The wind power fiasco

By Ian Nunn, Ottawa Citizen

The Independent Electricity System Operator is the organization that runs the electrical power system in Ontario. They have in past provided a small amount of data on the reliability of wind power through a publication titled “The Ontario Reliability Outlook.”  In particular, in their 2008 and 2009 reports (the latest available) they give a “capacity factor” which for 2009, was 28 per cent. This means that averaged over the year for 1,000 MW of installed generation capacity they got about 280 MW on average.

The 2008 report notes “The intermittent nature of wind power makes it difficult to forecast generation with certainty. For example, wind output on Dec. 2, 2008 reached 617 MW. By contrast, wind production reached a low of just 2 MW on July 19, 2008, a hot and windless day.”

One might ask if a hot summer day isn’t precisely the day you want the maximum amount of power output from your generation system. Fire up the coal plants!

To clear up another misconception about power availability, that of importing all the extra power we may need, it can’t be done.

There are a very limited number of transmission line connections to other systems such as New York State and Michigan. Called tie lines, these lines have limited current or power carrying capacity.

Whatever spin the Liberal government would wish to put on renewable energy and wind in particular, experience shows it is the most unreliable and inefficient source of energy in use at the moment.

Increased reliance on it will lead to an increasingly unreliable and unstable electrical system in Ontario.

IAN NUNN, Ottawa

8 thoughts on “The wind power fiasco

  1. We need the IESO to tell us this? Why on earth spend 24 billion for industrial hamster wheels that do not reliably work and cause so much collateral damage to communities.

  2. Finally somebody said it like it is —-What a waste of time and money and worry for all of us .We are all concerned about the ugliness of the landscape of our beautiful Ontario ,as well as the many health issues associated with the turbines ,and the loss of our property values ,and the killing of the migrating birds

    COME ON POLITICIANS WHO NEED A BUCK SO THEY CAN BALANCE THE BUDGET TO MAKE THEMSELVES ELECTABLE IN OCT –LISTEN UP WIND IS NOT EVEN A DEPENDABLE SOURCE OF ENERGY GEEZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    THE BILLION DOLLARS HARPER GAVE YOU TO INVOKE THE HST ,USE SOME OF THAT TO PAY THE FINES TO CANCEL THE DEALS –HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE

  3. Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals are hitting the Progressive Conservatives where they live — literally.

    The Liberals are blitzing the ridings of four Tory MPPs, including party leader Tim Hudak, with a brochure accusing them of wanting “to kill 50,000 jobs in Ontario.”

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/997768–liberals-target-tory-mpps-over-green-energy-job-cuts

    And what would those jobs be? Flipping hamburgers? …or perhaps delivering election flyers for about to be dispossessed Ontario Liberals????

    Count on The Red Star to “tell it like it isn’t”.

    Pravda…. please!

    • People should ask themselves if they are better off today that they were in 2003 when the present government was elected.

      With gas at,yesterday ~$1.29/liter, roasts and steaks no longer affordable, cereal at ~$ 4-5/box. These just as an example of what has transpired over the last ~ 8 years.

      Thousands of manufacturing jobs lost in Ontario and likely gone forever. And the Samsung contract is all that is important?

  4. Perhaps the auto workers who lost their jobs because of the eco-nut unreasonable CAFE standards will to be taken in again and again over this save planet earth nonsense.

  5. Who is really paying for the flyers in the four Ontario ridings? You and I with our taxes of the Liberal Party?

  6. I think we got away from the Energy question to the political question. It all comes down to this we need alternative energy sources. Yeah you guessed it which ones? My vote goes to water and wind
    not coal and oil. No I do not advocate these ugly wind turbines but starting out with the farm windmill’s that can generate enough electricity to supply the farm and even have enough to sell off. Here’s one I have yet to read or hear about. There are incredibly beautiful churches here in France and the rest of Europe. Small windmills, a little bigger then a pin wheel can be put in the towers where the old bells are. There would be enough electricity to light the church and most of the neighborhood. There are still many old water mills left reinstall new water wheels with that you have 700 to 2000kwh you could also put a wind wheel right above it from the wind generated to get enough power to light the street at night.On top of these so ugly apartment condo complex vent turbines and small windmills could be installed supply the building with most of it’s electricity..The heat that rises off the top of the big buildings in the west and others during the summer can turn open mills, turbines generating a serious amount of electricity. The list is endless but one starts small and goes from there.

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