Power bill costs turning political opinion on wind power

Wind power costs turning the political tide

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This is from today’s Toronto Star. While Martin Regg Cohn still doesn’t “get it” (he still think resistance to wind power plants is “NIMBYism”) he at least has opened his eyes to the numbers and the economic cost to Ontario.

Ontario tilts against wind turbines as costs spiral: Cohn

Economics, more than politics, is causing the greatest drag on wind power as Liberals look for light at the end of the wind tunnel.

Resistance to wind turbines in Ontario emanated mostly from rural residents and was quickly exploited by opposition politicians eager to steal Liberal seats.
VICTOR BIRO / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO
Resistance to wind turbines in Ontario emanated mostly from rural residents and was quickly exploited by opposition politicians eager to steal Liberal seats.
By:  Provincial Politics, Published on Tue Dec 10 2013
Who would have imagined Ontario as Ground Zero for the global anti-wind movement, pitting people power against wind power? Instead of a low-carbon environment, the governing Liberals generated a highly toxic political environment.
Yet it is economics, more than politics, that is causing the greatest drag on wind power today. Diminishing returns have prompted the Liberals to tilt against wind turbines.
The pace of future wind expansion will be scaled back over the next 20 years, according to the Long Term Energy Planreleased this month by the government. The latest plan is a belated admission that previous energy plans were off target.
To understand how much the Liberals miscalculated, it’s worth looking at another report that preceded this one. Prepared for influential clients in the energy industry by global consulting firm IHS-CERA, the title of this private study says it all: “Too Much, Too Fast — The Pace of Greening the Ontario Power System.”
It treats our wind turbines as a case study on how greening the power system can plunge it into the red. A cautionary tale for international clients, the report would have been essential reading for provincial energy planners as they looked for the light at the end of our wind tunnel:
“What happened in Ontario . . . provide(s) universal lessons regarding how a simple, appealing, but unrealistic idea can intersect with the political process and set in motion environmental policies that run counter to the underlying costs and complexity of the electric power sector.”

Read the full story here.

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