By Rick Fuschi, The Windsor Star
The threatened termination of activities by solar hardware manufacturers is surprising but ultimately inevitable. The entire renewable energy industry is anchored on a quicksand foundation, stabilized only by bales of tax money.
First came the unrealistic political promise to mothball 25 per cent of Ontario’s electricity production by closing coal-fired plants. When someone finally realized the promise should have been accompanied by a plan to replace capacity, the Green Plan was half-baked in response.
Quickly, the Ontario government started to sign up green-energy producers, baiting them onto the quicksand by promising huge premiums on their electricity generation and first claim to the grid.
Then, someone did the math and realized that commitments were being made fast enough to bankrupt the province. Their plan, all along, was to get hydro consumers to take up the slack and they tried by doubling hydro rates, but the hemorrhaging continues unabated.
The response was to renege on the promised returns to green producers and now, to leave many of the hooked participants with empty promises of a grid connection.
In spite of the excitement caused by the opening of greenjob plants, this historical snapshot should cause us to be weary of investing too much emotion in such a house of cards.
Inevitably, this experience will leave many rusting monuments to government ineptitude. Taxpayers and electricity consumers will be saddled with the fallout, at no net benefit.
Expect a new item on your hydro bill: McGuinty’s Green Plan debt retirement levy.
RICK FUSCHI, Tecumseh