Congratulations to Jonathan Sher on capturing so many key elements of the wind energy debate in his December 11 article “Fair or Foul?”. Even the subtitle of the article is well expressed: “Wind Energy: To some it’s a green saviour. To others, a villain dressed in green.” I have recently put together a lengthy list of logical reasons why industrial wind power is not the right answer for Ontario. Sher’s article captures most of them in a straightforward and sensible report.
The “green villain” must be forced to face the facts.
- Wind energy does not make economic sense.
- Wind energy is too intermittent to make a significant contribution to Ontario’s real power needs.
- The power grid makes wind power difficult to use.
- Wind energy does not make environmental sense.
- Wind energy will not cause the closing of coal-fired power stations.
- Wind power will not clean the air.
- Wind energy is much less desirable than other non-fossil alternatives.
- Wind turbines do have a very unfortunate impact on the health of some people.
- The impact of turbines and transmission corridors on wildlife could be very negative.
- The threat of wind turbines on the Great Lakes is sobering.
- Wind turbines and transmission lines do destroy landscapes.
- Wind energy is dividing the social fabric of rural Ontario communities.
- The negative effect on property values could be significant.
- The creation of a multitude of permanent jobs through wind power is highly doubtful.
- Ontario’s rules for the set-backs of turbines near rural residences is too small, given the nature of our geography and settlement patterns.
Perhaps Sher’s article will help more Ontarians understand why wind energy is a “villain dressed in green” and not a “green saviour”.
Paul Mennill, Bluewater
Wind and Solar Energy Costs
The Ontario government subsidizes wind and solar energy, paying about 16 cents/kwh and 80 cents/kwh respectively, far more than the going rate for electricity. In order to keep these subsidies high, they of course have to use our tax dollars, paying individual landowners and companies. (Even Ikea has joined in, selling solar power to the grid for 80 cents/kwh and buying it back for less than 5 cents). But in addition to using our tax dollars for subsidies, we are forced to pay higher prices for our hydro.
So the government uses our money to keep hydro prices artificially high. Then they force us to pay more for that expensive hydro. Aren’t there people in jail for running schemes like that?
Adam Shirley, London