Naturalists call for action to stop dangerous Amherst Island wind power project

From the Association to Protect Amherst Island is this call for help.

Call to Action – Nature Canada and Kingston Field Naturalists seek support to stop turbine project on Amherst Island

June 28, 2015

Category: Uncategorized

Kingston Field Naturalists
Nature Canada

Dear Friend,

A 27-turbine wind power project proposed for internationally recognized Amherst Island, an Important Bird Area near Kingston Ontario, may be approved soon by the Ontario government.

The many Species at Risk on Amherst Island include birds (Short-eared Owl, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Whip-poo-rwill, Barn Swallow, Golden Eagle, Least Bittern, and Red Knot), Blanding’s Turtles, and Milk and Ribbon Snakes.

Amherst Island has an international reputation as one of the most outstanding places in North America to see concentrations of northern owls and is an important stopover for bats on their migratory path across Lake Ontario. Bats are becoming endangered in many places and in April 2015, Canada, the United States and Mexico signed an agreement to protect the pathways of migratory bats.

A wind turbine installation on this small island, as learned from the nearby Wolfe Island installation, would result in loss of habitat for Short-eared Owl and serious and irreversible harm to local populations of Bobolinks, Barn Swallows and Eastern Meadowlarks, and to breeding population of Red-tailed Hawk, breeding and roosting Purple Martins, and Osprey. Additionally significant breeding population of Blanding’s Turtle, Wilson’s Phalarope and Whip-poor-wills are also at risk. No one is considering the cumulative impact of this project and the many others that are operational or proposed for this important migration route on the vulnerable populations of birds and other wildlife.

More information about the Project and the Island can be found at: www.protectamherstisland.ca

This might the last opportunity to convince the Province to make the right decision and put an end to this project before it enters the expensive and draining cycle of legal challenges. It is time that Ontario’s green energy policy is balanced with its international obligations to protect biodiversity and that decision makers demonstrate genuine respect for the wishes of the overwhelming majority of community members. Please send letters to those listed below, asking that the wind-turbine project for Amherst Island be stopped completely – and permanently:

Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynne, premier@ontario.ca

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, minister.moe@ontario.ca

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Bill Mauro, minister.mnr@ontario.ca

Director, MOECC, Sarah Paul sarah.paul@ontario.ca

Senior Project Evaluator, MOECC, Susanne Edwards, susanne.edwards@ontario.ca

CC Association to Protect Amherst Island protectai@kos.net

Thank you,

Kingston Field Naturalists and Nature Canada

 

WCO note: we suggest also sending a note to your local field naturalists’ organization to alert them to this situation, if they are not already aware, and to any nature/wildlife/birding columnists in your local newspaper

Site plan map of Amherst Island:

Viscount Monkton on wind power: let’s do the math

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Christopher Monkton, 3rd Viscount Monkton of Brenchley; journalist

Another presentation from last week’s ideacity conference. Viscount Christopher Monkton spoke on the cost-benefit analysis of large-scale wind power development (something the Government of Ontario has never done, in spite of recommendations from two Auditors General).

He uses the example of the proposed Navitus wind “farm” in the U.K. which will forever alter the Jurassic coastline, as he points out in detail, for zero benefit to the environment or the economy.

 

 

 

Farm owner liabilities with wind turbine leases

We are re-posting this article which first appeared in Ontario Farmer: there is some confusion as to what the liabilities related to financing for landowners actually are. The “charge of lease” or “demand debenture” is registered on title but it is NOT THE SAME as when a mechanics’ lien is placed on a property for unpaid debts.

Please read the article by Garth Manning QC and Jane Wilson, below. It is important to be clear as the wind power developers will capitalize on any inaccuracies put forward by community groups.

Farm owners’ property as security for wind farm financing: what owners need to know

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Ontario Farmer, May 5, 2015

by Garth Manning and Jane Wilson

It came as a surprise to many in Ontario when it was revealed that the multi-national power developers behind the K2 wind power generation project near Goderich had secured $1 B in financing, and that this arrangement is now registered on title for the 100 farm properties involved as lessors.

The arrangement is between K2 Wind Ontario Inc. and Mizuho Bank Ltd. Canada Branch. It secures a revolving credit facility of up to $1 billion at 25% on a number of items, including the contracts between landowners and K2 for land and road agreements with municipalities.

Another, smaller example has also come to light: a wind power project south of Ottawa in Eastern Ontario, where the five landowners leasing land for a 30-megawatt, 10-turbine project now have charges on their properties for $70 million.

Immediately, questions arise as to what would happen if the power developers were to default on their loans: would the lender then own the farm properties? How would that affect road use agreements with municipalities?

The fact is, this is a common practice. Property owners can refer to the leases imposed by the developers to review this potential situation, and many others that may affect operation and ownership of their land while leasing land for the power projects.

In an Invenergy standard contract, for example, is this clause: “In connection with the Lessee’s financing of the Project, the Lessee….is hereby given the right by the Lessor…to mortgage its interests in the Lease…and to assign this Lease, or any part of parts thereof, and any subleases as collateral security…”

The proper term for this is a “Charge of Lease” but may also be referred to as a “Demand Debenture.” What it means is, the present value of the wind power contract (i.e., the Feed In Tariff or FIT contract with the Ontario government) is greater than the present value of the lease amount. The difference between those two amounts is security for the loan to the power developer. It is a charge against all contracts favourable to the wind power developer, which may also include road use agreements.

It is like a line of credit for the developer and typically, advances against the amount are tied to certain milestones such as stages of construction.

The critical factor, however, is what it means for the lessors, in other words the farm owners who have leased their land for wind turbines, access roads, substations, transmission lines, etc. The importance lies not so much that the farmer lessors might on default lose their land (the farm land itself is not mortgaged, just the turbine contract on that land) but the damage it does to that property owner if he/she wants to sell, or to renew an existing mortgage, or place a new one, or in any way borrow money for which the lender would want security on his/her land.

Let’s assume a farm owner wants financing for farm operations or improvements. That might now pose difficulty: lenders do not like to be second in line, as they would be where a charge of lease is in place.

If the farm owner wishes to sell, similar difficulties arise: the lawyer for a purchaser in the case of an agreement to purchase will do a title search and discover the Charge of Lease on title, then immediately advise his or her client that the client is entitled to get out of the deal unless the registration of the Charge is removed from title. A purchaser is not expected to assume any risk of this nature.

In the case of renewing an existing mortgage or placing a new one, the lawyer for the bank or other lending institution would take the same position — no renewal or new mortgage unless the customer sees that the Charge disappears from title.

This is one of several important characteristics of signing a lease to have wind turbines, and needs to be thoroughly considered. Other legal issues to be carefully considered may include potential liability for the substantial cost of “decommissioning” turbines at the end of the lease, difficulty obtaining insurance on property with wind turbines, loss of autonomy over building on the property and carrying out regular farming practices, and, last, the potential for nuisance suits from neighbours affected by noise or property value loss.

Property owners should consult with a lawyer before signing any agreement.

Garth Manning is a retired lawyer and former president of the Ontario Bar Association, who lives in Prince Edward County. Jane Wilson is president of Wind Concerns Ontario.

Suncor admits “physical effect” on communities

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The Independent, June 20, 2015

Suncor Energy says it already has enough land leases signed to host a 75-megawatt wind energy centre in Brooke-Alvinston.

Suncor is the third company to come to the municipality looking for support for a project as they look for a lucrative government energy contract.

While it didn’t get into a lot of specifics Suncor officials say the project – based mostly in Warwick Township, would stretch down into Brooke-Alvinston as far as Petrolia Line. The project would likely have about 35 turbines.

And despite vigorous opposition from some landowners “we have enough landowners for a 75-megawatt project,” says Project Manager Marnie Dawson.

What Suncor officials did want to talk about was the Community Support Document – what the company is willing to offer the municipality because the turbines dot the landscape.

Dawson says the municipality would get $5,000 per turbine in Brooke-Alvinston’s boundaries, $5,000 per year for any substations, a $10,000 per acre used payment for transmission lines on the road allowance, $200 per year for each pole on the road’s right of way and as well as payments for underground collector cables.

Us being here [sic] has an effect on the community

“We realize that by us being here there is an effect on the community,” says Dawson. “We want to be in the community we want to help the community…this is our way of support the community.”

And while the company says it is in the early stage of discussions of the agreement and says they want to take a collaborative approach, when asked by Councillor Ken Alderman if there was room to negotiate, Dawson said that was the numbers Suncor “is kind of set on.”

Under the Community Support Plan, people who lived near wind turbines but who didn’t have a lease agreement would also get some cash from Suncor as well.

And Suncor told councillors – that while the council had the final say – it wanted to be able to have a say on where that money is being spent.

“You are offering us $5,000 per turbine and you’re going to tell us how to spend it?” asked Councillor Frank Nemcek. “You’re going to tell us how to spend the money you’re bribing us with?”

Suncor spokesperson Jocelyn Kelln says the money is not a bribe but a recognition of the impact the projects have on a community. “It directly addresses the physical impact to the community,” says Kelln. “We’re not paying to get your permission – that is not the intent; that is not the idea. We do recognize we have an impact, the precedent is there. The government has asked for an agreement and some people are not happy with the idea of a project; this is to offset that.”

Kelln and Dawson also asked Brooke-Alvinston councillors to consider signing some agreements the company needs to advance the project; a letter saying Suncor had met with them – which does not improve the company’s chances of getting project and two others which could.

“Ideally, we’d like those signed by July,” says Dawson, adding Suncor has to submit its project plan to the Independent Electricity System Operator by September.

Don’t sign anything: community members

If municipalities sign letters of support for the project and begin Community Support negotiations the company has a better chance of landing an energy contract.

And for that reason, community activist Steve and Karen Sanders – who have been working to keep farmers from signing wind leases – urged the municipality to step back. “Do not sign anything,” says Steve Sanders “not even that you had this meeting.”

 

Policy hypocrisy: Australian Senator on green energy policy effects

Senator John Madigan.

Senator for Victoria John Madigan delivered a powerful speech last week on the punishing effect of Australia’s green energy policies on that country’s electricity ratepayers, on the economy generally, and how the policy benefits the wind industry while not achieving environmental goals.

Senator MADIGAN (Victoria) (12:16): Today I am going to lift the lid on the economics of the RET scheme, while speaking on the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015. I am going to give you the inside story on the money trail of the wind industry. This is the story that neither side in this place, nor the Greens with their wind industry fundamentalism, want you to hear.

The subsidy for renewable electricity, legislated in the REE Act 2000, is paid for by electricity consumers in their power bill. There is government modelling that discusses the effect of renewable energy on the wholesale price of electricity. The industry claims that the RET scheme reduces the wholesale price of electricity, which it does as it creates an oversupply of the market. The modelling is based on this effect. This effect is irrelevant, as the subsidy is paid by the consumer in the retail price of electricity. This price is agreed by the generator and the retailer in their power purchase agreement, PPA.

The industry claims that PPAs are commercial-in-confidence and so the myth of renewable energy lowering electricity prices is allowed to continue. In reality, the PPAs are setting the retail price of electricity generated by wind turbines at three times the price of fossil-fuel generators. In one example of a PPA, the electricity retailer was buying wind energy at $32 above the wholesale market price, resulting in a payment of $40 million per year more than it would otherwise have to pay for electricity. This amount is added onto consumers’ bills, with a further retailer’s margin typically between seven and 10 per cent. This increase in the retail price of electricity could be as high as 200 to 300 per cent. According to then Senator Boswell, during a Senate estimate hearing of 27 May 2010, Grant King, of Origin Energy, a very big player in this sector, said:

Aspects of RECs, such as the need to build thousands of megawatts of gas power to back up wind at a cost of billions, and expenditure on connecting wind farms to the grid will be a major factor in power price increases over the next decade.

He then said:

It could be two to three hundred per cent.

When you study the states of Australia that have had dramatic increases in their household power bills in recent years you will find a direct correlation to the number of wind turbines that have been connected to the grid in those states. You will find the same correlation in European countries.

No-one in this great house will talk about the economic effect of this amending legislation. I am one of the few senators who are in a position to do so. The coalition government find themselves in a conundrum. They have buckled under pressure from the wind industry to negotiate a deal with the ALP on the reduction of the target. Some say that this reduction will see up to 2½ thousand new wind turbines, built across prime agricultural land in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South Australia. That is more than twice the number of turbines that we already have operating. This amending legislation is designed to give the financial sector some investment certainty, which the industry has been so desperate to provide. But at what risk? The financial risk is very significant. While some debt financiers will be sensible enough to recognise the regulatory risk involved in going forward with technology, the safety of which has been questioned in a pilot study commissioned by Pacific Hydro, I fear our Clean Energy Finance Corporation will not be one of them. The CEFC was designed by the Labor government to increase investment in renewable technologies, to the tune of $10 billion.

The coalition government therefore finds itself in an unsustainable position where it is supporting the continuation of an outdated scheme that will inevitably collapse. In 2000 the Howard government, unquestioningly, introduced the REE Act, which was concocted by some of the greatest financial magicians in our history. This financial rort was then supported throughout the Gillard government years and was strengthened by the establishment of the CEFC, ARENA and billion-dollar-deals with Chinese wind turbine manufacturers.

The amendment will now follow one of two paths: option 1 is that it will not be supported by my Senate colleagues, in which case the target will stay at 41,000 gigawatt hours, which will activate the $65 shortfall penalty charge in 2017. This, coupled with the REC price, will leave consumers with an effective $93 carbon tax, paid for by consumers in their household electricity bills.

The electorate of Australia have already voted down a $28 carbon tax, so the threat is clear: the coalition government may lose the next election based on this amendment under the directive of the Minister for the Environment. Or option 2: the amendment will be supported by the majority of senators and will pass, thereby setting a new target of 33,000 gigawatt hours—a level which will see the construction of up to 2½ thousand new wind turbines, which will create such havoc in our electorates and rural environments that there will be widespread community outrage.

To satisfy a new 33,000 gigawatt-hour target, 495 million RECs will have to be surrendered by electricity retailers. This will lead to a shortfall of 240 million RECs, as only16,000 gigawatt-hours will be available annually, and only 256 million RECs will be available to satisfy the LRET’s remaining 495 million megawatt-hour target, set under this politically deceitful amendment. When the shortfall charge is triggered and the REC price goes up to $93, the total cost is added to power consumers’ bills and will top $46 billion. A wind turbine operates, on average, only 27 per cent of the time—when the wind blows. There are 8,760 hours in a calendar year. Therefore, at 27 per cent, a three-megawatt turbine will generate $659,985 in subsidies per year. If you use the industries claimed 35 per cent capacity factor, each turbine will generate $855,414 each year. That subsidy is paid annually until 2031. Each three-megawatt turbine can generate a total of $13.5 million over the remaining life of the LRET scheme.

The RET subsidy, including small-scale solar, has already added $9 billion to Australian power bills. At the end of the day, retailers will have to recover the total cost of the RECs issued, and the shortfall charge, from Australian power consumers. No matter if this amendment is supported or not, each and every Australian household will pay a $93 carbon-tax-equivalent in their power bills, increasing bills by up to possibly 300 per cent. It is, without question, obvious that the imposition of what is a $45 billion retail electricity subsidy is going to have an adverse economic consequence for industry, small business and households alike. In my home state 34,000 homes were disconnected from the electricity grid because they could no longer afford to pay their power bills. The imposition of the coalition’s electricity tax will naturally lead to tens of thousands more families attempting to live without power.

The situation is mirrored in other states. Electricity has gone from being a basic necessity to a luxury good for many hard-pressed Australian families. While certain members of the coalition government claim that the RET scheme is family and business friendly, perpetuating the wind industry line that it carries with it no significant cost to power consumers, the efforts to exempt energy-intensive trade-exposed industries reveals that argument to be a lie. This is deceitful. If there is no cost to power consumers from the RET scheme, then why the need to exempt energy-intensive industries such as aluminium smelters? It is simply policy hypocrisy. At some point this parliament will act to properly control the operation of wind farms by placing conditions on access to subsidies. The potential for that kind of regulation is a detrimental point of risk for bankers and investors.

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Senator Madigan Speech June17

Download file (34.2 KB) pdf


Source: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/…

Published first by wind action.

Carmen Krogh at ideacity

June 19, 2015

“Doesn’t matter if it’s in Japan, or Germany, or anywhere in the world,” said Carmen Krogh at the ideacity conference in Toronto yesterday, the symptoms of exposure to the audible noise and infrasound/low-frequency noise emitted by utility-scale wind turbines are the same around the world.

“Brave people stepped forward in 2009,” Krogh said, recalling how she got involved in her journey of investigating the health effects from wind turbines.

The wind energy “road map” in Canada is very interesting: wind power development is essentially industry-led, to the detriment of Canadian citizens.

Krogh also discusses the appeal process in Ontario, and the tough “burden of proof” set up by the industry-led government regulations.

See the video here.

Australian Senate inquiry releases interim report on wind turbines

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The Australian Senate has released in interim report based on findings at hearings held this year.

As part of the introduction, the interim report states:

Why are there so many people who live in close proximity to wind turbines complaining of similar physiological and psychological symptoms? As with previous Senate inquiries, this committee has gathered evidence from many submitters attributing symptoms of dizziness, nausea, migraines, high blood pressure, tinnitus, chronic sleep deprivation and depression to the operation of nearby wind turbines. The committee invites the public to read and consider the evidence of people who have experienced these symptoms and who attribute their anxiety and ill health to the operation of turbines.[2]

1.13      These health affects should not be trivialised or ignored. The committee was particularly distressed by renewable energy advocates, wind farm developers and operators, public officials and academics who publicly derided and sometimes lampooned local residents who were genuinely attempting to make known the adverse health effects they were suffering.

1.14      The committee is aware of people complaining of these impacts who have since left their family home. Some now live a nomadic and uncertain existence. In one case, the now deserted home had been in the family for five generations—since the 1840s. These are not decisions taken lightly. Having left the turbine vicinity, several witnesses noted that the symptoms had faded if not disappeared.[3]

Excerpt:

Interim report

1.1        The Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines was established in December 2014. To date, it has received 464 submissions from a wide range of stakeholders. It has conducted public hearings in Portland in south-west Victoria on 30 March, in Cairns on 18 May, in Canberra on 19 May, in Melbourne on 9 June and in Adelaide on 10 June 2015. Further public hearings are planned in Canberra on 19 June and 23 June and in Sydney on 29 June 2015.

1.2        This represents a considerable volume of evidence relating directly to the committee’s terms of reference. The committee has received written and verbal evidence from State Governments, local councils, various federal government agencies, wind farm operators and manufacturers, country fire authorities, acousticians, medical experts and representatives from various associations and institutes. In addition, many private citizens have had the opportunity to voice their concerns with the planning, consultation, approval, development and operation of wind farms in Australia.

1.3        Access to all public submissions and public hearing transcripts can be found on the committee’s website.[1]

The committee’s headline recommendations

1.4        This report presents seven headline recommendations. The committee believes that these recommendations are important and urgent given that legislation on the renewable energy target is due to be debated in the Senate shortly. The final report in August this year will provide supporting evidence and supporting recommendations. It will also address other terms of reference, including the merit of subsidies for wind farm operators and the effect of wind power on household power prices.

Find the recommendations here.

 

Wind farm contract problems: farmers offer to negotiate for other farmers

Picturesque view of turbines promoted by Big Wind not the reality for farmers with contracts. (Get a lawyer!)
Picturesque view of turbines promoted by Big Wind not the reality for farmers with contracts. (Get a lawyer!)

The Independent, June 17, 2015

A group of four farmers – all of whom say they don’t want wind turbines on their Lambton County property – say they want to negotiate a better deal for farmers who do want them.

A group – called Community Turbine Alliance – made up of farmers from Watford to Wallaceburg held the first of four public meetings Monday night to talk about some of the problems farmers are facing with the current wind leases. Roger Buurma of Brooke-Alvinston says right now, farmers are left on their own to negotiate with wind energy companies and more often than not, they are unhappy with the results.

Buurma says there are a host of problems in North Lambton where several wind projects have been built. Farmers have had no say on where access roads are built and the heavy machinery used to build the giant turbines damages land and the tile underneath ruining the land for at least one growing season.

Buurma, and other members of the group, say history has shown that farmers can “eventually be bought” and sign wind leases because they’ve been told the project is coming and they might as well be part of that.

But Buurma says the landowners hold the balance of power. “The pen that you hold in your hand actually stops them.”

“We want to act on behalf of those who would sign agreements,” he says. “It is still your choice to say yes or no; but those who are going to say yes, we want to help you get the best contract.”

Buurma and the group say the same tactic worked when Union Gas first started building pipelines. Farmers at the time banned together and collectively bargained for better agreements for the lines to run through their fields.

“This is an all or nothing deal,” says Brooke Leystra another member of the group. “If half sign up with the committee and the other half don’t, where do you think those (wind companies) are going to go?”

“It’s is naïve to think nobody is going to be interested in turbines,” she adds.

A number of people in the crowd of over 200 at the Wilkesport Community Hall thanked the group for their forward thinking and said it seemed like the right way to go. However others were skeptical.

Larry Smale was part of the group several decades ago which negotiated agreements with Union Gas. Now he’s a representative of CORE Conserve Our Rural Enniskillen – a group set up to stop turbines from being built in the township.

“It is good to see you guys out here; to me, that is the best thing to happen,” says Larry Smale who is a part of the Enniskillen group CORE.

He says he knows working together can lead to better agreements “but the best thing to do is still not to sign these things.”

“I worked with Union Gas for 30 years (negotiating land deals) and it was a hell of an uphill battle…Don’t sign the damn things.”

And some of the landowners in the room were firmly against the idea of signing any type of wind agreement, no matter how good it is.

“Aren’t we giving up a little too quick,” asked Robert Johnson who farms near Beecher. “If we have so much collective power…shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to hold these people (wind companies) up.”

Enniskillen Township Mayor Kevin Marriott listen through the entire meeting. He understands what the group is trying to accomplish, but he’s concerned. He’s urging farmers to make sure if they are going to sign a lease, they consult their own lawyer.

Power prices in Ontario keep rising as business looks elsewhere, ratepayers suffer

Residential ratepayers paying up to retain large industrial business

More proof that expense of wind and solar power is driving away investment

An article in the Toronto Sun a few days ago noted that “Large industrial users of electricity could see the cost rise by up to 15% within six years, a new analysis by the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario (AMPCO) predicts.”

I believe most average ratepayers in Ontario would be delighted to look forward to only a 15% increase over the next six years.

As it stands, eliminating the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB), coupled with the concurrent elimination of the Debt Retirement Charge January 1, 2016, will raise rates by 7%.  Add to that increase the recently announced drop in minimum classification requirements for “Class A” status and the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and an average ratepayer is looking at an increase of over 12% for just one year. The 12% increase doesn’t include a probable increase of 5% to be announced in mid-October of the current year to cover the cost of the wind and solar recently added to the grid.

My friend Scott Luft just posted a chart which clearly highlights the growth in the cost of electricity starting with the launch of the GEA in 2009 and its march upwards since that date!

(C) Scott Luft, Cold Air Online
(C) Scott Luft, Cold Air Online


Scott’s chart demonstrates residential and small commercial entities pay eight times what Ontario receives for our exported surplus energy that now represents almost 20% of Ontario’s total demand.

Additional to the cost of subsidizing exports is a cost picked up by those small commercial entities and residential ratepayers to support large industrial companies who reduce demand during the high five peak annual demand hours.  A conservative estimate of those costs suggests those industrial customers  received a benefit of over $650 million for 2014.  That benefit will expand with additional companies qualifying under Energy Minister Chiraelli’s reduced peak of 3 megawatts (MW) starting in the current month. The reduction to a 3-MW peak should add another $200 million in costs to Class B ratepayers.

The other January 1, 2016 addition to Class B ratepayers will be the OESP with an estimated cost of at least $200 million.  The OESP is to support the 570,000 electricity households (13%) that the Ontario Energy Board recently identified as living in “energy poverty.

AMPCO had valid reasons to lobby the Provincial government for reduced pricing as a chart from their website shows consumption by their members (large industrial companies) fell from 24 terawatts (Twh1.:) in 2003 to only 17.5 TWh in 2014 and of 6 industrial classifications only one (metal ore mining) actually increased consumption. It has been stated by many economists that large international corporations look at two primary cost factors before considering expansion or establishing new facilities.  Those two factors are labour and energy costs.  With Ontario’s energy costs among the highest in North America we have basically scared away any new substantial investment  and the well paid jobs that would be a natural fallout.  The biggest drops in consumption came from Pulp, Paper and Paperboard Mills—down 65%— and from Motor Vehicle Manufacturing—down 53%.   Overall consumption fell by 27%!  While AMPCO didn’t include a chart to indicate employment in the six sectors, my guess would be that it has fallen by at least the same percentage as consumption.

This is further proof that the push for intermittent wind and solar generation has cost Ontario good paying jobs!

The current slogan Premier Wynne uses is “Building Ontario Up” but as is clearly evident she continues what her predecessor McGuinty started:  Driving Ontario Down.

©Parker Gallant,                                                                                                                                           June 17, 2015

1. A terawatt hour represents 1 billion killowatt hours or enough to supply over 100,000 average Ontario households.

Canadian Electricity Association: pro-wind bias affects credibility

Power for the Future

Who can Ontario’s ratepayers believe?

The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA), founded in 1891, claims in its Mission Statement: “CEA is the authoritative voice of the Canadian electricity industry, promoting electricity as a key social, economic and environmental enabler that is essential to Canada’s prosperity.”

That “authoritative voice” recently claimed during National Electricity Month the “average Canadian” spends just $3.59 per day on electricity and on June 11th tweeted a Bob Chiarelli-ism: “The average #electricity bill in Canada is under $4 a day – that’s less than most Canadians pay for a morning coffee!”

This comes as no surprise as the Chair of the CEA is  Anthony Haines, also the CEO of Toronto Hydro who on his pay can afford $4 coffee.  Haines is often seen supporting Chiarelli when the Minister is defending himself about the Auditor General’s report on “smart meters,” or making an announcement about increasing our costs of the basic commodity.  The “average”1. Toronto Hydro Customer currently pays $5.31 per day ($1,940. per annum) for their hydro or the equivalent of two “morning” coffees while Hydro One customers pay about $6 per day.

The CEA in its “Data World” report claims Ontario’s electricity generation in 2012 was 140.4 terawatts (TWh),  but IESO reported 151.8 TWh of generation in their January 11, 2013 press release!   I am inclined to believe the data published in IESO’s Press Release rather than what the CEA provided.   Missing 11.4 TWh tarnishes the claim to be the “authoritative voice” of the Canadian electricity industry.

A 2008 report produced by the CEA contained the following statements:  “wind has little impact on the surrounding area, with the exception of aesthetic concerns related to visibility. For these reasons, wind power is touted as a preferred alternative to other non-renewable energy sources.”

and

“Wind energy also provides significant economic benefits to the rural communities where wind projects are constructed. These take the form of investment, jobs, municipal tax payments and land lease income for landowners.”

There are many rural Ontarians who would quickly dispute most if not all of the claims made in those two claims.

Interestingly, a few members of the CEA are also members of the Clean Air Renewable Energy Coalition, founded by Suncor and the Pembina Institute and includes Toronto Hydro and OPG. CAREC are strong proponents of renewable energy from wind and solar.

Needless to say “economics” under the guise of CAREC or the CEA is not an “enabler” for ratepayers, particularly in Ontario where, according to the Ontario Energy Board; 570,000 households live in energy poverty.2.

© Parker Gallant

  1. The average electricity bill in Ontario assumes consumption of 26.3 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day or 9,600 kWh annually.
  2. The generally accepted term of “energy poverty” is used to describe a household spending 10% or more of their disposable income on heat and electricity needs.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.