Kathleen Wynne’s green energy policies are setting the stage for a ‘massacre’ of our economy
Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun
If you want to see the future of the Ontario economy under Premier Kathleen Wynne’s green energy plan, you don’t have to look far.
Look at Europe, because we’re starting to experience what’s happening there, as rising electricity prices driven by the high cost of renewable energy gut its manufacturing sector.
“We face a systemic industrial massacre,” Antonio Tajani, European Commissioner for Industry, recently told the Daily Telegraph, “I am in favour of a green agenda, but we can’t be religious about this. We need a new energy policy. We have to stop pretending, because we can’t sacrifice Europe’s industry for climate goals that are not realistic and are not being enforced worldwide.” Read article
Gwyn Morgan, The Globe and Mail
The political firestorm raging in Ontario about the cost of cancelling two natural-gas-fired power plants reminds me of a conversation I had with then-premier Dalton McGuinty in 2005. At the time, I was head of Encana Corp. and we were co-chairing a Public Policy Forum event. As we chatted privately before the dinner, he said: “As a gas producer, you must be happy we’re going to close our coal-fired power plants.” I replied: “Well, it’s not a big deal in the context of our North American gas markets, but you’d better make sure those gas power plants are built before you shut the coal plants.”
Eight years later, Ontario power consumers are stuck paying $585-million for two gas-fired plants that were never built. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Mr. McGuinty’s decision to shutter the coal-fired plants was followed in 2010 by his government’s Green Energy and Economy Act, aimed at replacing some of the coal-fired power with highly subsidized wind and solar energy while, supposedly, turning Ontario into the green power capital of North America. Read article
By Chip Martin, London Free Press
LONDON, ONT. – Enough. Dozens of Ontario municipalities say they don’t want wind turbines.
Heavily pushed by the provincial Liberal government, the electricity they produce deeply subsidized by taxpayers, giant wind energy projects have sprouted across rural Ontario — often pitting neighbour against neighbour and community against community.
With local control over where the highrise-sized towers can be built taken away by the province, many communities — especially in southwestern Ontario — were already fuming about wind turbines long before Premier Kathleen Wynne took office in February, vowing not to impose such projects any more on places unwilling to take them. Now, a list of unwilling hosts is circulating — with 61 of the province’s 444 municipalities already on it. Read article
Grimsby Lincoln News
At the Aug. 1 regional council meeting I attended Mr. Tom Rankin was heard in a loud angry voice giving the entire council gallery the label of NIMBYs. Of course he did not include himself even though they are not being built in his backyard. Rankin continued spewing out his displeasure that council had the audacity to vote in favour of Wainfleet and West Lincoln declaring themselves unwilling hosts to wind turbines in their municipalities. A grateful thank you goes to those councillors who had that courage to recognize that Canada is a democracy.
There has been a back and forth argument whether wind turbines do cause serious health issues. But, on the other hand, gravely speaking why would people be leaving their beloved homes that they worked a lifetime for? Leaving their highest investment of their lifetime? The documented cases were not happy planned moves; on the contrary they all claimed they were ones they say were forced by illness caused by wind turbines. Read article
Lorrie Goldstein, Sun News
Considering the albatross it has become around their necks, Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals must be wondering exactly when their green energy program turned into a political disaster. No doubt they long for the good old days — specifically, Nov. 24, 2009 — when global warming guru Al Gore, speaking in Toronto at a gala dinner, bestowed his blessing on their former leader, Dalton McGuinty.
With McGuinty and his Canadian cheerleader, David Suzuki, looking on, Gore declared the premier’s Green Energy Act (GEA) was “widely recognized now as the single best green energy program on the North American continent.”
But that was then and this is now. Today, McGuinty is long gone and the GEA sits like a dead weight on the Liberals. Last week angry demonstrators — furious the GEA took away their right to any say in the location of huge, industrial wind turbines in their communities — showed up to protest while Wynne was trying to jump-start the by-election campaign of London West Liberal candidate Ken Coran. Read article
Website explains the real story of electricity generation in Ontario
By Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun
There’s a simple way to understand the real story of electricity generation in Ontario — as opposed to the bafflegab coming from Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals.
Go to www.ieso.ca, the website of the Independent Electricity System Operator, and look at the graphs at the right hand side of the page marked “Energy Demand” and, below that, “Generation By Fuel Type.” From that, you’ll learn three things Wynne and Co. are loathe to tell you about electricity generation in Ontario.
1. Nuclear power is the backbone of our system and will be for generations to come.
2. Contrary to their claims, the Liberals aren’t replacing coal power with wind, but with natural gas.
3. Wind power, despite its massive cost and the fury it has ignited in rural Ontario because of the dictatorial way the Liberals imposed it, actually supplies an inconsequential amount of electricity. (Solar is even smaller.) Read article
Wind farms and endangered or threatened species
The rules for operating a wind facility (a wind farm or turbine) that may affect a species or habitat protected by law. —- Effective July 1, 2013.
Ontario’s Endangered Species Act protects endangered and threatened species — animals and plants in decline and at risk of disappearing from the province. You need to follow certain rules if you operate a wind facility that could affect a protected species or habitat. Different rules apply if you want to build a new wind facility.
You can find a complete set of provincial rules related to this activity in:
- Endangered Species Act, 2007
- Ontario Regulation 242/08 (general) Continue reading
Konrad Yakabuski, The Globe and Mail
Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli tried to put a happy face on last week’s rejigging of the province’s massive renewable energy contract with a Samsung-led Korean consortium. Scaling back the original $9.7-billion deal struck in 2010 to $6-billion was supposed to signal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s determination to inject a measure of sanity into the green energy policies she inherited from Dalton McGuinty and his overzealous electricity czar, George Smitherman. “With this updated agreement, we’ll continue to create good jobs, while maintaining Ontario’s commitment to clean, renewable energy,” Mr. Chiarelli insisted.
He boasted that the downsized 20-year contract, under which Samsung will produce about 1,400 megawatts of wind and solar power instead of 2,500 MW, represents a $24 reduction on the average annual residential electricity bill. Considering that the average Ontario consumer paid more than $1,700 for electricity in 2012, this wouldn’t be much to get excited about, even if it actually resulted in a 1.4 per cent cut on their power bill.
But Ontarians have only begun to pay for the the green energy “vision” of Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Smitherman. Electricity rates are forecast to rise by nearly 50 per cent as the government moves toward its target of adding 10,700 MW of renewable power to the grid. Renewable energy is not the only reason Ontario is set to become the highest-cost major electricity jurisdiction in North America by next year, but it remains one of the biggest. As a result, the province faces further contraction in its manufacturing base unless it subsidizes big electricity consumers. Read article
Scott Stinson, National Post
It’s always instructive to see how a government frames an announcement that is backtracking on one of its own initiatives. Conveniently for the Ontario Liberals, they are amassing considerable experience in this regard.
So, when the government on Thursday dropped the news that it was restructuring its 2010 wind-power deal with Samsung, it presented it in terms of extended job commitments and savings to electricity ratepayers. Samsung was guaranteeing jobs until 2016, instead of 2015, and the government was now only committing to buy $6-billion of Samsung’s renewable power at well above market rates, down from $9.7-billion in the original contract. Hooray for savings!
Those extended job commitments, though, are a result of Samsung’s having missed targets in the original contract; it now has more time to meet them. And that reduction in spending? It comes as Samsung, which won the original contract absent a competition, agrees to drop its own investment in the province from $7-billion to $5-billion, with projects expected to generate 1,369 megawatts of energy, down steeply from 2,500 megawatts in the first deal. Read article
Kelly McParland, National Post
Kathleen Wynne must start every day surveying the list of messes bequeathed her by dear departed Dalton, and wondering which to address today.
Power plants. Deficits. OLG. Horse racing. Unions. How’s a premier to get any sleep when she’s still dealing with problems she didn’t even create?
Wynne has been whittling away at the list, in between doing deals with the New Democrats to keep the Liberals in office. On Thursday she put a check mark, or maybe just a third of a check mark, next to one of the most contentious items: windmills.
Dalton McGuinty loved windmills. He signed on wholesale to the idea that wind provides free energy, and that by harnessing it Ontario could save big bucks, save the planet and generate a prime place for itself among global do-gooders.
It’s been a disaster. It’s difficult to find anyone with anything good to say about the program, other than among the corporate opportunists who seized on the rich package of guarantees the government offered to anyone willing sign up for its new religion. None of the assumptions behind it has proven true. The province is paying subsidies to have windmills built, then paying through the nose for the power, then paying customers to take it off their hands. Rural Ontario is up in arms. Even the usual Liberal fan base can no longer feign enthusiasm. Read article
Are claims about the merits of wind power full of hot air? Wind turbines provide fewer economic and environmental benefits for Ontario than advocates had hoped for, says a new report by a University of Guelph economist. Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA) promoting renewable energy has already increased energy costs, threatens economic growth and offers little environmental payoff, says economics professor Ross McKitrick.
His report, called “Economic and Environmental Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act,” was published this spring by the Fraser Institute. McKitrick is a senior fellow with the public policy think-tank, and studies environmental economics at Guelph.
He analyzed costs and benefits of green energy, particularly electricity from wind turbines. Then he compared that information with costs of obtaining the same environmental benefits from existing power sources, including coal-fired plants. Read article
Pieter Van Hiel, Grimsby Lincoln News
The air is still except for the whir of giant, heavy trucks raising huge clouds of dust as they roll down gravel roads. Surveyors and road crews seem to be down every country lane, along with signs redirecting traffic. Temporary work sites have appeared. These fenced off stretches of gravel are filled with parking, portable offices and stacks of parts, covering what was formerly farmland. On the horizon there are towering wind turbines, some with blades turning, others still being built by enormous cranes.
If you want a picture of the future of Niagara, you don’t have to use your imagination. Haldimand County, West Lincoln’s neighbour to the southwest, provides a clear vision of things to come for rural Niagara. Haldimand will play host to 206 wind turbines when all the work is done. While none are as large as the largest turbines coming to Niagara, the combined scale of the turbine projects in Haldimand is staggering. And, until quite recently, not one of the elected officials in the municipality knew they were coming.
Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt was elected in November 2010, ousting two- term incumbent Mayor Marie Trainer. The big issues of the election were attracting jobs to Haldimand and growing the tax base. When interviewed by media after being informed of his win, Mayor-elect Hewitt pledged to work toward a positive outcome for an ongoing land dispute between native protesters and the county at Douglas Creek Estates near Caledonia. Wind turbines were not on Haldimand’s political radar at all, despite the fact that many leases had been signed months before the election. Mayor Hewitt said the Green Energy Act allowed the developers to operate in relative secrecy. Read article
Ezra Levant, Edmonton Sun
A $32 billion energy corporation has filed a massive lawsuit against an Ontario environmentalist named Esther Wrightman. It’s a SLAPP suit: Strategic litigation against public participation. It’s not really about legal arguments. It’s about crushing Wrightman with legal bills and burning up her time, so she can’t spend time campaigning against them.
The lawsuit doesn’t allege Wrightman vandalized their property, or trespassed, or anything like that. Their complaint is that, on her homemade website, Wrightman mocked the company’s name. She even had the temerity to publish a satirical version of their logo. That’s it. That’s why they hired three lawyers at one of Canada’s largest law firms, McCarthy Tetrault, to sue her into the ground.
And the only reason you have not heard of this lawsuit — the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is not defending her free speech, the CBC has not put this on their nightly news — is because the corporate bully here is not an oil company like Exxon. It’s a wind turbine company called NextEra. See, that kind of bullying is OK. Read article
The Chronicle Journal
IF legislation is a work in progress, Ontario’s Green Energy Act is increasingly an exercise in futility. Launched in 2009 with great fanfare by then premier Dalton McGuinty, this head-first dive into responsible energy production was to place Ontario on the leading edge of a modern industry bursting with potential.
Ontario would attract wind and solar power developers with lucrative contracts. They would develop all kinds of clean power to replace that from Ontario’s cancelled coal plants, leading the way in Canada’s climate change efforts. Developers would agree to manufacture components in Ontario. There would be 50,000 new jobs by the end of 2012, McGuinty said, and untold economic benefits throughout the province.
Who could argue with that? A good many people, it turns out. The contracts were so rich, the terms had to be changed to appease a public angered at learning it was paying considerably more for power from free sun and wind than from costly conventional sources. While Ontario was among the North American leaders in moving toward green energy, Europe had been at it for years and while thriving in some jurisdictions, others were moving away from it.
Wind power was generating widespread complaints about annoying sound and flicker effects from monstrous spinning blades and related health effects were and are being investigated. The Green Energy Act removed local control which meant developers could build solar and wind farms in places where people and municipalities didn’t want them. Thunder Bay has learned this hard lesson, forced to agree to wind turbines on top of a scenic mountain range hugging its southern edge and losing an argument over specific siting to a lawsuit filed, then withdrawn by Horizon Wind Inc. Read article
Niagara Falls Review
NIAGARA FALLS – Local governments will get a voice in major new wind and solar projects, says Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli — but the existing ones are set in stone. Chiarelli announced Thursday the province will replace the existing feed-in tariff procurement process with a new system giving municipalities a say on where turbines go and whether they want them.
But, speaking to reporters at the Canadian Solar Industries Association’s Solar Ontario conference in Niagara Falls, he said contracts already awarded for wind projects can’t be changed without risking pricy legal battles. “We cannot continue to do what was done in Oakville and Mississauga,” he said. The government racked up massive fees slashing two gas plants there.
But the announcement stung for Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs, whose township has clashed against a planned wind development. She said she came in cautiously optimistic but left dismayed. “We knew it wasn’t going to be ideal, but I thought we were going to be able to take away something from this,” she said. “From what I’m hearing, we’ll get nothing.” Read article
Matt McEachran, Lambton Shield
I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people that like to pay a lot more for my hydro; it’s a small price to pay to save the environment. Hundreds of thousands of jobs lost due to Ontario’s high electricity prices? No problem. An economy tanking in part because the government is too busy blowing billions on pet environmental projects? Bring it on. Knowing that the environment is better and animals are safer…. awww crap, there goes my theory.
At least that’s how my imaginary conversation with a member of the Ontario Liberal government transpires, now that a photo of a bald eagle’s nest being cut down to make way for wind turbines has gone viral. Yes that’s right, look again. Cutting down a bald eagles nest to make room for wind turbines. That’s the kind of evil, uncaring, environmentally-callus attitude we’ve been trained to expect from a coal generation plant, isn’t it? Oops.
The truth spills out. That picture speaks volumes about the Liberals’ Green Energy Act, far better than all the newspaper columns and Auditor General reports added together, ever could. I mean, a bald eagle? The only thing that could have been a worse public relations disaster would have been a polar bear. Even people who don’t care about the environment care about bald eagles. Everyone knows that. But then again, the Liberals have shown they will let nothing stand in their way from implementing their environmental ideology. Apparently even the very environment they were trying to save in the first place. This picture encapsulates everything that is wrong with the Ontario government’s attitude. With everything really, but especially the Green Energy Act. Read article
NexTerror cut down one eagle nest in Ontario already this year, and are eying up another at the Bornish project that was just approved last week.
Please come with your friends, neighbours and family to the Save the Bornish Eagles Gathering:
Date: Saturday, May 25
Place: West Williams Community Centre, 32217 Kerwood Road, Parkhill MAP (right beside the eagle nest) Continue reading
TORONTO — Canada has lost an appeal at the World Trade Organization over Ontario’s green energy laws. Japan and the European Union brought the case three years ago, arguing that a part of the province’s green energy program requiring made-in-Ontario parts for wind and solar farms breaches international trade law.
They argued the incentives were illegal because they discriminated against foreign firms, a complaint that was upheld by a WTO adjudication panel in December 2012. The federal and Ontario governments say they’re reviewing the decision to see what it means.
Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says there are no plans to change the provincial legislation yet. He says it’s created tens of thousands of jobs in Ontario. “Our green energy initiatives are going to continue and they will continue to be job creators,” he said Monday. “But we are awaiting to determine the specific outcomes of that particular hearing and we will work with the federal government in our response.”
The feed-in-tariff system — established in 2009 — requires participating electricity generators in Ontario to source up to 60 per cent of their equipment in the province if they want to be eligible for subsidies. Read article
Sarnia Lambton Independent
The rift in the farm community over wind turbines may be front and center Thursday as the anti-wind group in Enniskillen hosts another public forum. Conserve Our Rural Enniskillen – CORE – was formed after wind energy companies started making the rounds in the countryside around Petrolia hoping to find farmers willing to sign leases to hosts wind turbines. In all, four companies have projects slated for Enniskillen with up to 51 turbines on the books.
CORE spokesman Chad Burke says 1,000 invitations have been sent out for the meeting scheduled for Thursday at 7 pm at Lambton Centennial School. One of the feature speakers will be Tammy VanTroost of the Lambton local of the National Farmers Union – a group which has voiced opposition to wind turbines.
That’s in stark contrast to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture which has laid out a series of recommendations to improve wind energy including allowing municipalities to have more control over the planning process and calling for the province to deal with the noise concerns of neighbours. Read article
Ross R. McKitrick and Kenneth P. Green, Toronto Sun
Earlier this month the Fraser Institute published a report sharply critical of one of the flagship policies of the Ontario government, the Green Energy Act (GEA). We found the Act is costing Ontario over $5 billion annually but yields negligible environmental benefits, and that equivalent or greater benefits could have been achieved using conventional pollution control measures at less than one-tenth the cost.
We also found that, due in large part to the GEA, Ontario is going from having some of the cheapest electricity in North America to having some of the most expensive. This will increase industry operating costs and cut the rate of return to investment in mining and manufacturing by between 13 and 30%, further weakening key economic sectors and threatening long term job losses. And we pointed out that the choice to pursue wind power under the GEA was a particularly bad idea, as wind power generation is almost perfectly out of phase with energy consumption in Ontario, resulting in the dumping of surplus wind energy into the U.S. market at a loss of some $200 million annually.
Shortly after its release our report was cited during a debate in the Ontario legislature on the GEA. Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli dismissed it out of hand, saying: “The Fraser Institute report recommends that we go back to coal. They claim that coal is clean, and they’re recommending we go back to coal.” That was the justification for shutting his eyes to the disaster that GEA policy has created. Read article
By Peter Epp, Sarnia Observer
No matter what you think about wind turbines and whether or not they are the cause of some health problems, the fact the structures are not wanted by some municipalities remains the enduring issue in this part of Ontario. Indeed, some people seem to forget that municipalities like Enniskillen Township or the Town of Plympton-Wyoming are so dead set again wind turbines that they’re doing what they can to keep them out.
But because permission and planning for the towers’ development is tightly held by a provincial authority, as enforced by the four-year-old Green Energy Act, local councils can do little – even if their ratepayers are firmly against such development, and even if councillors share that same opposition.
Indeed, the legacy of the Green Energy Act isn’t green energy, but the ability of a central political power to overrule the will of locally-elected politicians and their constituents. That legacy remains the number one threat. And every wind turbine remains a standing symbol of a senior government that purposely ignores the will of its junior government counterpart. Read article
Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun
TORONTO – Out of sight — out of mind. That’s the only way to explain the complacency urban residents have for the desecration of rural Ontario. Politicians from small towns across the province came to Queen’s Park Thursday demanding the Kathleen Wynne government return decision-making to the local councils. The Green Energy Act stripped local politicians of any say in the siting of wind and solar farms in their communities.
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson brought a private member’s bill to the legislature Thursday that would restore local decision making to such projects. She says they’re forcing up the cost of electricity and causing job losses in the manufacturing sector. Thompson says companies in her riding are struggling to pay their soaring hydro costs. One auto parts company, West Cast Industries, told her they’ve had an extra $5 million added to their bill over the past nine months by way of the so-called “global adjustment” to pay for green energy. Those staggering costs are forcing companies to move to places where electricity is cheaper. A Volvo plant once located in Goderich has moved to Pennsylvania.
An iconic local food producer, E.D. Smith, is shuttering its Seaforth salad dressing plant and moving to the U.S. in June. “We need affordable energy for Ontario to prosper,” Thompson told a news conference Thursday. Kevin Marriott, mayor of Enniskillen, said the GEA has been “nothing short of a nightmare for our community.” Industrial turbines have become one of the most divisive issues he’s ever dealt with in his Lambton county municipality. Local politicians have lost their local voice. Read article
During the Ontario Liberal leadership campaign, Kathleen Wynne promised to give municipalities across Ontario more say when it comes to wind farms, after the Green Energy Act of 2009 took that power completely away. To date my correspondence with the new premier leads me to believe that she is not planning to live up to that promise. It would seem that the common trend of making promises during campaigns and then reneging on those promises once in power is happening yet again.
On March 26 Lisa Thompson MPP (Huron-Bruce) introduced a private member’s bill called “Ensuring Affordable Energy Act” which would give municipalities like ours, and many others, democracy back where it belongs. The residents of many communities have been torn apart by whether or not to build wind turbines in their neighbourhoods. Whether or not you believe that wind turbines are the right answer to Ontario’s future energy needs, there are communities that are willing hosts and there are communities who are not.
There is much anticipation that on April 18, 2013, both Liberal and NDP members will support a return to democracy in Ontario’s rural areas by supporting this bill. With the political climate at Queen’s Park if these two parties do not support this bill, then a spring election would be more than welcome. This is not a bill that concerns whether or not Ontario should support green energy; it’s about having something very important and fundamental to Canadians restored and maintained, namely democracy.
I strongly suggest everyone to contact their MPP and ask them to support this very important piece of legislation.
Mayor Township of Enniskillen
Submission wind turbines and NSERC study April 15 2013
Adams and Keith power estimates 2013
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Re: Open Letter: Are global wind power resource estimates overstated?
Attached is a study by Amanda S Adams from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and David W Keith from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Massachusetts.
The study notes it is “plausible that wind power capacity may be limited to an extent that is relevant to energy policy.” It appears the benefit is overstated and further research is indicated. If this were the case, one has to ask, why are non-consenting Canadian families being placed at risk when the benefit is uncertain?
I urge that the government of Canada reconsider its policy on renewable energy development until rural Canadians’ health and social-economic issues are protected. Thank you for giving this information your consideration.
Carmen Krogh, BScPharm
I spy with my little eye something that will NEVER AGAIN be removed by a wind developer in Ontario. An eagle nest. Over my dead body, NexTerror.
Eagle nest in bush.
When the community labels Nextera “NexTerror” and “NextError”, it isn’t for just any old reason. Perhaps parody is ingrained in Canadians, and this is why Nextera has earned itself yet another new name: NESTerror. We watched the take down of the eagle’s nest in Haldimand, and literally vowed never again.
So this weekend some pictures of a bald eagle and it’s nest were sent to me by a local resident. This nest is in the Nextera Bornish Wind Project (@ Kerwood Rd & Elginfield Rd), close to wind turbines (634m), and very close (187m) to the massive switchyard for the Bornish, Adelaide, Jericho and Cedar Point Wind Projects— a total of 221 turbines for Middlesex and Lambton counties. The Bornish and Adelaide projects are scheduled to be approved by the MOE this month.
The Haldimand nest destruction was not a ‘one-off’, I’m sure of that, even though Nextera rep Tom Bird told us, “I absolutely don’t want to do that again.” Not even a month after they took down the nest in Haldimand county, they were eying up one in Middlesex county.
Looking through Nextera’s website I came across these recent addendums from February, 2013:
By Editors of Electric Light & Power/ POWERGRID International
Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA) will soon put the province at or near the top of North American electricity costs, with consequences for the province’s economic growth and competitiveness, according to a new report from the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think-tank.
Overall, GEA-related energy cost increases will yield a net loss of investment and employment in Ontario, in pursuit of environmental benefits that could have been obtained at a fraction of the cost, according to the report.
“Already, the GEA has caused major price increases for large energy consumers, and we’re anticipating additional hikes of 40 to 50 percent over the next few years,” said Ross McKitrick, Fraser Institute senior fellow and author of Environmental and Economic Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act.
“The Ontario government defends the GEA by referring to a confidential 2005 cost-benefit analysis on reducing air pollution from power plants. That report did not recommend pursuing wind or solar power, instead it looked at conventional pollution control methods that would have yielded the same environmental benefits as the GEA, but at a tenth of the current cost. If the province sticks to its targets for expanding renewables, the GEA will end up being 70 times costlier than the alternative, with no greater benefits.” Read article
Richard Blackwell, The Globe and Mail
The vast majority of Canadian wind power production is now controlled by a handful of large companies, many of them foreign owned, replacing community groups that were initially seen as the backbone of alternative energy production. The takeover of the business by large companies is one reason behind the backlash against the rapid installation of huge, looming turbines, particularly if they are near recreational property or agricultural communities. An analysis by The Globe and Mail shows that more than 90 per cent of the current 6,500 megawatts of wind power capacity in Canada is in the hands of large companies, and about 25 per cent is held by foreign interests.
The biggest Canadian players are large firms and utilities that also operate in other energy businesses – power utility TransAlta Corp., pipeline operators Enbridge Inc. and TransCanada Corp., oil sands developer Suncor Energy Inc. and energy conglomerate Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP, for example.
Indeed, Enbridge and EDF EN Canada Inc., a subsidiary of French power giant Électricité de France – already partners on big wind farms in Quebec – on Monday announced that together they have paid $600-million to purchase a huge 300 MW wind project north of Lethbridge, Alta. The Blackspring Ridge wind farm, taken through the development phase by Calgary based Greengate Power Corp., will see construction begin later this year. Read article