Santo Giorno, Sarnia Observer
The wind energy lobby, the provincial government and the mainstream environmental groups continue to claim that wind-generated electricity is “clean” and therefore “good for the environment” (Sarnia Observer, Sept. 23, Turbines rising in Lambton).
This claim is simply not true in the context of Ontario’s electricity sector.
With every megawatt-hour of wind-produced electricity accepted into the Ontario grid, the province is in fact substituting electricity that produces an average of 40 kg CO2 per megawatt-hour (from gas turbines operating ONLY during peak demand) with electricity that produces an average of 200 kg CO2 per megawatt-hour (from gas turbines that MUST operate whenever the wind stops blowing).
If the provincial government continues to promote wind energy, as outlined in their 2013 Long Term Energy Plan, the increasing amounts of wind-generated electricity will cause CO2 emissions from Ontario’s electricity sector to double between 2016 and 2032.
These are the findings in an annual report titled “Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma” by the two Ontario engineering societies – the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) and the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO).
The latest edition, published in April 2015, can be found here. The CO2 emission numbers were calculated using published data from the grid’s system operator, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Read article.