Climate change actions must have proof of effectiveness: municipal group

Giant wind farms: Not doing a thing for the environment
Giant wind farms: Not doing a thing for the environment

MULTI-MUNICIPAL WIND TURBINE WORKING GROUP

MEDIA RELEASE

19 December, 2015

Climate change “solutions” must demonstrate effectiveness

Now that a second Auditor General’s Report has severely criticized Ontario’s electricity system, it is time to rethink a politically motivated energy policy. Action on climate change must not squander crucial time and resources on schemes that may be ineffective, economically unfeasible, or harm human health and the environment.

Why did the Government of Ontario choose to ignore the 2011 Auditor General’s Report that questioned the negligible ability of intermittent wind power to lower carbon emissions because natural gas-fuelled back up is required 24/7?

The Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group, made up of councillors from jurisdictions where wind turbine development has been most intensive, is ideally positioned to observe first hand the effects of wind turbines on the local community. Adverse health effects are occurring to citizens exposed to wind turbines at approved setbacks. Noise and health complaints have been ignored by government officials. Restrictive Environmental Review Tribunal procedures under the Ontario Green Energy Act make residents’ participation meaningless. Biologists’ observations of degradation of significant habitat and loss of biodiversity near wind turbines have been disregarded.

Because of wind power’s difficulty in matching production with demand, a substantial amount of the emission-free electricity from hydro and nuclear plants is being dumped (in order to stabilize the grid) because the Government’s energy policy gives priority to nominally “green” wind energy. This results in throwing away a large portion of the “base load” electricity already paid for by consumers.

Our technical consultant, William Palmer, using IESO (Independent Electricity Supply Operator) data, found that in 2014 hydraulic generating stations (water power) were reduced by 3.2 TWh (Terra Watt Hours) due to surplus base load generation. Bruce Power nuclear units were reduced 588 times, each occurrence resulting in bypassing some 300 MW of electrical equivalent of high pressure steam directly to the turbine generator condensers. These transient adjustments result in accelerated wear on the condensers.

At the same time, much of the excess wind energy has to be sold outside the province at below production cost. This drives down the market price for electricity and means that Ontario is often forced to dump surplus electricity to our neighbours in New York and Michigan at negative prices – paying them to take it, further penalizing Ontario consumers.

The Auditor General’s 2015 report discloses that

  • excess payments to generators over the market price have cost consumers $37 billion between 2006 and 2014
  • are projected to cost another $133 billion from 2015 to 2032
  • electricity consumers will eventually pay a total of $9.2 billion more for renewables under the Min­istry’s guaranteed-price renewable program
  • we are paying double the U.S. average to generators of wind power
  • the electricity portion of hydro bills has risen by 70%.

Not surprisingly the Government has now denied the Auditor General access to Hydro One finances, shielding the company from public scrutiny.

A recently published “Council of Canadian Academies Report: Technology and Policy Options for a Low-emission Energy System in Canada” is an example of policy recommendations that fail to recognize the adverse impact on the existing system that the transition in energy systems is already having. It would have been more useful if its authors had given thoughtful consideration to the IESO data and investigated more fully the consequences of wind turbines in Ontario.

The Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group has written to the Federal Government, which provides substantial subsidies for wind turbines, requesting reality-based climate change policy decisions for solutions that are actually effective in converting to a low emission energy system without themselves resulting in adverse impacts.

CONTACT

Mark Davis, Chair, Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group

mdavis@bmts.com

Res. (519) 353 5466

Comments

Sommer
Reply

Thank you Mark Davis, for this comprehensive assessment. I agree wholeheartedly with insisting that efficacy must be proven.
I have to seriously wonder why all Municipalities in Ontario aren’t participating with and supporting this Multi-municiple Wind Turbine Working Group.
Exactly what is holding them back?
They need to be pressured into taking action to demand an honest cost/benefit analysis.

ScepticalGord
Reply

“The Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group has written to the Federal Government, which provides substantial subsidies for wind turbines, requesting reality-based climate change policy decisions for solutions that are actually effective in converting to a low emission energy system without themselves resulting in adverse impacts”.

Great idea, and while we’re at it, I want to ask the climate change “experts”, the politicians, weather staff and other wannabes, to be more consistent and fair in their predictions and reporting.

Some examples:

A few winters ago, Liberal MPP Glen Murray, as Minister of Transportation, twice declared that the Hwy 401 ramps were snowbound due to climate change, not an incompetent tendering process, since apparently rectified.

David Letterman, wildly waving his arms to accentuate the enormousness of it all, blamed the November 2014 Buffalo snow squall event, which dumped a huge amount of snow on the city, on climate change. Well, all you need for lake effect snow is for the air temperature over the water body to be colder by 13 degrees celsius and for on-shore winds to remain in a constant direction. This was a record waiting to be broken.

This summer, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley declared that her state received the most rainfall in 2000 years. Maybe so, but show us the records going back to 0015 AD.

Leonardo DiCaprio, while filming “The Revenant” in Alberta last year, was “terrified” by the “climate change” induced warm winds that suddenly melted all of Calgary’s snow. You’re a good actor Leo, but you need to Google “Chinook Winds”.

In other news, Vancouver’s so-called climate change-induced drought must be over since the rain just hasn’t stopped in months. In the summer, we were told that the trees blew over in a wind storm because of the dry soil around the roots. Now, we’re being told that the trees are blowing over because of all the wet soil. There’s something blowing, all right. Talk about covering your CC bases.

Though still early in the season, we were told by (was it by the Weather Network?), that Whistler Ski Resort may not have enough snow to operate this season due to the El Nino effect. As you may have noticed, the resort opened a week sooner than normal and the snow continues to fall unabated.

There’s no question that California has suffered a catastrophic drought over the last three or four years. You know that because the MSM never stopped telling you about it: the lack of rain, no snow in the mountains, the dry reservoirs, the brown lawns, the forest fires, etc. Yes, all bad news.
But, why haven’t the same news sources jumped at the chance to give you the good news: its been raining frequently in California lately, the mountains are full of snow pack already this winter season, it was -15 degrees celsius this morning not that far from Los Angeles, and so on?

The record cold of Ontario’s last two winters was a result of “the Polar Vortex” and “Climate Change”.
This year’s record warm autumn in parts of Ontario was blamed on “El Nino” and “Global Warming” (long time no hear).

And one last thing: why do weather reporters (hello the Weather Network!), when the forecast is for record breaking warmth, wring their hands and decry the end of the world due to Global Warming, but while in the depths of a cold spell, keep wishing for nicer, warmer conditions?
Maybe they’re only human, and maybe sucking and blowing is part of their job requirement, but surely, a little or maybe a lot more honesty from these people would be appreciated.

Trying to educate the public on ineffective, economically unfeasible and harmful industrial wind turbines is a tough enough job without having to compete with all of the above nonsense.

Thanks to Mark Davis, Chair, and the Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group.

Pat Cusack
Reply

The above replys tell us some of the results of Mz Wynnes marh., imagine down the road when she gets all the changes made in the education system and all our offspring use this math..

Richard Mann
Reply

Wind and Solar are not reducing C02. Ontario’s own Engineering Society is telling us this. See the report, “Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma – Achieving Low Emissions at Reasonable Electricity Rates.” Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), April 2015.
http://www.ospe.on.ca/…/2015_Presentation_Elec_Dilem.pdf

Page 15 of 23. “Why Will Emissions Double as We Add Wind and Solar Plants ?”

– Wind and Solar require flexible backup generation.

– Nuclear is too inflexible to backup renewables without expensive engineering changes to the reactors.

– Flexible electric storage is too expensive at the moment.

– Consequently natural gas provides the backup for wind and solar in North America.

– When you add wind and solar you are actually forced to reduce nuclear genera,on to make room for more natural gas generation to provide flexible backup.

– Ontario currently produces electricity at less than 40 grams of CO2 emissions/kWh.

– Wind and solar with natural gas backup produces electricity at about 200 grams of CO 2 emissions/kWh. Therefore adding wind and solar to Ontario’s grid drives CO2 emissions higher. From 2016 to 2032 as Ontario phases out nuclear capacity to make room for wind and solar, CO2 emissions will double (2013 LTEP data).

– In Ontario, with limited economic hydro and expensive storage, it is mathematically impossible to achieve low CO2 emissions at reasonable electricity prices without nuclear generation.

Barbara
Reply

Intact Financial Corp. provided funding for ‘Climate Change Adaptations’

Intact Board includes:
Timmothy H. Penner, also on the Board of MaRS Innovation.
Charles Bindamour CEO, now on the Hydro One Board.

http://www.intactfc.com > Corporate Governance

Barbara
Reply

Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre

Grants and Awards

Brandon Schaufele:
CIGI – INET Research Grant, $198,000, Collaborative, 2012-2014

http://www.ivey.uwo.ca/energycentre/research, > Grants & Awards tab.

Barbara
Reply

York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies

CIGI/INET , Grant for: Green Economic Macro Model and Accounts, 2011-2013

Amount of grant unknown at present.

Jackson, University of Surrey, person of interest.

http://fes.yorku.ca/faculty-profile-dev/?mid=5174

Barbara
Reply

Club of Rome

Full Members include:

Peter Victor, York U.
Tim Jackson, U.Surrey
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, IPCC
Robert Hoffman, U. Waterloo

http://www.clubofrome.org/?p=2419 > Full Members

Barbara
Reply

Canada, other full members of the Club of Rome:

Peter G. Brown, McGill U.
Frederick C. Dubee, UN
William E. Rees, UBC retired.

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