Wind power continues to affect Ontario electricity bills

Eulogy for the wind power industry is premature … unfortunately.

Wind turbines near SS Marie (National Post photo)
Wind turbines near SS Marie (National Post photo)

December 15, 2016

Parker Gallant in today’s Financial Post

The Day Ontario’s wind tyranny ends, there will be dancing in the streets

The editor of the magazine North American Windpower, recently marked the demise of Ontario’s wind industry. His article was titled “Eulogizing Ontario’s Wind Industry.” Apparently the eulogy was a result of Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault’s announcement of Sept. 27 that he was “suspending” the acquisition of 1,000 MW (megawatts) of renewable energy under the previously announced LRP ll (Large Renewable Procurement).

Thibeault explained that “IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) had advised that Ontario had a robust supply of electricity over the coming decade to meet projected demand.” Thibeault didn’t express surprise at this sudden turn of events or explain what led to the realization. To put some context around the suspension, only a few months earlier former Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli had issued the directive to acquire the 1,000 MW that Thibeault shortly after “suspended.”

The Windpower article opens with: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to pay our respects to Ontario’s utility-scale wind industry, which has passed away from unnatural causes (a lack of government support).”

If Ontario’s wind industry had truly passed away, the celebrations among hundreds of thousands of Ontario ratepayers would have rivaled the scale of celebrations exhibited in Florida by Cuban exiles after hearing that Castro died. As it is, Ontarians are hardly celebrating. We will be forced to live with and among industrial wind turbines for at least the next 20 years. The “government support” alluded to in the eulogy isn’t dead. It continues to get pulled from the pockets of all Ontario ratepayers and has caused undue suffering.

The wind industry rushed to Ontario to enjoy the largesse of government support via a government program that granted above-market payments for intermittent and unreliable power. Industrial wind turbines have so driven up electricity prices that Ontario now suffers the highest residential rates in Canada and the fastest growing rates in North America. The Ontario Association of Food Banks in its recent 2016 “Hunger Report” noted: “Since 2006, hydro rates have increased at a rate of 3.5 times inflation for peak hours, and at a rate of eight times inflation for off-peak hours. Households across Ontario are finding it hard to keep up with these expenses, as exemplified by the $172.5 million in outstanding hydro bills, or the 60,000 homes that were disconnected last year for failing to pay.”

Beyond that, the cost of energy affects businesses and, as noted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, “fuel, energy costs” ranks for their Ontario members as the second-highest “major cost constraint” behind “tax, regulatory costs.”

Until the day we actually see Ontario electricity consumers dancing in the streets one day, the eulogy for this province’s wind-power tyranny is unfortunately premature.

Parker Gallant is a former bank executive who looked at his power bill and didn’t like what he saw.

Comments

Sommer
Reply

The people who are being harmed will celebrate when the turbines near and in some cases surrounding their homes and neighbourhoods are turned off.

Bert
Reply

The only way to save Ontario from economic suicide, by wind turbines, is to elect a “Trump” in the next election.
We are sick of Wynne. We need elect someone to undo the damage that Wynne and her accomplices have done.

notinduttondunwich
Reply

Hell Ya Bert!!!!!.. I’d rather see someone with no political experience and some business sense than what we have now…..which is NO political sense and NO business sense…. which is called Liberal leadersh#t!!!!

Barbara
Reply

If and when energy storage costs are added, then Hydro bills will really increase.

Bert
Reply

The wind industry has a big problem. Wind energy is intermittent and out of sync with demand. Storage is not clean! Storage of this intermittent out of sync energy will drive the already sky- high electricity prices up even more.
The liberal morons try to make us believe that adding storage costs to wind energy makes it cheaper.
Who gets the contracts?

notinduttondunwich
Reply

No Bert it’s not who it’s HOW MUCH $$$$$!! Let’s hope they do some cost analysis this time… highly unlikely…..

Barbara
Reply

Flooding issues with flywheel installations might be factors depending on their location.

Ice might be a factor with underwater energy storage.

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