In the Ontario legislature on Thursday, Conservative Opposition Leader Tim Hudak plans to introduce a bill to end the Liberal government’s billion-dollar wind and solar power subsidies. Known as feed-in tariffs, the subsidies pay wind and solar producers rates for electricity that are well above the cost of power from gas and other sources of electricity.
Much will depend on the details, but Mr. Hudak is sending the right signals – signals Ottawa should heed. Federal spending on wind and solar power is not huge, but it exists, scattered here and there. One example: the Wind Power Production Incentive Contribution Program has $28-million allocated for next year, on top of the $32-million spent last year. Ottawa’s Farm Credit Corporation lends cheap money to farmers in Ontario. What a deal! Subsidized loans to get subsidies from the provincial feed-in tariff programs. On it goes.
A recent report by the Global Warming Policy Foundation shows the British government is subsidizing £120-billion ($188-billion) in wind projects to secure electricity that could be had from £$13-billion worth of gas plants. In the United States, wind and solar subsidies and tax incentives are under pressure. See the Wall Street Journal editorial at right.
The Chopping Block 2012 is a series on how Ottawa could cut spending by $10-billion.