By R.T. Richards, Ottawa Citizen
Re: Powering the future, Feb. 9: Your editorial names gas, coal, and hydro-generated electricity as all having major flaws. By implication you suggest that wind and solar power are preferred alternatives for Ontario’s energy requirements. This is a misconception.
Wind power comes with its own drawbacks, such as health and social risks, unreliability, erratic generation and excessive, subsidized cost. Wind can never replace coal-generated power, because of the parallel need for gas, or coal backup capacity. The operation of these parallel systems results in more, not less, CO2 emissions.
Your figure of 1.9 per cent current production for wind is based on optimum output of all 700 turbines at maximum capacity. In fact, this rarely, if ever, happens. As you reported last summer, on some days wind output was zero. Ontario’s own agency, the Ontario Power Authority, stated in 2007 that wind could never be more than a niche supplier of electricity.
R.T. Richards, North Gower