grid is entirely political – it has little to do with planning at the OPA level.

      Here’s one study saying wind isn’t reducing emissions – and it’s done in a jurisdiction where most supply is from coal and gas, so it ought to be simple there: http://www.bentekenergy.com/WindCoalandGasStudy.aspx
      It’s been discussed on this site, including with comments from M. Goggin of AWEA if I remember correctly.
      Here’s a topical link I’m just getting at myself: http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/05/21/co2-avoidance-cost-wind/
      Apparently AWEA is active on the thread there too – I haven’t read through the article yet.

      I have looked at US EIA data, and it was very clear that the 10 states with the highest wind capacity have a worse performance in reducing SO2 and NOx emissions than the other states.

      Also coal has not been used as baseload in Ontario – it has been used as intermediate power. CCGT is intermediate too, and it is absolutely correct to state gas is what is replacing coal. Neither is ideal for peaking, but it requires a lot less coal capacity to provide balancing capacity for wind changes – the following link goes through some of why that is: http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/57905/wind-power-and-co2-emissions

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