Ontario Green Energy Act showed bias toward wind power developers: new research paper

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From failed appeals before a powerless quasi-judicial tribunal, to unanswered letters to government and a rigged consultation process, authors of a new paper demonstrate that legally, the fix was in via Ontario’s biased Green Energy Act. What will government do now?

January 9, 2021

A new paper has been published by several Ontario authors that paints a grim picture of the province’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act, passed in 2009 by the McGuinty government in order to quash any opposition for its renewable energy plans.

“Access to Justice: Recommended Reforms to the Ontario Justice System Using the Green Energy Act as an Example” was researched and written by three residents of Prince Edward County, where multiple wind power projects were proposed, and where the community spent more than a million dollars to protect the environment from industrialization by grid-scale wind power projects.

After the act was passed, wind power projects in Ontario were “rapidly approved by the government across rural areas” say the authors, despite the many environmental and health concerns raised. Legal appeals were filed, with few successes. Following the commencement of the projects’  power generation operations, thousands of complaints were reported to the Ontario government related to noise, adverse health effects, shadow flicker or strobe effect, killing of wildlife, and disturbance of people’s water supply. The authors refer here to Wind Concerns Ontario’s own reports on citizen complaints.

Following a complex review of the process and the aftermath, authors Alan Whiteley*, Anne Dumbrille and John Hirsch conclude that  there was “legislative bias in policy and consultation that reduced the ability of the public to object to the policy” and “administrative bias, where decisions are perceived to favour industry over citizens.”

The authors make a series of recommendations in the interest of preventing such damaging policy and legislation from occurring again, but also note that the various governments post-Green Energy Act failed to respond to written expressions of concern.

“Are letters from citizens received by senior officials?” they ask. “Are they read and seriously considered?” Worse, are senior officials actively “discouraged from responding to letters on controversial topics?”

(Our experience many times over is that when responses are received at all, they often come from staff writers on the correspondence unit, employing boilerplate answers to questions.)

Although the goal of the Green Energy Act may have been to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the environment, the authors say, the result was a reduction in access to justice and limited citizen rights.

What can be done to change that?

Read the paper here: (3) (PDF) Access to Justice: Recommended Reforms to the Ontario Justice System Using the Green Energy Act as an Example (researchgate.net)

 

 

*lawyer Alan Whiteley died in September 2020.

Comments

Richard Mann
Reply

We need to stop turbines immediately due to known health harm.

Please see the following presentation:
September 12, 2019. Mariana Alves-Pereira (Lisbon, Portugal). “Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise: Physics & Cells, History & Health”.
University of Waterloo.

Livestream:
https://livestream.com/itmsstudio/events/8781285

Ed Engel
Reply

These articles should be sent to every MPP and major newspapers in the province. The fear of losing votes is the only threat the party in power is concerned about.

Stan Thayer
Reply

We now have 10 years of undisputable data on industrial wind and solar power delivered to the Ontario grid.
20 by 20 was a fraudulent promotion!
A lot of electrical industry workers said so and the lobbyists knew it. Now with the lockdowns due to Covid 19 the Ontario grid demand is much lower and 20% is still not happening. Past performances tells me it never will.
I checked seven Solarfarns to Onario grid input for the first 10 days of 2021 and their best day was 1.6% for an estimated 2 hours due to low sun and low demand which artificially raised the percentage.
I checked forty four Ontario windfarms comprised of about eight thousand operational turbines at any one time.
Some hours of the 10 days total input to the Ontario grid was below 1%. Most hours of 0000 January 1st to 0000 January 11th, 2021 were above 1% but never sustained 20%. Peak overall turbine production is achieved only for a few minutes per day. Also, I did not account for the power required by the non operational turbines which would only lower the percentages to some smaller amount and take weeks to calculate. I will add that at times power requirement by the windfarms is more than production.
Storage is the next money maker!
All fueled by dinosaurs.

Stan Thayer
Journeyman Electrical Power Worker

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