Parker Gallant: see wind power for what it really is

Ontario energy policies not based on cost-benefit analysis

This letter appears in today’s Ottawa Citizen from Parker Gallant. It was written in response to an opinion piece published by the Citizen last week, by Environmental Defence executive director Tim Gray, who made a number of claims including that wind and solar were being scapegoated for rising electricity bills in Ontario.
The letter is not available online at the time of posting.


Direction on energy

Re: stop making green power the scapegoat December 17

The time has come to recognize wind and solar power generation for what it really is: intermittent, expensive and economically disastrous for Ontario. Wind turbines produce power 29 per cent of the time at the wrong time of day an season, when we consume much less power. Would anyone purchase a product that only works 29 per cent of the time?
  It is interesting that in his opinion piece, Tim Gray, executive director of Environmental Defence, would claim energy prices will only rise two per cent while Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli forecast rate increases of more than seven per cent for the next five years. Wind and solar produced four per cent of Ontario’s generation but cost ratepayers 160 per cent more per kWh than other generation, including nuclear, which supplied 56.4 per cent of Ontario’s generation.
  Wind and solar frequently fail to produce any electricity and must be backed up by other generation, including gas and nuclear. That means Ontario must double up on plants to produce electricity to ensure reliability.

 In the first 10 months of 2013, 
electricity exports cost Ontario’s 
ratepayers $1.2 billion.

  When wind and solar produce unneeded power they are paid not to produce or Ontario exports the surplus power at a cost to ratepayers, while spilling hydro and steaming off nuclear, and pay gas generators to be at the ready. In the first 10 months of 2013, electricity exports cost Ontario’s ratepayers $1.2 billion.
   The climate crisis claimed by Environmental Defence is a tempest in a teapot and has been called that by scientists throughout the world, including many from Canada. The EU have recognized the economic costs of wind and solar, reducing subsidies and curtailing additions to those generation sources.
  Ontario’s direction on energy is putting the province in a disadvantaged position as one of the highest-cost provinces. We are without the ability to attract energy intensive jobs because our electricity prices are among the highest in North America.
  Ontario is a “have-not” province, and one of the reasons is our inane energy policies driven by false ideologies, perpetrated on our politicians by unscientific deities.
Parker Gallant
Vice-president, Wind Concerns Ontario



With any solution there should also be the question of suitability for the purpose. (Another alternate reality question like cost-benefit analysis…) We have just been through a major ice storm and one notices that a number of the major wind sites are no longer reporting any output. How did the wind farms, like Wolfe Island, make out in this storm? I understand that the turbines were supposed to shut down to avoid ice throw, but what now? It would certainly be a good demonstration of how well suited these things are as a source of power if they were back on line — or are we waiting for Spring?

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