Gas, not wind, is replacing coal

Toronto StarSNGPla1

Wind is not replacing coal; gas is.

Natural gas will need to be burned in gas-fired power plants whether the demand on the grid is high or low and whether or not the wind is blowing. Gas is replacing coal, to be burned to provide base and intermediate load. It also provides load-following and back up to the wind generators because the nuclear plants cannot respond quickly enough, and stored water is a valuable commodity not to be wasted.

This means that when demand is low, expensive wind energy displaces the clean, cheap electricity from the nuclear plants that will have to power down (giving wear and tear concerns) or even shut down, and will not displace the electricity from the polluting and greenhouse- gas-emitting gas-fired plants.  More wind makes a bad situation worse.

Donald Jones, Mississauga

5 thoughts on “Gas, not wind, is replacing coal

  1. Slitherman ducked out just in time. Imagine him telling the people of Ontario that by turning up the wind turbines it would help his asthma because it reduces our need to burn fossil fuels. But Georgie boy neglected to mention to those very same Ontario people that he needed to burn fossil fuels to create his wind energy. Did he also neglect to mention that gas turbines must be running, idle or not, 100% of the time, thereby spewing dirty emmissions into our environment? The man and the wind lobbyists are criminals and should be treated as such in a court of law.

  2. Before anyone jumps on a bandwagon against Donald Jones’ promotion of nuclear energy, consider this letter, in from AECL: “The authority on spent nuclear fuel in Canada is the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, According to the NWMO, there are about 2 million used CANDU fuel bundles in Canada, which apparently would fit into 6 hockey rinks up to the boards. I prefer to say it will fit onto one soccer field, to the height o…f a player. Another comparison I use is that this volume of nuclear waste, which represents all the high-level waste from half a century of nuclear electricity in Canada, is less than the volume of municipal waste generated by the City of Toronto in one day (see footnote #3 at for this calculation). I hope this helps. To me the low volume of waste from nuclear technology, combined with its ease of isolation (being robust, solid, ceramic, detectable in minute quantities, in addition to being low in overall volume), is one of its greatest — yet most misunderstood — assets.”

  3. Not only did Smitherman “slither out” before this bad news hit Ontario but did anyone open their Hydro Bills today and see a 25-40% increase in their monthly rates?……………
    That’s the way a successful “politician” should operate …………destroy everything you’ve touched and then before you are held accountable for it just QUIT!

    Hoping all the while that by the time Toronto goes to vote for a new Mayor you will have distanced yourself from all that was wrong with your last job!…..thank goodness this isn’t the Private Sector where “one strike and your out!”

  4. Donald is right on but missed a point. The base load cannot power down for wind, as it is too variable, too short term and not predictable for the short or long term. If the wind blows it will blow. The variable intermittent energy produced by wind would not be used if demand for power is at or below base load. We would pay for the wind energy produced but it would not be used.

  5. If nuclear is considered too hot check out Thorium Energy production. Tests are planned in a Russian reactor in 2010 by Thorium Power.

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