Wynne hydro policy “insane”: editorial

Kathleen Wynne

Billions wasted on deeply flawed energy policy: more disaster to come

Toronto Sun, July 31, 2015

EDITORIAL

To understand the mess Ontario’s Liberal government has made of the hydro file, one only needs to look at how electricity was produced in our province on Wednesday, the hottest day of the year to date.

At 4 p.m., there were 21,863 MW (megawatts) of electricity being generated.

Of that, 10,761 MW, or 49%, was being supplied by nuclear power; 5,296 MW or 24% by hydro and 4,715 MW, or 22%, by natural gas.

As for the “renewable” energy sources on which Premier Kathleen Wynne, and before her Dalton McGuinty have wasted billions of public dollars, according to the Auditor General?

They were generating 4.7% of Ontario’s electricity supply: 925 MW, or 4% for wind; 72 MW, or 0.3% for solar; 94 MW, or 0.4%, for biofuels.

These numbers demonstrate that contrary to what they claim, the Liberals did not eliminate coal use in Ontario, which used to supply 25% of electricity generation, through renewables.

Obviously, you can’t replace 25% of the system with 4.7%.

Rather, the Liberals replaced coal with non-emitting nuclear power and low-emitting natural gas.

Further, there is no environmental benefit from having 4.7% of the system supplied by renewables, in which the only significant contributor is wind at 4%.

That’s because wind has to be constantly backed up by natural gas, since wind is intermittent and cannot deliver base load power to the electricity grid on demand.

Worse, in order to accommodate wind when it’s available, the rest of the system has to be operated less efficiently, including dumping far cheaper sources of power, like hydro, or selling it to Quebec or the U.S, at a loss.

Finally we have to pay wind producers first for their power (under 20-year contracts), even though we don’t need it because Ontario has an energy surplus.

That was caused by the decimation of Ontario’s manufacturing sector due in part to high hydro prices, caused in part by the billions of dollars the Liberals wasted on wind.

And yet Wynne is doubling down on this disaster, bringing more and more wind power online over the furious objections of rural municipalities, that we do not need and which is not doing the environment any good.

Simply put, this is insane public policy. Utterly insane.

Comments

Greg Latiak
Reply

More progress might be made if we disentangled our search for the climate change ‘guilty’ from developing and implementing strategies to deal with changing conditions (to say nothing of under-managed historical problems). The insurance business at least is thinking down these lines, although admittedly investing in wind farms does seem cynical. As long as our transportation policies remain oriented towards private cars, trucks and aviation and opposed to the far more climate friendly rails it almost doesn’t matter how many wind farms they stick up. Here in Ontariowe more emissions come from the cars and trucks driving past than the gas plants backing up the illusion.

Barbara
Reply

The point of this is that Caisse de Depot (Quebec) has about a 1/4 stake in Invenergy which sold the wind farm to Munich Re which is about 11% owned by Warren Buffett

The insurance rate increases are on real property and driven by climate change fears. Property losses due to unproven increased severe weather events. Like sea levels rising 10-20 feet causing flooding?

Barbara
Reply

LESS CARBON, HIGHER PRICES

How California’s Climate Policies Affect Lower-Income Residents

Conclusions, P11

“As the Golden State continues its pursuit of a low-carbon economy, its green-energy policies are driving rising numbers of Californians into energy poverty.”

“In 2012, nearly 1 million households spent more than 10 percent of their income on energy bills.”

http://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/eper_17.pdf

And Wynne signed onto cap-and trade with California.

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