The Wynne Turbine’s spin

Thompson Questions Premier on Scathing Fraser Report

Green Energy Gone Wrong?

listen_iconHave a listen!
CBC: The Early Shift “This morning, the Fraser Institute is set to release a report slamming the Green Energy Act. We spoke to Professor Ross McKitrick.

Fraser Institute’s report shows green energy blows

this blowsBy Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun
TORONTO – Wind blows — and so sadly does the Liberal government’s Green Energy Act. Even before the Fraser Institute came out with its damning report on wind and solar energy this week, the writing was on the wall. Turbines have wreaked havoc on rural Ontario, ruining the countryside, pitting neighbour against neighbour as wind farms sprouted on once lovely fields. We’ve gone from generating the cheapest electricity in the world to the most expensive in North America.

The report, Environmental and Economic Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA) authored by Ross McKitrick, recalls provincial auditor general Jim McCarter’s scathing 2011 report, where he said the province has already lost $2 billion in electricity exports because power generated by wind often has to be exported at a loss.

“Eighty per cent of Ontario’s generation of electricity from wind power occurs at times and seasons so far out of phase with demand that the entire output is surplus and is exported at a substantial loss,” the report says. “Data from the Independent Electricity System Operator shows Ontario now loses, on average, $24,000 per operating hour on such sales, totalling $200 million annually.” Read article

Wind power kills jobs and increases electricity costs: Report

green_jobsBy Antonella Artuso, Toronto Sun
TORONTO — Ontario’s pursuit of wind power has driven up electricity prices, is killing jobs and might even lead to more smog, a new Fraser Institute report says. Ross McKitrick, author of Environmental and Economic Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA), says the Ontario government’s electricity plan is now 10 times more costly than installing pollution-control equipment on existing coal plants — an option he argues would have produced similar improvements in air quality. His analysis of the GEA concludes the province is well on its way to having some of the highest electricity prices in North America.

“Already, the GEA has caused major price increases for large energy consumers and we’re anticipating additional hikes of 40% to 50% over the next few years,” McKitrick said in a statement. “Provincial efforts to shield these industries through energy subsidy programs only transfer the costs onto Ontario taxpayers who are already dealing with skyrocketing residential electricity prices. “Overall, GEA-related energy cost increases will yield a net loss of investment and employment in Ontario, in pursuit of environmental benefits that could have been obtained at a fraction of the cost,” he said. Read article

Cryderman calls out Chiarelli

how-wind-power-worksJohn K. Cryderman, Chatham Daily News
Sir: This is an open letter to Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli regarding his recent comments, directed to Richard Nicholls, Chatham-Kent Essex MPP, specific to wind turbines in Chatham-Kent Re: Your recent Letter to the Editor in The Chatham Daily News entitled “MPP’s Wind Energy Comments Refuted.”

Although I am taking a position the jury is still deliberating on the wind and solar issue investment being in the best overall interest of the taxpayer, health wise and financially, it does seem the only strong case for wind and solar is it’s a green energy government initiative, similar to the bicycle paths for municipalities, nice to have but costly and paying, at best, modest dividends, once completed.

You embellish Ontario’s new rules to “dispatch” – ability to turn off the wind turbines when required to save taxpayers money. You are aware the financial damage to the wind and solar companies (you reference compensation to them) by turning off turbines appears headed to the courts. The power companies claim they will lose tens of millions of dollars if your suggested “dispatch” plans are implemented. What you admonish to save taxpayers up front, taxpayers will have to pay an equal amount to subsidize the shutting down of turbines and paying the contractors, which they are demanding. Read article

Surplus wind power costs verified: Fedeli

Clint Thomas, Canada Free Press
Vic FideliQUEEN’S PARK – Recent filings to the Ontario Energy Board confirm surplus wind power is costing Ontarians a small fortune, Nipissing MPP and PC Energy Critic Vic Fedeli said today.

The province’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) says unless market rules change, surplus wind power will cost electricity ratepayers up to $200 million a year. (Toronto Star, Feb. 27, 2013)

“We have lost literally billions selling our surplus power to Quebec and the United States—some estimates peg the number at over $500 million last year alone,” Fedeli said.

“The filings from the IESO only provide further proof that we need to cancel the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program which provides rich subsidies to wind producers, and that we need a moratorium on any further wind power development in Ontario.” Read article

Join us outside the Toronto Confrence Centre Wed APRIL 3 @ 11:30am!

1204030007Here is a great opportunity to bring our message to the city! Join us and help distribute 6,000 flyers telling city people why the government’s energy policy is not working and is harmful to our economy, our residents and our wildlife.

Your presence in Toronto will tell the media that Government subsidies to wind energy producers are bankrupting our economy; why wind turbines are a huge scam; how wind energy produces more CO2; that Ministry of Natural Resources overall benefit permits are allowing developers to “destroy the habitat of endangered species”; and that we’re tired of the incompetence, the lack of respect, the dishonest replies to our questions; the cover-ups, the cronyism, the duplicity, the e-Health scandal, the Ornge scandal, the gas plant scandal and lies about its cost, the HST on our hydro and fuel bills, the unacceptable legislation hidden in omnibus budget bills, the arrogance of ministers in ignoring correspondence from citizens– and all the rest!

Our message to Premier Wynne and Energy Minister Chiarelli:

There is no rational basis for adding more wind generators to the Ontario electrical system: they will threaten grid stability, make electricity unaffordable, increase CO2 emissions and increase the harm already being done to citizens, communities, significant wildlife habitats and the Ontario economy.

Make sure your community is well represented in Toronto this Wednesday April 3. This is a big chance to let the media see we are willing to take the trouble to come down to the city to deliver our message and that we have not gone away since last year!

FIT FORUM PROTEST on WED, APRIL 3RD, at 11:30 a.m. at Simcoe Park on Front

Street, beside the CBC building and opposite the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.


GOOD News! Clean Breeze & Collie Hill wind projects cancelled!!

ontario_cannot_afford_to_bet_its_future_on_windpower go4-Traders
[excerpt] Ontario Projects Update – Wind Works is continuing to work with Sprott Power in order to close the transaction that is subject to the signed Letter of Intent announced on October 29, 2012.

In the meantime, Wind Works has decided to discontinue the development of the Clean Breeze and Collie Hill projects in Ontario due to insufficient economics. Read article

From the Alliance for the Protection of the Northumberland Hills.
April 11 Meeting is still on in Baltimore!
Although developer Windworks has cancelled its proposed Clean Breeze projects, there is an ongoing risk that they or other developers will attempt to gain approval in our community. This meeting is an important opportunity to hear from qualified speakers about the various issues and have your questions answered. The Alliance for the Protection of the Northumberland Hills is committed to supporting efforts of all rural Ontario communities to resist wind turbines. We have aligned with our neighbours, including those on the environmentally sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine, to raise awareness and communicate our opposition.

Scrap wind energy program

img_1042by Trevor E. Falk, Owen Sound Times
Everybody is entitled to an opinion, of course. It is unfortunate, however, that R. Michael Warren has evidently formed his opinions about industrial wind turbines in Ontario after reading only documents published by the Liberal Party of Ontario and brochures published by “big wind,” and without knowing anything about Ontario’s electricity system.

Any valid analysis of the effects of Ontario’s Green Energy Act requires a basic understanding of the difference between electric power (or capacity) and energy. That Mr. Warren doesn’t appreciate the difference is evident in his second paragraph:

“2,000 MW of clean, renewable wind power . . . is enough to power one million homes.”

First, I’ll address Mr. Warren’s failure to understand capacity. When people turn on electric appliances, the capacity (measured in watts or kilowatts or megawatts) comes from a generator that is already operating. This generator (most often gasfired these days) increases its output instantly to exactly match the consumption of the appliance. Even if it is a very windy day, the wind doesn’t suddenly blow a little bit harder when an appliance is turned on. Read article

Wind power in Ontario: thinning the mixture in the great economic engine

SailboatBy Steve Aplin, Canadian Energy Issues
Wind-powered electricity is so inefficient that nobody gets into the wind generation business unless they are paid to do so. The situation in Ontario is proof of this. Wind turbines have sprung up all over the province because of government rules that force provincial electricity rate-payers, including low income people who live in apartment buildings, to pay wind “entrepreneurs” at least twice the rate that nuclear utilities get. The reason for this is wind’s inadequacy as an energy source. A 200-megawatt wind farm rarely generates 200 megawatts of electricity, and almost never does so for more than a few hours at a time. The wind just does not blow in a way that makes electricity generation convenient. Nor does it blow in a way that makes marine cargo shipping convenient—this is why nobody has shipped cargo in a sail-powered ship since the late-1800s.

The Ontario program that forces rate-payers to pay exorbitant prices for inefficient and unreliable wind power would never be expanded to include, say, sail powered shipping on the Great Lakes. That is because the inferiority of sail-powered shipping is immediately obvious to anyone who spends a few seconds pondering the business model. Anyone can easily imagine how quickly they would go out of business if they charged their customers more when they were late delivering a shipment.

Just imagine it: you are late with a shipment, and you still have to pay your crew, so the only way you can keep from going bankrupt is to charge your customer more than the agreed delivery charge! Your customer would be shocked, to put it mildly. Read article

Hudak letter to Chiarelli on wind power surplus

Letter to Minister Chiarelli – Wind Power Surplus
Read full letter

Cancelled gas plants will cost Ontario taxpayers $828-million, energy expert says

gas plantNational Post
The cost of cancelling two gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga is closer to $828 million, more than three times what the governing Liberals insist taxpayers will bear, an energy expert said Wednesday.

The cost of the Oakville plant — which was cancelled in 2010 — is about $638 million, not $40 million as the Liberals have said, Bruce Sharp told a legislative committee that’s looking into the gas plant cancellations. The mechanical engineer, who says he’s spent 25 years in the energy sector, said relocating the plant will cost $40 million, but there are extra costs, said Sharp, who works for Aegent Energy Advisors. He’s pegged gas delivery and management costs at $313 million and transmission costs at $359 million.

“My view is that there are so many people making money in so many different ways in the sector, that when something goes wrong, no one wants to talk about it,” he told the committee. “When the Oakville settlement details were made public in September, it was clear to me that the additional costs quoted of $40 million was low, so I felt the whole subject deserved some attention.”

Sharp said he agreed that the cost of relocating another plant in Mississauga will cost about $190 million, but that could have been at least $28 million lower because it will cost less money to deliver natural gas to its new site in Sarnia. It’s unfortunate that Ontario is seeing the “negative outcomes” of abandoning power system planning, he said. Read article

Cold feet on Ontario’s green energy mania

DSCN1857Tom Adams,  Financial Post
As Ontario’s new premier, Kathleen Wynne, zigzags on the province’s electricity future — at once aligning herself with former premier Dalton McGuinty’s green stance and calling for stronger conservation efforts but also promising to backtrack on developer-friendly rules that cut municipalities out of power plant siting decisions — a shift has quietly been underway in the Liberal government’s energy objectives. Since their last electoral victory in 2011, the Liberals have started throttling back their green-at-any-cost energy vision.

Leading up to the 2011 election, McGuinty’s team published its “Long Term Energy Plan.” That plan embodied a radical shift away from a widespread consensus that had prevailed for over a hundred years that the purpose of Ontario’s power system was to serve consumers.

McGuinty’s new purpose for the power system was to deliver a green-at-any-cost social and economic transformation. The plan anticipated steeply escalating electricity rates. The worst increases — compound annual growth of 7.9% for household consumers — were projected over the period 2011 through 2015. Read article

Report suggests global wind resource potential over-blown

wind efficiencyDesign Engineering Staff
New research conducted by Harvard University applied physicist David Keith and funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) suggest the amount of potential wind power has been significantly overstated. On the surface, wind power would seem to be inexhaustible, unlike oil or coal reserves, which have a measurable limit. However, according to Keith’s mesoscale atmospheric modeling research (published in the journal Environmental Research Letters) wind power has a number of real-world limiting factors.

First and foremost is the limit on the density of large wind farm installations. Previous estimates of their generating capacity assumed more turbines meant more power, approximately 2 to 7 watts per square meter. In reality, Keith’s research shows that the drag of each turbine blade creates a “wind shadow” that slows the wind. While most installations balance density against wind shadow, the effects of turbines in larger wind farms begin to interact and the regional-scale wind patterns matter more. According to Keith’s research very large wind power installations (larger than 100 square kilometers) may peak at between 0.5 and 1 watts per square meter. Read article

Ontario will soon be able to ‘turn off’ wind power

ctvCTV London
Ontario will soon be able to say ‘no thank you’ to wind power when there’s surplus power on the grid. The Independent Electricity System Operator will implement the new wind dispatch system by year’s end.

Until now, wind power has had almost unrestricted access to the power grid, under rules designed to encourage the development of renewable power in Ontario. Wind companies had been fighting the new rules, but have relented. They will still get paid for some of their lost output, but not all of it.

Last year, Ontario spent millions of dollars paying other states and provinces to take our excess power, most of it from renewables. Power from wind turbines is strongest at night, when demand is lowest. Read article

Liberal Government Approving New Wind Projects—While OPA Pays for Excess Wind Power

DSC03587MPP Lisa Thompson
(Queen’s Park) —The Ontario Power Authority has agreed to pay wind companies for their lost output when they are asked to switch off the flow of power from wind turbines when the demand for energy is low. This comes as the Liberals are approving new wind turbine projects to the grid. Ontario is also forced to sell power to our Canadian and US neighbours at a loss—or paying them outright to take it off our hands.

“This boggles my mind,” said Thompson. “The math is simple. We have a surplus—why are we continuing to approve wind contracts and add more unnecessary power to the grid, and more unaffordable contracts on the backs of Ontario ratepayers?”

Controlling power output has become a pressing issue in Ontario as more and more renewable power connects to the grid. An additional 3,000 megawatts of wind power alone is due to come on stream in the next 18 months. The Independent Electricity Security Operator had estimated that coping with surplus power production will cost Ontario’s power system up to $200 million a year if market rules don’t change. Continue reading

New wind power rules coming in Ontario to curb output

Wind-Turbine-Red-Flashing-LightJohn Spears, Toronto Star
Ontario wind power companies have reached an agreement that will curb electricity output from wind turbines when there’s surplus power on the grid. In return, the companies will get compensated for lost output, within certain limits. The agreement puts an end to a dispute before the Ontario Energy Board that pitted the wind companies against provincial power agencies.

Until now, wind power has had almost unrestricted access to the power grid, under rules designed to encourage the development of renewable power in Ontario. Wind power is especially tricky to deal with, because there’s a lot of it and the wind often blows strongest overnight or on weekends, when demand is low. Nuclear plants also produce power regardless of market conditions, because most nuclear units are very difficult to control – they’re either on or off.

As more wind power floods onto the grid, the combination of wind and nuclear sometimes leads to power surpluses, forcing Ontario to sell power to its neighbours at a loss, or even pay them to take it. The new rules will allow the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to switch off the flow of power from wind turbines if there’s too little demand. Wind operators will be compensated for some, but not all, of their lost output. Read article

Surplus wind power could cost Ontario ratepayers up to $200 million: IESO

Power-generating windmills don't always produce power when it's most needed.

Power-generating windmills don’t always produce power when it’s most needed.

John Spears Toronto Star
Coping with surplus wind power will cost Ontario electricity ratepayers up to $200 million a year if market rules don’t change, says the power system operator. Moreover, it says, if it can’t control the flow of wind and solar power onto the Ontario grid, then “reliable and economic operation of the power system is, at best, highly compromised and likely not feasible.”

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) makes the statements in a filing with the Ontario Energy Board. It is responding to complaints from big wind power companies that the IESO’s proposals to impose new market rules on wind and solar power will cost them millions in lost revenue. The dispute comes as more and more renewable power is about to flow onto the province’s power grid. About 2,700 megawatts of wind and solar power are currently feeding electricity into Ontario’s system, three-quarters of it wind. That amount is set to more than triple by January, 2016.

Solar power generally flows into the system when it’s most needed, when demand for power is high. But wind often blows at the wrong time — overnight when demand, or “load” on the system is low — and dies when demand is high.  Read Article

Why aren’t heads rolling at Ontario Power Authority?

Dalton GasAdam Radwanski, The Globe and Mail
Watching the chair and the CEO of the Ontario Power Authority squirm in the Queen’s Park media studio on Thursday afternoon, it was hard not to feel a little sorry for them. Jim Hinds and Colin Andersen are not accustomed to being grilled by reporters, and it showed – the former having to apologize at one point after calling a question about political interference “inappropriate,” both looking like they’d rather be anywhere else. Unlike most politicians they didn’t have any flacks on hand to call an end to the proceedings, so this unfortunate spectacle went on for nearly an hour.

But listening to the two men fess up over and over again to the energy-planning agency’s incompetence, it was also difficult to understand why heads are not rolling there. Given the controversy around the costly cancellation of two gas-fired power plants, and the realities of minority government, the OPA had to know that failing to comply with a legislative committee’s demands for all related documents would be disastrous. Yet they failed nonetheless, in rather spectacular fashion. Read article

Tom Adams: FOI Documents Reveal McGuinty’s Gas Plant Oversight

gas plant
Download FOI documents

Tom Adams Energy
Over the course of 2012 from the beginning of January through to October 1, the Ontario’s then Premier McGuinty and his office were supervising one of the key files of his entire period of leadership–the cancelled west GTA gas plants and their relocation.

The issue was hot. Outraged constituents were bombarding him with complaints. The media and opposition were hounding him. His officials were negotiating 20 year contracts with the jilted developers for relocating plants once committed for Mississauga and Oakville. The amount of public money at stake eventually added up to what McGuinty has claimed is $230 million (Gas Busters readers will know how deficient I consider that figure).

In November, I filed a Freedom of Information request to see what the Premier saw and wrote about both the Mississauga and Oakville power plants. My request specified documents from 2012. All of the documents so far on the public record about the gas plant relocation arise from the Estimates Committee motion for disclosure which specified documents from 2010 and 2011.

The resulting disclosure, issued by Cabinet Office on the first day of Kathleen Wynne’s fresh premiership, reveal a total absence of due diligence. Read article

Ottawa appeals WTO ruling on Ontario’s green-energy plan

WTORichard Blackwell, Globe and Mail
The Canadian government has filed an appeal of a World Trade Organization ruling made in December that could derail parts of Ontario’s green energy program. The appeal notice, filed on Tuesday, asks that the WTO overturn its decision that Ontario’s program breaks international trade rules because it forces companies selling premium-priced clean energy into the province’s electrical grid to buy a proportion of their equipment and services in Ontario. Japan first complained to the WTO about those provisions in September 2010, and the European Union joined the case in August 2011. The WTO released its decision on Dec. 19, ruling against Canada on part of the complaint.

The decision said Ontario breached its obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, because the local-content requirements essentially treat imported equipment and components differently than domestic products. But it did not uphold part of the Japanese and European complaint that suggested the local content rules amount to an illegal subsidy. “We recommend that Canada bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the … GATT,” the ruling said. Read article

Wind turbines stall at 2 federal prisons

1DF7D45B216E82F3DF2A7599352BAF_h242_w430_m2_q80_cLdVKPGlhCBC News
A $2.5-million wind turbine at the Dorchester Penitentiary has stopped working and the Correctional Service of Canada cannot estimate when it will be generating electricity again. The federal government purchased two wind turbines for Canadian penitentiaries in the last five years but both units have caused problems.

A 600-kW/h wind turbine was installed at the Dorchester Penitentiary in 2009, making it the first federal institution to generate a portion of its electricity from wind. However, nearby residents say the wind turbine at Dorchester hasn’t been working in months.

The Correctional Service of Canada won’t say exactly when the turbine failed, but it will confirm the federal government has spent $60,000 on repairs. Officials at the Correctional Service of Canada would not say how often the turbine has worked or how much electricity it has generated since it was first commissioned.

Mel Goodland, a former mayor of Dorchester, said people in the village would like to see the turbine operating again. “I’d love to see it working. It should be working, if it’s there it should be working,” Goodland said. “It’s a huge cost and it would be a sin if they couldn’t solve the problems.” Read article

McGuinty’s legacy is a green nightmare

Picture 003Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail
On the morning of Jan. 5, workers with a fleet of heavy equipment mounted a stealth assault on a bald eagle’s nest near the shore of Lake Erie. Their mission was to remove the nest – one of only a few dozen bald eagle nests in Southern Ontario – to make way for an access road to the site of a new industrial wind turbine. As a pair of eagles looked on from a nearby tree, the workers sawed off the limb with the giant nest and took it away to parts unknown.

Ontario’s environmental regulations would usually make this illegal. But the wind company, NextEra Energy, one of the biggest operators in the province, had obtained special dispensation.

Wind power is supposed to be environmentally friendly. But a lot of environmentalists don’t think so. “People couldn’t believe it happened,” says Scott Petrie, a waterfowl ecologist and executive director of Long Point Waterfowl, a conservation group. “Cutting down bald eagle nests flies in the face of anything you would call green energy.”

Wind turbines have invaded many of Ontario’s most scenic and ecologically rich areas. They’re invading coastal wetlands and spreading along major migratory flyways – up the Bruce Peninsula, west to Lake Huron, south to Lake Erie, and east to Prince Edward County, where environmental groups are fighting a major wind development in Ostrander Point, an important bird area. “We have no idea whatsoever of the cumulative impact of these things,” says Dr. Petrie. Turbines chew up birds and other flying things, and they disrupt wildlife habitats. Read article

Blowin’ in the wind: Liberals’ green energy plan is all smoke and mirrors

100_1983By Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun
Our new premier, just like Dalton McGuinty, desperately wants you to believe the Liberals have replaced coal-fired electricity with wind power in Ontario. Problem is, it’s not true.

What they actually did was to replace electricity generated by coal, with electricity generated by natural gas. Due to a massive expansion program in recent years, natural gas has become one of the three workhorses in the province when it comes to producing electricity. The biggest, by far, is nuclear power, which supplies 56.4% of our electricity needs.

That explains why it’s important to keep our nuclear plants up-to-date and in a state of good repair and why it’s idiotic to pretend, as many “environmentalists” do, that we don’t need nuclear power, which, ironically, doesn’t emit air pollution or greenhouse gases. Next comes clean, green hydro power, which supplies 22.3% of our electricity generation, followed by natural gas at 14.6%.

By comparison, wind, which last year supplied 3% of Ontario’s energy needs, is a bit player and solar is so inconsequential it’s not worth mentioning, save for the fact solar is ridiculously expensive, even compared to overpriced wind. The Liberals and their friends in the wind industry — literally, since many people in the wind industry are Liberals — recently boasted that for the first time last year, electricity generation from wind, at 3%, exceeded coal at 2.8%, thus indicating the Liberals are succeeding at replacing coal power with wind power.

Of course, this is specious nonsense. Wind can’t replace coal because it can’t supply reliable, base-load power to the system on demand. For this reason, wind has to be backed up by other forms of conventional electricity generation. Read article

Rink wind turbine program off to ‘bad start’

pe-hi-mylesmacdonald-wind-8colCBC News
Wind turbines installed at four P.E.I. rinks are not performing as expected.

The rinks each invested about $70,000 in the turbines in 2011, with government also picking up part of the cost. After almost a year of breakdowns and delays, last March they started turning, But they haven’t generated the expected electricity savings.

“We’re very dissatisfied,” said Myles MacDonald, president of the board at the Northumberland Arena. “It’s made about $1,800 in the last 10 months — that’s the energy it’s produced — which is about four per cent of our electricity bill.”

The project is being managed by the Wind Energy Institute of Canada, and CEO Scott Harper agrees the results are below expectations. Read article

Windsor to pay more than double for C.S. Wind railway spur

cs windDoug Schmidt, The Windsor Star
Windsor has to dig up an extra $2.3 million after the cost of its pledge to pay to connect wind tower manufacturer C.S. Wind Canada to a nearby railway line more than doubled. City council on Monday will be asked to approve spending almost $4.3 million on a spur from the CP Railway main line. Council set aside only $2 million for the project in its 2011 capital budget.

With the originally approved $8 million in required land acquisitions, it puts the municipality’s investment toward luring the South Korea-based company to Windsor at $12.3 million.

“It’s a surprise we don’t like to have,” said Ward 9 Coun. Hilary Payne. “The initial estimate turned out quite a bit low,” said city engineer Mario Sonego. “I’m disappointed … 95 per cent of our projects are on budget or under budget, but a few of them – this is one – can be surprises.”

Building the spur line was part of the city’s agreement with C.S. Wind, a junior partner of South Korea giant Samsung, which signed a $7-billion renewable energy deal with the province. Sonego said the railway spur remains an “essential” element of the Windsor company’s plans to expand its business in North America. Read article

Wind turbines last half as long as previously thought: study shows wearing out after just 12 yrs

abandoned_wind_farm_hawaiiStudy of almost 3,000 turbines in Britain sheds doubt on manufacturers claims that they generate clean energy for up to 25 years
Tamara Cohen, Mail Online
Wind farms have just half the useful lifespan which has been claimed, according to new research which found they start to wear out after just 12 years. A study of almost 3,000 turbines in Britain – the largest of its kind – sheds doubt on manufacturers claims that they generate clean energy for up to 25 years, which is used by the Government to calculate subsidies.

Professor Gordon Hughes, an economist at Edinburgh University and former energy advisor to the World Bank, predicts in the coming decade far more investment will be needed to replace older and ineffective turbines – which is likely to be passed on in higher household electricity bills. He said the performance of the UK’s wind turbines over the past 11 years had ‘deteriorated markedly’ and that ‘the subsidy regime is extremely generous if investment in new wind farms is profitable despite the decline in performance due to age and over time.’ Read article

The Cost of a Bad Idea

wind turbines are bad neighbours - proof lineby Bill Palmer, Owen Sound Times
What would you do with $50 Million dollars a year or more wasted in Ontario due to a bad idea fixated on by a government that does not listen?

On December 3, 2012, the Ontario Association of Food Banks reported that 412,000 Ontarians, including 160.000 children access food banks each month. 50 Million dollars wasted each year would provide over $100 for each of these people to help them eat better, but one reason it is not is that at least that amount of money was wasted in each of 2011 and 2012 by a government policy that forced utilities (and thus consumers) to preferentially purchase high cost electricity from wind turbines, even when it was not needed, forcing low cost base load generators like nuclear and water power stations to dump steam or water and not produce the electricity that they could have. Does this waste bother you?

A table (attached) shows from data provided by the Ontario Independent Electrical System Operator (IESO) that for the last two years (2011 and 2012) one or more Bruce B Nuclear Generating Units have been placed on condenser steam discharge valves (CSDVs) on about 75 days per year due to excess baseload generation. Why was there excess generation? On top of existing base load generators Ontario has added over 1900 MW of wind turbine generating capability that produces best at night when the electrical system demand is lowest. It also has added natural gas generators that produce continually.

As a result, the table shows the number of MWh that Bruce B Units were derated in 2011 was approximately 369,000 and in 2012 (to date) 374,000. The system needs to keep the Bruce B units available to load when the wind turbine output falls and the system load increases, so they are paid a flat rate (about $45 a MWh) to keep the unit at high power, dumping steam that is not used to produce electricity. Bruce B were paid some 17 Million dollars in each of 2011 and 2012 to produce and dump unused steam that could have produced electricity, while wind generators were paid (at $135 a MWh) some 50 Million dollars in each of 2011 and 2012 to produce the electricity that was already paid for to have been produced at Bruce B. In some cases we had to sell excess generation to the USA utilities at a cost to us. Today (Dec 16) at 4 AM, the wind turbines were producing 1235 MW and the electricity cost was minus $128.10 a MWh, meaning the system was paying customers in the USA to take electricity off our hands. Continue reading

Ontario’s odious obligations

throw money ladder windLawrence Solomon, Financial Post
Obligations that are odious should not be honoured. So says the Doctrine of Odious Debts, a theory first postulated by Russian legal scholar Alexander Sack in 1927 that is now increasingly accepted by international bodies such as the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, as well as by today’s legal scholars.

That doctrine, to date, has been applied chiefly in undemocratic settings, where tyrants callously rack up debts that a hostage citizenry is then expected to repay. It may soon be applied more broadly in democratic states where elected leaders fail in their fiduciary duties, wrongly saddling current taxpayers as well as their children with dubious obligations that do not benefit them, and that they didn’t request.

In the United States, governments at the state, county and municipal levels are beginning to roll back pension obligations that previous governments had negotiated with civil service unions, arguing that the pensions are unreasonably rich and unaffordable. These odious-debt-type cases between unions and successor governments are expected to ultimately be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.

For Canada, let me offer as a test case my province of Ontario, where the government of Premier Dalton McGuinty has embarked on a spending spree in the name of creating green energy jobs. Under McGuinty’s plan, the province will replace its fleet of coal plants — among the cleanest, most reliable and most economical in the continent — with renewable power contracted from developers at windfall rates — as much as 20 times the cost of power from coal plants. Some of the contracts are flipped after signing — the contracts are so ridiculously generous that the same one can generate quick profits for multiple players. Read article

WTO rules Ontario green energy tariff unfair

CBC News
The World Trade Organization appears to have upheld a complaint against the Province of Ontario’s green energy program.

The complaint was made by the EU and Japan, which claim the province’s “feed-in tariff” program for its energy grid discriminates against foreign component manufacturers by declaring a minimum percentage of renewable energy goods and services be provided by Ontario-based companies.

According to the Green Energy Act, wind and solar projects in Ontario made between 2009 and 2011 must contain at least 25 per cent Ontario-made content, and projects coming on-stream in 2012 must be at least 50 per cent made in Ontario.

Free trade dispute
Japan and the EU alleged such tariffs are unfair, and a hindrance to free trade. Although the WTO has yet to acknowledge any decision publicly, reports Monday suggest the affected parties have been notified of the organization’s decision to side with the complainants. Read article