Subsidies for renewables “least effective” for the environment: economist

The Montreal Economics Institute, a non-partisan non-profit organization engaged in education and research, has published a document in advance of the Paris climate change talks, entitled A Practical Guide to the Economics of Climate Change.

In it, the authors discuss various measures that might be considered. Of particular note is Chapter 2 Governmental measures and their effectiveness and the discussion of Feed In Tariff subsidies for “renewable” sources of power. Here is an excerpt:

These subsidies are among the most expensive, and
therefore the least efficient, ways of reducing GHG
emissions. In particular, they have significant economic
and social consequences. By raising the costs of electricity
for the consumers who finance them, these
subsidies generate energy poverty among the most vulnerable
households. They also hurt the competitiveness
of companies that see their rates go up. The European
experience is telling. Several countries have had to
shrink the subsidies they give out to producers of renewable

In an interview on November 13 with journalist Rob Snow at radio CFRA, co-author Youri Chassin named Ontario as an example of how FIT subsidies don’t work, and actually cause hardship for citizens. If you do a cost-benefit analysis, Chassin said, you will see, they are the least efficient way to go. (Listen to the interview here, in the first half hour.)

This is in line with what Wind Concerns Ontario has been saying: Ontario NEVER did a cost-benefit analysis for its renewables program, particularly wind (it sure won’t do one now) and, whatever your goals are for the environment, wind power is not the way to achieve them.



My Hydro One bill is now $100/mo more than when this folly began and I use less power.

People who cross the border know how much vehicle fuel is being brought into Canada from the U.S. People fill 40 liter containers and bring them in. Boats fill up at U.S. marinas. Trucks fill up and drive right through Ontario.

Those who write reports should get off their duffs and visit the real world!


P.43 mentions Equiterre which is involved with Greenpeace.


North American Wind Power, Jan.21, 2009

‘PowerUP Canada Calls For Green Economy’

‘”This coalition is led by PowerUP Canada, which was formed by the Ivey Foundation, the Tides foundation, Equiterre, ForestEthics, Environmental Defence and the Pembina Institute.”

Reply, Sept.9, 2008

‘Former PMs join call for climate-change action’
Kim Campbell
Paul Martin
Joe Clark
John Turner

Statement also signed by 70 prominent Canadians.

Calls for carbon tax or cap-and-trade

The initiative for this was led by Canadians for Climate Leadership. Key players in this initiative were John Roy (Nova Scotia) and Tzeporah Berman.


PROGRESS, c.2011

John Roy: “the founder (in early 2007) and original sponsor of the EEE Initiative.’ Also known as the 3E Initiative.

Was on the platform Committee Liberal Party Canada which was co-chaired by Bob Rae and Scott Brison.

Read both articles for more information.


Follow-up on the NA Wind Power article.

The Tyee, Jan.20, 2009

‘In Canada, A Push for Obama -Style Green Stimulus’

“The Green Economy Action Fund”, spearheaded by Tzeporah Berman.

Greenpeace again.


Parliament of Canada
Edited Hansard Number 101
Thursday, February 1, 2007
House of Commons Debates
Volume 141, No.101, 1st Session, 39th Parliament

Government Orders-The Environment

Opposition Motion-The Environment
Hon.Stephane Dion
Mentions Steven Guilbeault, Greenpeace Quebec

Compare Dion’s remarks to Parliament then and what his position is now.

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