Alberta not so keen on Big Wind Fantasyland
Here is a letter to the Editor of the Lethbridge Herald. It seems people in Canada’s western provinces had an eye on the Ontario disaster, and the real situation in Europe. Wind power will not achieve any goals for the environment, and will cost citizens plenty via subsidized development contracts.
Lethbridge Herald, January 28, 2016
Re: “Correcting wind energy errors,” Jan. 23 Herald.
Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA, discussed “reserves” in a failed effort to pretend all is well in wind’s fantasyland. His mission was to divert attention from the fact that Albertans will pay billions for CanWEA’s and the government’s green dreams. Hornung also failed to mention that CanWEA has asked your Alberta government for subsidies as wind can’t compete because of its abysmal performance.
The annual output of wind is an unreliable 30 per cent of its nameplate capacity, but output varies a lot. For example, the weekly report for Jan. 14 to 20 showed that wind produced a pathetic 19 per cent of its capacity. Worse still, for 50 hours that week, wind produced effectively no electricity! Read the grim statistics in AESO’s weekly reports at http://ets.aeso.ca/.
The government proposes to close coal plants by 2030, stating, “Two-thirds É replaced by renewable energy; one-third É by natural gas.” Most of the renewable electricity will come from wind. About 12,000 MW of new turbines will be needed to produce two-thirds of coal’s soon-to-be lost 44,000 GWh of power. Recently, CanWEA told our government that we need up to 15,000 MW of new renewables, including 9,000 MW of wind.
CanWEA reports that turbines cost over $2 million per megawatt. Thus, using CanWEA’s own figures, the necessary turbines will cost at least $20 billion and Albertans will pay one way or another. In addition, customers will pay billions for new transmission lines that Alberta Energy said will be needed to integrate wind. Then add a few billion for extra gas capacity and 10 billion tax dollars to buy out coal plants forced to close 30 years before the government originally planned.
We will be forced to rely solely on volatile natural gas to supply electricity during wind’s almost-daily failures. Unlike in Ontario and the U.K., Albertans do not have the luxury of a nuclear baseload. Electricity in “green” Germany costs about four times more than in Alberta, yet, they still rely on coal for 40 per cent of their power. Because of renewables’ unreliability, Germany continues to build new coal plants, the newest opening just weeks ago. Yet, our government, counselled by CanWEA, will …
Read the full letter from Clive Schaupmeyer here.