Posts Tagged ‘cost-benefit wind power development’

Direct quotes from the Auditor General for Ontario’s 2011 Annual Report pretty much says it all from an economic perspective  http://business.financialpost.com/2011/12/06/ontarios-renewable-energy-policy-auditor-generals-observations/

As clearly articulated by the Auditor General, the Ontario Liberal Government has exercised no fiscal responsibility, and has demonstrated a complete lack of governance in the implementation of the Green Energy Act. Add this to the now documented health impacts and the economic impact of depressing property values (and therefore the Property Tax base) in affected areas and the conclusion is self-evident.

  • “Because the ministerial directions were quite specific about what was to be done, both the Ministry and the OPA directed their energies to implementing the Minister’s requested actions as quickly as possible. As a result, no comprehensive business-case evaluation was done to objectively evaluate the impacts of the billion-dollar commitment. Such an evaluation would typically include assessing the prospective economic and environmental effects of such a massive investment in renewable energy on future electricity prices, direct and indirect job creation or losses, greenhouse gas emissions, and other variables. “
  • “In May 2009, when the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (Act) was passed, the Ministry said the Act would lead to modest incremental increases in electricity bills of about 1% annually—the result of adding 1,500 MW of renewable energy under a renewable procurement program called the Feed-in Tariff program and implementing conservation initiatives. In November 2010, the Ministry forecast that a typical residential electricity bill would rise about 7.9% annually over the next five years, with 56% of the increase due to investments in renewable energy that would increase the supply to 10,700 MW by 2018, as well as the associated capital investments to connect all the renewable power sources to the electricity transmission grid.”
  • In February 2010, the OPA recommended cutting the FIT price paid for power from microFIT ground-mounted solar projects after the unexpected popularity of these projects at the price of 80.2¢ per kilowatt hour (kWh), the same price as was being paid for rooftop solar projects, became apparent. This price would provide these ground-mounted solar project developers with a 23% to 24% after-tax return on equity instead of the 11% intended by the OPA. The recommended price cut was not implemented until August 2010. In the five months from the time the OPA recommended the price cut in February 2010 to the actual announcement in July 2010, the OPA received more than 11,000 applications from developers. Because the government decided to grandfather the price in order to maintain investor confidence, all of these applications, if approved, would qualify for the higher price rather than the reduced one. We estimated that, had the revised price been implemented when first recommended by the OPA, the cost of the program could have been reduced by about $950 million over the 20-year contract terms.
  • The Ministry negotiated a contract with a consortium of Korean companies to build renewable energy projects. The consortium will receive two additional incentives over the life of the contract if it meets its job-creation targets: a payment of $437 million (reduced to $110 million, as announced by the Ministry in July 2011 after the completion of our audit fieldwork) in addition to the already attractive FIT prices; and priority access to Ontario’s electricity transmission system, whose capacity to connect renewable energy projects is already limited. However, no economic analysis or business case was done to determine whether the agreement with the consortium was economically prudent and cost-effective, and neither the OEB nor the OPA was consulted about the agreement. On September  29, 2009, the ongoing negotiations with the consortium were publicly announced, and Cabinet was briefed on the details of the negotiations and the prospective agreement in October 2009. The formal agreement was signed in January 2010. 
  • Surplus generating capacity is necessary to meet periods of peak demand, which, in Ontario, occur in the summer. Therefore, to ensure system reliability, all jurisdictions will have surplus power from time to time. Ontario deals with surplus-power situations mainly by exporting electricity to other jurisdictions at a price that is lower than the cost of generating that power. Given that demand growth for electricity is expected to remain modest at the same time as more renewable energy is being added to the system, electricity ratepayers may have to pay renewable energy generators under the FIT program between $150 million and $225 million a year not to generate electricity.Recent public announcements stated that the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 was expected to support over 50,000 jobs, about 40,000 of which would be related to renewable energy. However, about 30,000, or 75%, of these jobs were expected to be construction jobs lasting only from one to three years. We also noted that studies in other jurisdictions have shown that for each job created through renewable energy programs, about two to four jobs are often lost in other sectors of the economy because of higher electricity prices.
  • “Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar provide intermittent energy and require backup power from coal- or gas-fired generators to maintain a steady, reliable output. According to the study used by the Ministry and the OPA, 10,000 MW of electricity from wind would require an additional 47% of non-wind power, typically produced by natural-gas-fired generation plants, to ensure continuous supply.”

No one need say more.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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From today’s Enterprise Bulletin, a column by Queen’s Park reporter Christina Blizzard on the McGuinty government’s spending. See the article, here:


The Auditor-General of Ontario made quite a few points about this in his report, released late last year including these very serious facts:

1.the Ontario government rushed into renewable energy without ever doing any “comprehensive business-case evaluation” of the impacts of a billion dollar commitment

2.the government said the Green Energy Act would lead to “modest incremental increases in electricity bills”–the fact is, there will be an increase of more than 56% (actually, when this is done, it will be more like 140%)

3.the Ontario Power Authority’s long-term plan has not been approved by the Ontario Energy Board, and in fact development of the plan was suspended

4.other jurisdictions have much lower feed-in tariff rates than Ontario

5. job creation from renewable energy has been verstated and the jobs will be 75% short-term construction jobs. In fact, job LOSSES have been documented in Germany, Spain and the U.K., as many as FOUR per “green” job, due to higher energy costs

6.renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are intermittent and will require back-up from fossil-fuel power generation. This will require natural gas-fired generation plants.

The A-G’s report is available here:http://www.theenterprisebulletin.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3428102

Every person in Ontario should be furious about this, and especially those communities that are being threatened by wind power projects which will alter our quality of life forever.

Wind: you’re paying for it. Demand a say. Write to

Chris Bentley, Minister of Energy at cbentley.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Other MPP addresses can be found at http://www.windconcernsontario.net under Addresses. PC energy critic is Vic Fedeli.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind

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One of the myths about industrial wind power generation here in Ontario is that it will “help” the family farm. That, of course, is nonsense: it’s Ontario’s policies on agriculture and its insistence on cheap food that have got the farm in trouble and has resulted in situations where Ontario’s pork producers over the last few years have been getting prices as low as were prevalent in the 1960s for their product. And, Ontario, over the course of several governments, has seen fit to centralize agriculture, opting to encourage giant industrial farms and processors, instead of local farms, abbatoirs and cheese producers to name a few. (More on that in Thomas Pawlick’s book, The War in the Country.)

Anyway, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s new president (we understand there was a bit of a story behind his election as opposed to another candidate) recently released a statement on the OFA website, underscoring the Federation’s support for industrial-scale wind power development. His comments indicate a blind trust in what the wind power consortium is doing and still doing the rah-rah for wind and the Ontario farmer.

The comments, however, are most interesting. Note the comment from Kerwood-area farmer Dan Wrightman, who has a chapter on this subject in the book Dirty Business, the reality of Ontario’s rush to wind power.

We fail to see how paying Ontario farmers $4,000 to $10,000 per turbine a year (in the turbine hot area of Chatham-Kent-Essex, the rents are going over $20,000 per year) to lose almost total control over the rights to your land is worth encouraging when the wind developers are getting half a million or more per turbine per year.

Visit the OFA website here: http://www.ofa.on.ca/media/news/Improving-the-green-energy-fit

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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In today’s news in the U.K.,

MP calls for ‘real green energy plan’ and slams ‘simplistic’ wind farm proposals

WIND farm proposals for a site near Sturton-le-Steeple have been slammed by Bassetlaw’s MP as the firm behind them looks to take the next step in its scheme.

EDF Energy Renewables Ltd is seeking planning permission for a 70m-high meteorological mast at land north of Sturton High House Farm.

If approved, the mast would gather information on wind speeds and weather conditions for an environmental impact assessment (EIA), in preparation for a planning application for a wind farm.

A “scoping study” by the company has already suggested 10 turbines, each capable of generating two megawatts, to be located south of South Wheatley and between Clarborough and Sturton-le-Steeple.


This week, Bassetlaw MP John Mann said the district was in danger of being ‘overwhelmed’ by wind farms, which would have ‘minimal impact’ on energy needs.

He said: “A real green energy plan for Bassetlaw would involve installing solar panels and ground source heating throughout Bassetlaw’s housing and civic building stock which would provide free energy for tenants and they should be giving planning priority only to new build properties that use sustainable energy.

“Considering the coal heritage and three major power stations in the area, Bassetlaw people should reject this simplistic imposition of wind turbines and insist on a real green energy policy that starts with every A1 bungalow getting free installation of green energy with the huge benefit of cheaper bills.”

A spokesman for EDF Energy Renewables defended the company’s plans for a wind farm in the area, adding that the UK needed such projects to meet renewable energy targets.

“EDF Energy Renewables is committed to developing new low carbon electricity generating capacity, to help met the UK’s tough targets for tackling climate change and we believe this is a suitable site,” he said.

“Meeting those targets requires significant investment in all low carbon technologies, energy efficiency measures and de-carbonising the country’s transport system. It will require a wide range of projects of differing scales to achieve.”

As reported last month, EDF’s proposal is one of three possible wind farms on the cards for land around Retford.

It joins plans by the Environment Agency for six 2.5 megawatt turbines on land between Saundby and Gainsborough, and an appeal by ProWind against Bassetlaw Council‘s refusal of permission for a further 12 turbines in the Cottam area.



A “real energy plan” the MP says, would focus on small-scale initiatives, not “simplistic” wind turbine projects that benefit only the corporate wind developer.

The realization that wind just won’t do the job is spreading.


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