34 thoughts on “Viability

  1. In 10 years these wind farms will have created “Post Industrial Junk Yards” right across Ontario…A Legacy to Dalton McGuinty…

  2. The truth about Germany’s Green Energy Efforts….Summary

    Link to full report is at the bottom of my note…

    I guess that the Ontario Government feels that they are smarter than the Germans…If we had an Ombudsman maybe the Liberal Government would pay attention…Oh least it will mean lots of jobs for South Korea….

    Claims about technological innovation benefits of Germany’s first-actor status are

    In fact, the regime appears to be counterproductive in that respect, stifling innovation by encouraging producers to lock into existing technologies.

    In conclusion, government policy has failed to harness the market incentives
    needed to ensure a viable and cost-effective introduction of renewable energies into
    Germany’s energy portfolio.

    To the contrary, Germany’s principal mechanism of
    supporting renewable technologies through feed-in tariffs imposes high costs without
    any of the alleged positive impacts on emissions reductions, employment, energy
    security, or technological innovation.

    Policymakers should thus scrutinize Germany’s
    experience, including in the US, where there are currently nearly 400 federal
    and state programs in place that provide financial incentives for renewable

    Although Germany’s promotion of renewable energies is commonly portrayed in
    the media as setting a “shining example in providing a harvest for the world” (The
    Guardian 2007), we would instead regard the country’s experience as a cautionary
    tale of massively expensive environmental and energy policy that is devoid of economic
    and environmental benefits.

  3. Think I will get a portable table & chair and set up in front of Queen’s Park. My sign will say,

    Ontario, Please join me in asking the Premier of the Majority Liberal Party, The Honourable Mr. Dalton McGuinty to please STEP DOWN today! He has betrayed the trust of the Ontario People. He has facilitated the Non Green wind industry to turn Ontario’s backyard of Rural Communities into industrial waste lands that contribute to emissions, have proven to cost us jobs and at 2 or 3 times the price of more efficient energy sources. The actions of McGuinty have not been honourable at all. The Green Energy Act has removed municipal prudence from the equation and has removed the citizens of Ontario’s right to peaceable enjoyment( as provided in the Charter) of their country homes. He has ignored the growing reports of serious health problems associated with living too close to industrial sized wind turbines. His lack of concern for the people of Ontario is scandalous! His lack of research into the European experience and well publicized failure economically and ecologically is shameful.

    Mr. McGuinty we the people of Ontario are asking you to step down.

  4. Ha ha ha ha….I find it funny finding out that smart meters were issued only to make us more conscious about our Energy usage as Minister Brad Duguid indicated today…In addition, the cost of the meters are added oue Delivery charges from the local utility…Now it seems, there no real possibility that we will be able to save any money because of pending rate increases and changes.

    Our fearless leader Dalton is spending 7 billion dollars and our energy costs are still going to go up…..

    Hey, here’s a novel idea, Dalton and Brad…..Don’t spend the 7 billion dollars on Energy Booddoggles and make our energy costs go down…

    We can buy energy from our U.S. neighbours a lot less expensive than when we subsidize it and invest in failed technologies like wind and solar…

    I predict that the Ontario Liberal Government’s foray into Energy (Subsidization / Investment) will make E-Health look like a financial hiccup !!

    We need an Ombudsman…..Now !!!

  5. Our Ontario Liberal Government is only using the Green Energy Act and the “Alleged Climate and Energy Crisis” to do what they love to …..Tax and Spend….

    Please remember….”Bad Government Legislation” is redundant…

    The Green Energy Act is fascist….

  6. Bullfrog is a company (if they are still in business) that lets you pay more for electricity so you can say it is green (even though it is the same electricity everyone else used at a lower price). Let people, who think industrial wind is great pay for it and let them have it in their back yards. Let them live close by to those of like mind so they do not impose their ignorance on the rest of us. Let them enjoy the higher costs associated with brown outs and unreliable energy produced on their devalued land. Let the rest of us who think this is stupid not pay for it and a choice to live as far away from the morons as possible. Give us a choice and most likely this whole mess would end pretty fast.

  7. The fact that Bullfrog energy even exists is mind-boggling. What other private corporation has such a scam that has people outright “giving” them money just for wearing a supposed green halo? What a world we live in!

  8. Here’s an informative and scary article that you should read if wondering about the viability of Industrial Wind Farms …I posted the conclusion below..An Ill Wind by Mark DuChamp….Recommended…

    In conclusion:

    Wind plants are harmful in a number of important ways, beneficial in none, and they cost dearly to taxpayers and consumers, more still to residents in terms of property values. They are uneconomical and useless. But they are highly profitable to their promoters because they are subsidised. So much so that industry leaders have joined forces to lobby at the political, media and ecological levels, silencing the opposition with money – taxpayers’ money reaped from the subventions. I know of a bird society that receives donations from electricity companies amounting to 25% of its annual budget.

    Taxpayer’s money has been used in that manner to build an apparent consensus in favour of the wind industry. Politicians, for one, all agree on this money-laden venture, which on top gives them a favourable “green” image. Ecologists, too, promote wind farms, in the delusion that greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. As a result of such a broad-based consensus, strengthened by active propaganda and intrigue by the wind power lobby, contrary opinions are not considered worth publishing by the media — which in turn favours ignorance, and perpetuation of the blind consensus that is working to the detriment of both nature and mankind.

    So it looks like wind turbines will continue to spread around the globe with disastrous effects on birds, on the scenery, and hence on everybody’s quality of life; and for no savings whatsoever in greenhouse gas emissions. To the contrary, more gases will be produced in the end as subsidies paid to the wind industry cannot be used to accelerate our conversion to the hydrogen economy: Politicians feel no pressure in that respect, basking as they are in the green image provided by their aggressive wind power policy, and with all the wining and dining associated with efficient lobbying by a cash-rich industry –at taxpayer’s expense.

    California and Denmark, which have the longest experience in the field of wind power, no longer bank on wind for their future. Isn’t it time for us to wise up too? before 500,000 irremovable concrete bases the size of a swimming pool are poured into the landscape from Vancouver to Auckland? before countless pylons are added to the landscape? before the horizon is marred everywhere by giant metallic structures beating the air, and the birds? and for no benefit whatsoever in terms of climate change?

    It is time we study carefully the new California Energy Plan. It contains many answers.

    Mark Duchamp
    Calpe, Spain

  9. “Rhode Island Officials Nix Wind Farm Deal

    Alternative energy proponents suffered a blow on Tuesday when Rhode Island’s Public Utilities Commission rejected a deal to build a wind farm in the waters off the state’s Block Island.

    New Jersey-based Deepwater Wind proposed to build an eight-turbine wind farm and sell the electricity it produced to National Grid, which supplies power to Rhode Island residents.

    The three-member commission voted unanimously against the agreement, saying the price of power agreed to by the two sides was too high, The Providence Journal reported.

    National Grid was to pay 24.4 cents per kilowatt hour, nearly three times the price it pays for energy from fossil-fuel and nuclear plants. The price would have risen each year, so at the end of the 20-year contract, the price would have been 48.6 cents per kilowatt hour.

    That would have meant “hundreds of millions of dollars in additional costs to the state’s 480,000 ratepayers over two decades,” according to the Journal.

    The eight-turbine project was designed as a demonstration project and precursor to a 100-turbine wind farm more than 15 miles offshore.

    Jerry Elmer, an attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation, said the commission “failed to factor in the benefits renewable energy projects will yield in terms of price predictability, energy independence and reduction in global warming pollution.”

    But commission member Mary Bray said: “As excited as we can get about the wind project, I personally don’t think that’s commercially reasonable.” “

  10. “I have learned a lot over the years about energy and its uses yet I am bombarded with “renewable energy” and “go green” when there is no renewable energy at all! ” Bo Rogers, mechanic who understands the mechanics and limitations of wind turbines.

  11. “Wind power is a green mirage of the worst kind. It looks green to simple souls but it is a technical nightmare. Nowhere I have been, be it Holland, Denmark, Germany, France or California, have I seen wind parks where all turbines were operating properly. Typically, 20% stand idle, out of commission, broken down. Use Google Videos to find examples of wind turbine crashes, start meditating and reach your own conclusions.” as written by Henk Tennekes an aeronautical engineer and the former research director of KNMI, the Dutch National Weather Service. This article was published today by The Pielke

  12. “While the IEA report shows that wind energy is usually more expensive than conventional generation, their cost calculations do not include two of the most expensive — and controversial — aspects of integrating wind energy into a given electric grid: the transmission lines needed to carry wind-generated electricity to distant cities, and the cost of backup generation capacity that must be available to assure that the intermittent electricity supplied by the wind turbines doesn’t cause the grid to go dark.”
    “Then consider how much higher the costs of wind would be if all of the costs – that means adding in the transmission line costs and the backup generation costs – were factored into the equation.”
    Taken from the article at: written by Robert Bryce

    Considering gas powered generating stations are being built as back up for wind energy production in Ontario and gas generation power is a high cost source as well as a limited resource (less than 50 years supply calculated) Ontario is looking at lot higher costs than the bits and pieces of what is being estimated in the media. To keep electricity flowing cost will keep increasing for replacement of wind and gas as wind turbines stop functioning and gas supplies start to deplete. An energy mix not including wind or other “so called renewables” would reduce environmental and social impacts, improve reliability and keep prices at a fraction of an energy mix including wind.

  13. Stolen from a comment in the G&M on April 8, 2010…

    The new saying in Ontario is not “build it and they will come”.

    It is “subsidize it heavily and they will stampede”.

  14. Wind power will make our already cleaner industry even less competitive with the much more polluting industry in China.
    So more clean factories here will close down and we’ll import our goods from the much more polluting factories in China.
    How will that help the environment?

    Same with Copenhagen, it would tax the hell out of our clean industry here and give the money to the much more polluting industry in China.
    So more clean plants shut down here and we buy from the dirty plants in China.
    And we ship our raw materials there and the finished products back here.
    So more pollution, not less.
    Once again, how is that good for the environment?

  15. Article by Lorrie Goldstein…Toronto Sun
    Douglas Fisher
    Comment Columnists / Lorrie Goldstein
    McGuinty’s ill wind blows across Canada
    By Lorrie Goldstein, Senior Associate Editor

    Last Updated: March 18, 2010 10:16am

    Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty recently did something so stupid when it comes to … uh … fighting global warming, it should warn all Canadians to keep an eye on their politicians, lest they do something equally dumb.

    McGuinty struck a deal with South Korean industrial giant Samsung Group to manufacture wind turbines and solar panels in Ontario, plus pay inflated prices for 2,500 megawatts of so-called green energy for the next quarter century.

    Samsung will invest $7 billion in return for untold billions more to be sucked out of the hides of Ontario electricity consumers and, McGuinty hopes, other, as-yet-unsuspecting, consumers across North America.

    How stupid is this deal?

    First, McGuinty claims it will make Ontario a North American leader in green energy.

    What he hasn’t explained is how giving a South Korean company a sweetheart deal to produce “green” energy, plus premium access to our electrcity grid, makes Ontario — as opposed to South Korea — a leader in anything.

    Second, McGuinty claims it will create 16,000 jobs, a quarter permanent, for $1.60 more per year on consumer electricity bills for the next 25 years.

    But the public has no way to verify these numbers, which the premier, who will be long gone before his deal is, might as well have pulled out of his derriere.

    We do know electricity prices are going up far more than $1.60 per year over the next 25 — for example by 8% on July 1 alone, when McGuinty introduces a harmonized sales tax.

    Further, McGuinty’s job-creation claims are meaningless.

    These subsidized “green” jobs will only last as long as governments like McGuinty’s force electricity consumers to pay inflated prices for green energy.

    McGuinty isn’t creating a single job that can exist without substantial, continuing public subsidy. Rather, he’s launched a 25-year make-work project in which consumers will pay for mostly temporary jobs through inflated electricity prices until the cash runs out. What then?

    Third, to sign this deal with a South Korean company is absurd.

    South Korea — a direct participant through its 54% stake in Samsung’s partner, Korea Electric Power Corp. — is one of about 160 countries, which, classified as developing nations under the Kyoto accord, are free to keep increasing their emissions until (at least) 2012.

    Not only is South Korea an economic beneficiary of carbon dioxide-emitting industries that have been moving to the developing world from the developed one to escape being charged for emitting greenhouse gases, McGuinty is now subsidizing, through inflated electricity prices paid by Ontario consumers, those industries.

    As Peter Huber explains in Hard Green: Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists, politicians like McGuinty wrongly think you can reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by building “half a fence” around the developed world, but not the developing one.

    Actually, less than half a fence, since Canada is one of only 37 developed nations required under Kyoto to reduce their emissions. Along with many other countries, we aren’t.

    Meanwhile, South Korea and 160 other countries don’t even have to slow their emissions and won’t without a successor agreement, which doesn’t exist. (See Copenhagen.)

    As Huber notes, “half a fence solves nothing.” It just forces those inside the fence to hand over their wealth to those outside it.

    That’s what McGuinty’s done. How stupid is that?

  16. Darkman:

    As has been proved so many times on “Climate Audit” you do have to watch the pea under the thimble…

    “But, for large amounts of wind power connected to the grid from several wind farms that are geographically dispersed in different wind regimes, total wind power generally varies smoothly and therefore cannot be described accurately as ‘intermittent’. Like coal and nuclear power, wind power is a partially reliable source of power (Sinden 2007). However, its statistics are different from those of coal and nuclear power.”

    Click on my name, got to section 3.1 in the Table of Contents, please see that at least here Wind Power is highly coordinated over a large geographic region.

    So much for that theory….

    “As the penetration into the grid of wind energy increases substantially, so do the additional costs of reserve plant and fuel used for balancing wind power variations. However, when wind power supplies up to 20% of electricity generation, these additional costs are relatively small.”

    OK. The more we build, the cheaper the coal and gas plants get? My personal opinion is that that is just plain silly.

    Please note that the fellow is discussing Australia and goes on to discuss power generation of “some sort” works well somewhere else. That is what happened here. — you know the argument… Solar works well in SW USA — therefore it will work here…. and it does — for about 2.6 hours per day equivalent. So the author concludes that Solar Power can be reliable 24hr baseload? Nice try

    As Steve McIntyre says — watch the pea under the thimble — careful now…

    And this gem!

    “An electricity supply system cannot be built out of base-load power stations alone, because they are too inflexible in operation. They take all day to start up from cold and in general their output cannot be changed up or down quickly enough to handle the peaks and other variations in demand. Base-load stations used as reserve cannot be started up quickly from cold.”

    Hydro is particularly useful (you know eh)_ because it does start up so quickly. Does a gas plant take all day or 40Minutes (or less?). What is the start up time on coal?…. OK some are fast, some are slow some are medium…. Inductive logic does not always work….

    And this gem…

    “Even an optimal mix of fossil-fuelled power stations is not 100% reliable, because there is always a chance that several stations might break down at the same time. To achieve 100% reliability would require an infinite amount of back-up and hence an infinite cost. In practice, agenerating system has a limited amount of back-up and a specified reliability. This can be measured in terms of the average number of hours per year that supply fails to meet demand or by the frequency and duration of failures to meet demand. It is these indicators that electricity consumers see, not the reliability of individual power stations in the generating mix.”

    I’m actually grateful to see work of this low quality. It makes me feel good about trying to get supportive numbers when I make these kinds of statements.

    Apparently facts are going out of fashion…

    This is the capper…

    “To replace a 1000 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station, with annual average power output of about 850 MW, a group of wind farms with capacity (rated power) of about 2600 MW, located in windy sites, is required. The higher wind capacity allows for the variations in wind power and is taken into account in the economics of wind power.”

    Google “Assume a Spherical Cow” — see the Wikipedia article — hilarious! I nominate that second PDF to replace the article.

    And who is the author…???

    “Dr Mark Diesendorf is Deputy Director of the Institute of Environmental Studies at
    University of New South Wales.”


  17. DarkMan,
    I started to look through the Danish document. I’ve made a similar claim on this site, and others, using the same methodology that paper is supposed to debunk. The Aussie link really annoyed me right off the bat – I struggled to get as far as the author’s name. “Renewable Energy Deniers” is a stupid term.

    Basic economics. Increasing supply more rapidly than demand will decrease the price. My premise is the wind being added to our supply is not only unnecessary, it devalues reliable supply.
    Tom Adams e-mail’d me to note, as the Danish paper does, it is far too simple to look at exports exceeding wind generation and conclude all wind is exported. He noted any source could be picked, and the same conclusion made.

    So that kind of killed my sound bite, except in Ontario all of the supply brought online recently is either wind or the gas required to accompany the wind. And I’m the one looking – and I’m looking at wind!
    We are exporting more because we increasingly can’t match supply to demand.

    Here’s the final 2010 figures as hourly averages for wind groupings of 200MW- not sure how well this will show:

    Wind MW, Ont Demand, Net Export, HOEP price, # of hours
    <200MW, 16510, 903, $41.12, 3764
    <400MW, 15943, 907, $37.71, 2260
    <600MW, 15956, 1130, $34.19, 1364
    799MW, 16362, 1444, $30.93, 577

    That isn’t denialist economics, or oil-lobby math.
    It’s reality.

    Wind devalues reliable supply, as it pushes exports higher at increasingly higher losses.
    These are bad things.

  18. Scott:

    Regardless whether it is wind power or gopher power… Something is exported — cheap — and if the wind power output were not see-sawing around like a small time environmentalist drunk on new-found power — well then the power would not be there to export at a loss!

    Your argument is fine. Tom Adams argument is fine. But you can’t be a “power existence denier” no, can you?

    If the power is there — we will export it — at a loss!

  19. I’m not familiar with gopher power David, but I assume the gophers would be fed and rested when there was no need for their output.
    I don’t think it should be denigrated by categorizing it with wind.

    I’m working on something (not the right word for it) – your input might make it into an epic

    I’ve recently read though the OPA’s submitted business plan for the next two years, that of the IESO, I skimmed through the OEB’s decision on Hydro One’s rate application, and I’ve been following the IPSP, the LTEP, and the supply mix directive.

    And I’ve been flooding my rink (was great – will be again in a couple of days), which provides some time to think.

    I had in mind a paper on how Ontario adopted the character of the Seinfeld series. Nothing is what it’s all about now. Something is bad.
    Nothing is not.

    Now your “power existence denier” comment makes me thinking farce is the wrong way to go – or rather, the work needs to be an epic.

    Perhaps an epic farce – that would seem particularly Ontarian.

    Nothing is awesome. Duguid brags we have 1700MW an hour more of nothing than we had back in the day, and plans are there from much more nothing. The OPA even has a target amount of nothing per full time equivalent employee..

    Your link yesterday reminded me of the sections in the OEB’s decision on Hydro One’s proposal. There was a large section challenging the forecast, and forecasting in general, for CDM (customer demand management). There is clearly a need for more study and more money to study how to grow nothing.

    The LTEP proposed 7100MW, of 11000MW, added over the next 20 years, be nothing. That seemed pessimistic to me. If we added a lot more nothing we’d have way more supply.
    But I’m dreaming there.
    We do not know enough about nothing, and will need to spend a lot more something if we are to better serve the nothing.

    You may call it a scam.
    But, increasingly, nothing describes a growing Ontario industry.

  20. Ontario has a good mix of electricity generating sources – why export power at a loss when you can cut back on gas and hydro?

  21. Darkman:

    Because…. Wind is not controllable. If you are not generating more than you need then you could well end up having times when you have insufficient power. So, IESO is wisely generating considerably more power than we need. It hen has to export the surplus under standing offers to US customers. Unfortunately the offers are all offers that allow the clients to purchase power at well below market rates.

    Not even Hydro power can spool up fast enough to fill in the momentary gaps left by wind. Those momentary outages could well damage equipment — and relationships with their large industrial and commercial customers.

    This market distortion is due to POLITICAL directives, not management or engineering directives.

    …and that’s what the Ontario taxpayer got for voting in a Liberal majority.

    I do hope that is clear!

  22. Scott,

    I am particularly intrigued by nothing. And, truthfully, you have brought nothing to the forefront of this debate – and for that I congratulate you.

    As nothing continues to dominate the minds of the Liberal Government at Queen’s Park and more importantly, as it continues to receive massive funding (a big something for nothing, if you will) – nothing takes on an almost mystical importance to future life in this Province.

    I support your thesis about nothing and promise to provide nothing to assist you in this research. You can count on me – that’s for sure!

    Keep up the good work – this is a stroke of brilliance – you have, I believe brought clarity and understanding to the behaviour we are witnessing at Queen’s Park – clearly there is nothing to be gained by all of this IWT development and we are going to gain a whole lot of it.

  23. Nothing suits the expectations one should have with industrial wind developments better than nothing. Nothing to disappoint when nothing results, though that nothing still has costs (financially, health and environment). If the industrial wind nothing was free with no impacts there would be nothing to discuss.

  24. @Scott Do you have figures for 2005 end-of-year? That precedes the integration of any wind energy into the Ontario grid, I believe. From the figures you provided, it does look like the export market prices drops off but is money being lost?
    What’s the generation cost per MWh? I’m trying to figure out how the electricity market works – not a simple process.

  25. Darkman, I would defer to David’s work with the wind figures.

    My understanding of the supply mix issue is probably far greater than my ability to communicate it. I’m trying to pull something more coherent together, but since you note 2005 …

    I have the data, but it’s more related to demand, and total supply. We were a net importer in 2005 primarily because of our record high consumption which was driven by a couple of factors, including Cooling Degree Days (meaning it was a very hot summer). Regardless, this page at my blog probably does the quick hit on supply, demand, and pricing, better than most – I just updated it with graphs current as of the end of 2010:

    The supply mix is very relevant to the divergence of supply and demand, and there are some entries on my blog where I attempt to explain the attributes of the different supply types – and one specifically regarding my thoughts/contempt for the proposed ministerial directive pending on a future supply mix, and one on records for the new year (a record low for the daily average price, at under -$20/MWh!

    I do find extremes can be instructive. Looking at 4 am on January 1st, 2011, when the HOEP price dropped below -$120/MWh, the production data for the capacity, and the output, of the different sources:
    Nuclear 10534 of 11584 capacity
    coal 4 of 3108
    Gas 1203 of 6059
    Hydro 2199 of 7560
    Wind 1075 of 1296
    Other 138 of 2272
    Total 15153 of 31879

    Ontario demand was under 12000MW at the time.
    Ontario demand has been under 15000MW about a third of the time the past 2 years (a little over 20% of the time the two before that).

    Within the next 18 months we will add 1500MW of nuclear, and another 1000MW of wind. This will make the minimum production level exceed demand over 60% of the time (when it is windy anyway).

    I disagree that this is a “good mix of electricity generating sources” for the new, and evolving, Ontario market. We already had clean baseload, and improvement could only come from cleaner peaking.

    Good luck on the rest of your searching. I would note the cost for generation can get very murky the finer level of detail – at a macro level, we haven’t overtly been subsidizing electricity, so the HOEP price plus the GAM should reflect the price paid to suppliers, which should, as the prices are all regulated by the Ontario Energy Board, reflect costs plus 8-10% as their return on equity. Beyond that, OPG data by source is available, and Bruce can be found via CAMECO reporting — what’s left is 20-30% of production that must be getting over 10 cents/kWh (but the OPG contracts with those suppliers are not public record).

  26. You have to sing a few verses of ‘Kumbaya” before you can understand the concept of creating nil-awatts from nothing.

  27. Forget Green Energy – It’s FAKE

    This lady explains it so well that even a logic-blind GREEN idealogue can understand…

  28. John Stossel who is very pragmatic and honest talked about energy alternatives on his Special Show last nite…Excerpts below on Nuclear and false information about fracking (Natural Gas). Green Energy was totally discredited in another segment….He is able to deconstruct the lies told by envirnmentalists who oppose nuclear and natural gas…

  29. I’m a snowbird in Texas and had need to take our car into the local ford dealership There they had a wind generator operating and a flyer from the company that they purachased it from. There is a similar unit in Windsor along Hwy 3. These units are far less intrusive and could perhaps be a preferred alternative to the behemoths the presently install. Don’t know what or if there are negative impacts to these units, but thought I’d mention it.

    • Those small turbines along Hwy 3 are for individual homes and/or small businesses. These small turbines are not of interest to the big wind project developers as they can’t make huge amounts of money off from them.

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