by Dave Trumble Grey Bruce Labour Council
The recent high winds in Ontario has given rise to some power outages in a variety of locations in Ontario. Now this is hardly news (unless we do a seperate blog on the failure of the Ontario government to support the ongoing needs for renewal of our electrical transmission system), but it did focus for a day or so the attention of the media on Ontario’s electricity supply. The Media true to form missed the big issue, but pronounced with much fanfare that Ontario’s wind farms produced 6% of Ontario’s electricity needs for a short period of time this past week.
This is a fine piece of information and given the need for a diversified supply mix it is likely not bad news, but the issues that are missed by the media are the real story. The first of these would be the fact that when Ontario had an industrial jobs strategy and a significant industrial load (which wind cannot support)over 60% of Ontario’s electrical needs were met by nuclear power and that billions (with a “B”) tonnes of greenhouse gases were mitgated by the use of electricity from nuclear plants. Still in the vein of nuclear power; all the electricity from nuclear energy was created in three defined geographical areas (Bruce, Pickering and Darlington) as compared to the various wind farms that dot and destroy landscapes and are built without any consideration for negative health effects.
The media in Ontario and in most jurisdictions exhibit an astounding lack of understanding of the electricty sector and energy policy and this has recently been demonstrated in the focus of this blog, but I would also suggest it is further demonstrated in the media’s failure to research the issues around what will without a doubt be the safe transfer and shipment of used steam generators from the Bruce Nuclear Site and the inability of the media to fully grasp the complete disaster that awaits the electricty consumers of Ontario as the Ontario goverment implements more and more of it’s green energy act. Perhaps the most ludicrous piece of this act is the ability for the government to count the energy not used by a now shutdown manufacturing plant (shutdown due to the lack of an industrial jobs strategy)as conservation.
A safe, dependable and diversified electricity supply and a responsible energy policy with knowledgable media reporting on the sector is absolutely necessary for general understanding of the energy sector and to ensure that decisions are made that align policy with need and not with ideology.