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Posts Tagged ‘Dalton McGuinty’

Health Canada announced a study into the possible links between the noise and infrasound (the wind industry has denied that there are any links, and that infrasound even exists) and health effects, saying there is a “knowledge gap” and a lack of scientific evidence to drive policy.

And, in other news, Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre announced an open letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, asking for a moratorium on the North Gower-Richmond wind power project, due to concerns about health and property values.

This is a good forward step, and encouraging that the federal government has recognized the existence of the complaints from people already living with turbines, recognized the role of both environmental noise and infrasound, and recognized that there is a lack of solid clinical research. (The Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario report was simply a literature review, and it too, said there was a need for more research, particularly related to the issue of noise.)

Comments are invited over the next 60 days at

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/consult/_2012/wind_turbine-eoliennes/index-eng.php

The study design will be key: WHERE will the studies be conducted (the turbines in Alberta are not the same as what has been shoehorned into Ontario) and WHEN (some periods of the year are windier and therefore less noisy than others. Other questions exist too, but we are not epidemiologists.
Nepean-Carleton residents may wish to send a comment to Mr Poilievre as he offers support to local residents, concerned about the potential effects on our community.
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A recent tongue-in-cheek article by someone with the pen name “Ben Dover” puts forward the idea that maybe, since Toronto is already noisy and people are up all night, industrial-scale wind turbines should be put in key positions right in downtown Toronto. It’s where the power is needed anyway. No expensive transmission lines!

The interesting thing is the use of photos; when done like this the pictures look like the turbines are crazy big … which of course, they are. Here is an excerpt of the article…no idea of the source, which is not something we normally do, but this brings up a number of points. And shows that the demonstration turbine at Exhibition Place is really just a (non-functioning) toy.

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New South Wales in Australia is being blanketed by industrial wind turbines, in spite of health concerns, rising electricity costs and even a full Senate inquiry into wind power generation.

The effects have been devastating. Here is an interview with sheep farmer Anne Gardner, whose home is a shocking 90 meters from a wind turbine and whose farms is near a wind power generation project, on what has happened to her. She farms sheep for wool and had produced a quality of wool among the best in the world.

The disgust and anger is apparent in the interviewer’s voice as he concludes, we hope that the people will win out eventually.

Our view: legal action is the only resort left to us, when we are fighting the combination of big business and our own government.

Take a few moments to listen to the radio broadcast here: http://www.2gb.com/index2.php?option=com_newsmanager&task=view&id=12922#.T8Q_ITCNCMQ.facebook

If you have a few more minutes, check out this TV news interview, also from Australia: every single point to be made about wind power generation and its effects is in this interview. http://www.todaytonightadelaide.com.au/?page=Story&StoryID=1394

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

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Excellent article by Justin Sadler in yesterday’s Ottawa Sun. Mr Sadler quite rightly reviews comments by the Auditor General on the issue of Ontario’s renewable energy policy–there was never a business case made for the policy, no estimates of whether wind power would ever accomplish what was promised for it, and that claims of job creation are just not true.

Read the article here, and then vote in the poll if it remains open.

http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/05/26/turbine-tussle-whips-up

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Donations toward our work and information packages for government at all levels, gratefully accepted

PO Box 3, North Gower ON   K0A 2T0

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An interview with Premier Dalton McGuinty was published in The Belleville Intelligencer. In it, the premier states that he doesn’t want “the headaches” associated with wind power generation projects going into communities that don’t want them.

The article is here: http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3533375

This represents a substantial change from the Premier’s words in 2009 when he said one of the purposes of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act was to prevent “NIMBY” communities and citizens from blocking wonderful green energy projects.

Hmm.

Could it be that the Premier is looking for a way out of this disastrous policy, that even Ontario’s own Auditor general has said was embarked upon without proper study or cost-benefit analysis? That analyst after analyst is saying will bankrupt the province? And maybe, with the contracts in place or in process, he’s pretty close to his goal anyway?

It’s not like communities across Ontario haven’t spoken up with their objection to being steamrolled by big wind companies and the provincial government. Dozens have passed bylaws and motions and resolutions, they’ve written to the Premier, held demonstrations and more…it all fell on deaf ears.

Let’s hope the Premier is genuine and that now, what communities want–what the PEOPLE want–will really count for something.

In the meantime, e-mail your elected municipal representative and tell him/her what your wishes are. In North Gower/Richmond that is Mr Scott Moffatt, at scott.moffatt@ottawa.ca

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind

Follow Wind Concerns Ontario on Twitter at windconcernsONT and on Facebook, website http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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Here from a recent edition of Ontario Farmer:

Dear Editor:

It was good to see Sylvia and John Wiggins suing the landowner over wind turbines. [The Wiggins are suing for over a million dollars in lost property value for their home and equestrian operation in the Clearview area, which will be next to three wind turbines.] My wife and I intend on doing the same if they are successful. These greedy landowners, with multiple land parcels, sign up for turbines but never near their own residences. These people are not really neighbours, nor friends.

Our property and residence will be devalued and our health and wellbeing may be plagued with endless ill effects. We were here first and should not have to be subject to this folly. If the Wiggins’ lawsuit succeeds, it will open the floodgates to a huge number of lawsuits.

These inefficient and not-needed turbines are an example of Toronto politicians running roughshod over rural Ontario. McGuinty has put us deeper in debt and has done more damage to rural Ontario than any other premier.

…Europe is currently stopping and/or cutting back on all wind and solar projects as they have proven to be uneconomical, unreliable, inefficient and too expensive, not at all what they were originally supposed to do.

Ray and Louise Brown, Mitchell’s Bay

Email us at northgowerwindactionactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Professional engineer Bruce Sharp has written an excellent summary of the wind power situation in Ontario, which appeared in the April 5th Financial Post. Well worth a read, Mr Sharp neatly summarizes the government’s green energy program as it has been executed and concludes that the cost to taxpayers is overwhelming.

Here is the story:

Power bill cover-up

Ontarians will pay $319 more per year for green energy soon — despite government denials

By Bruce Sharp

The Ontario green-energy ship is taking on water and yet one would never know it from how the captain is talking. On March 22, the provincial government announced the results of its highly anticipated feed-in tariff (FIT) review and the message from the bridge was “Everything’s fine … stay the course.”

In supporting this message, the current captain/Minister of Energy Chris Bentley made reference to how green energy accounts for only about 5% of the increase in electricity bills. The problem with such a statement is it begs many questions, including 5% of what, and over what period?
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A recent electricity price-increase forecast for 2012-16, filed with the Ontario Energy Board, helpfully provides answers, with wind and solar energy forecast to directly add $3.05-billion to annual provincial energy bills. Furthermore, if one makes conservative estimates for the costs required to integrate wind and solar, the added annual cost rises another $850-million. So, the additional annual cost for wind and solar will reach $3.9-billion by 2016, resulting in a residential bill increase of 3.17¢ per kilowatt hour or an annual $319 per household by 2016. In contrast to the current captain’s recent statement, this represents 54% of the total increase expected for 2012-16.

This number is a lot higher than 5%, so how did we get here?

The ship’s first captain — who long ago left the ship — allowed an external and somewhat self-interested group to craft the legislation that set Ontario electricity on a course for dangerous waters. At the time, the captain assured everyone that the Green Energy and Economy Act would increase bills by only 1% per year, while acknowledging that unit prices would rise significantly, so the only way for consumers to limit their increase would be to conserve. The problem is that in a business such as electricity, where most of the costs are fixed, uniformly reducing consumption leads to higher unit rates and largely unchanged bills. The only hope for conservers is that no one else will conserve and that they will be in the small minority.

Past and current captains alike have and continue to pull out a number of other life rafts that are full of holes. Here’s a few:

Renewables Replace Coal The Retire Coal movement started in the run-up to the 2003 election, when the Liberals matched the New Democrat Party’s promise to phase out Ontario’s coal-fired generating plants. To deal with this loss, the Ontario Power Authority procured over 7,000 megawatts of new, natural gas-fired generation, most of which is now in service. The Renewables Replace Coal argument has come up belatedly, as a way of justifying the runaway development of green energy, the associated gold rush and approaching high bill increases. Too bad wind and solar are none of what coal and natural gas are: firm, dispatchable and flexible. So, Ontario’s onslaught of renewable energy could not be coming at a worse time — just as uber-flexible coal is being replaced by flexible-but-less-so natural gas and as renewable energy provides too much power at the wrong times. One ugly result is that Ontario will be paying more and more to generators to not generate.

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Health savings Back in 2005, the Ontario government commissioned a study that claimed that replacing coal would result in annual health savings of $2.6-billion. The preferred option to generate these questionable savings was — you guessed it — natural gas and not renewables. And what made the claimed savings questionable? The study authors incorrectly concluded there was a statistical cause-and-effect relationship between coal-fired generation and respiratory deaths — a fact that hasn’t prevented rampant misuse of the study (see University of Guelph economics professor Ross McKitrick’s work debunking this claim). On the off-chance the research was correct, now that coal-fired generation is down 85% from the study’s reference quantity, one would have expected that in his recent report Don Drummond would have talked about the supposed (pro-rated) annual health savings of $2.2-billion.

Green jobs Any projection that never changes is worthy of suspicion. From the introduction of the Green Energy and Economy Act, it has always been claimed that it will produce 50,000 green jobs. These jobs are largely to come from expensive wind and solar and with their 20-year contract lives, one would hope that these types of generation would then produce the lion’s share of the million person-years (50,000 jobs x 20 years) of employment Ontario should expect to see. Not so, according to studies done in 2011 for Canada’s wind and solar trade associations. Looking at the 2009-28 period, wind is to produce 73,000 person-years of employment while solar is to produce 85,000 person-years. Within these numbers, once the renewable energy gold rush ends around 2018, the combined ongoing employment drops to a measly 2,100 jobs. And before we leave the green-jobs topic, let’s not forget the jobs issue the government never discusses: the other jobs destroyed by high electricity prices.

Income from electricity exports Some see this as a good thing, but the fact that the quantity is growing and the sales are taking place at very low prices are both very negative factors. The increasing export quantity is a sign of excess supply — something that will only get worse over the next few years as Ontario adds huge quantities of wind, solar and other generation. The export sales also take place at prices that represent only pennies on the dollar relative to what was paid for the electricity. The current export price is under 2¢ per kWh and over the next five years is forecast to average under 3¢. So, if Ontario is buying at the respective prices of 13.5 and 44.3¢ per kWh and selling at small fractions of that, an increasing volume will only make matters worse.

In the end, Ontario will have expensive renewables that do not replace coal, do not deliver health savings, may cause a net job loss and that also contribute to a costly supply glut.

Who pays for all of this? Ontario electricity consumers in steerage. The upper decks, including offshore suppliers, far-flung and local project developers and investors, are all making out like bandits … and those setting Ontario’s course seem strangely indifferent to what’s happening on the lower decks.

Financial Post
Bruce Sharp is a professional engineer and 25-year veteran of the Ontario energy ­industry.

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