Achtung, Ontario! Renewables are a money pit
Germany’s experiment with wind farms and solar power a failure
Writing in the Financial Post today (not online yet), economist Brady Yauch says Ontario could have chosen a better model than Germany for a program to foster power generation from “renewable” sources. Germany, Yauch writes, “has a $412 billion lesson for Ontario.”
On the surface, there have been jobs created and renewables (including HYDRO and biomass) now produce 13% of Germany’s electricity, but “scratch a bit below the surface and an entirely different picture emerges—one with households being pushed into ‘energy poverty’ as renewable subsidies lead to soaring power bills, handouts to the country’s big businesses and exporters so they can avoid paying those subsidies and a systematic bankrupting of traditional utilities.”
“Germany’s decision to support renewable energy at all costs has, ultimately, cost the country’s ratepayers billions of dollars and led to a doubling of monthly electricity bills over the past decade,” Yauch reports. “Households now pay the second highest rates for electricity in the EU–second only to Denmark, the world leader in wind turbines.”
The rise of renewable power has resulted in a comeback for coal in Germany, increasing to 45% of output in 2012.
Yauch concludes by saying, “The energy situation in Germany has become so disruptive and so politically untenable that the government has recently done everything it can to pull back on subsidies and other support for renewable energy, much to the dismay of renewable producers that still can’t survive on their own.
“Far from being a success, Germany’s rush into renewable energy has crushed households, taxpayers and utilities.
“Ontario needs a better model.”
Our question: Will Ontario listen? As Tom Adams said in the documentary Down Wind, “So much money has been spilled…” it will be almost impossible to go back.
In the meantime, Ontario ratepayers and rural-small-town communities pay the price for this wrong-headed and completely unfounded policy.