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Posts Tagged ‘electricity rates Ontario’

Here is the latest from retired investment banker Parker Gallant, on the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association and its upcoming event…all paid for by Ontario taxpayers and electricity ratepayers. They are concerned that backlash against “green” energy projects and Ontario’s Feed In Tariff program might mean an end to the gravy train.

Here is the article, originally posted on the Wind Concerns Ontario website.

OSEA’s mini FIT

Posted on 11/12/2011 by MA

by Parker Gallant
The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association’s Executive Director, Kristopher Stevens on Monday morning will launch OSEA’s 3rd Annual Community Power Conference and glancing at the program one can detect a sense of concern. This is reflected in Steven’s message in the programme brochure which contains this reflective bon mot; “The green energy sector in Ontario has been threatened by uncertainty in recent months due to the provincial election and the highly anticipated Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) review. Developers, manufactures, government and investors are concerned about what may happen to the industry, their projects and businesses. Residents and communities are concerned whether clean air and water, newfound well paying jobs, local project ownership and hope, will be yanked from underneath them.  Ontario’s green energy sector is entering its next phase and it is yet unknown what this new chapter will look like and how industry participants and communities will operate in the new climate.”

There is lots in this claim by Stevens to take issue with, particular with the claim about the “residents and communities” concerns. How a change in the FIT program would affect our air or water or those reputed “well paying jobs and hope” is an incredible stretch of imagination on his behalf. Those “residents and communities” are concerned that their quickly growing electricity bills will drive them into energy poverty in order to support the visions expounded on by Stevens and his groupies.

It is noteworthy that some of the Conference’s previous sponsors have not reappeared this year however we can still find many taxpayer or ratepayer funded institutions that are front and centre as well as those institutions and companies benefiting from the Green Energy Act. Among the sponsors one finds, the Ontario Power Authority, the City of Toronto, York University, CMHC, the Community Power Fund, TREC (Exhibition wind turbine and recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the taxpayer owned Toronto Atmospheric Fund ), the World Wind Energy Association (who awarded former Energy Minister, George Smitherman with the “World Wind Energy” award in 2009) and Toronto Hydro. In the latter case we find this testimonal from Joyce McLean, Director, Strategic Issues on the Conference site: “As one of the early supporters of community power in Canada through our relationship with TREC/WindShare, Toronto Hydro appreciates the enthusiasm and energy needed to grow the community power sector in Ontario. We support OSEA’s efforts in leading the way.” Ms. McLean spent time with Greenpeace, as Chairperson and Director of CanWEA and was the founding Chair of the Community Power Fund (which dispenses grants provided by the OPA and paid for by ratepayers-they recently granted OSEA $125,000).

The “Keynote” sponsor of this conference is listed as the Ontario Power Authority and Colin Andersen, the CEO, is down as a “Keynote speaker” along with the newly appointed Minister of Energy, Chris Bentley. The ratepayer ultimately pays for the privilege of putting Mr. Andersen in this position as the sponsorship is part of the OPA’s budget.

The taxpayer is also paying for the sponsorship of CMHC and YorkUniversity, the latter a hotbed of environmentalists with a Faculty of Environmental Studies that numbers 41 Professors, Assistants and Associate Professors. Graduates of York include Kristopher Stevens and Brent Kopperson both of whom claim involvement in the creation of the Green Energy Act (Act). Kopperson is listed as a presenter/speaker at the conference as is Marion Fraser, yet another who also jointly claims responsibility for the Act’s creation. These speakers and more then half of the others scheduled as presenters/speakers are dependent on the largesse of the ratepayers and taxpayers of this province to ensure they maintain their jobs. Those jobs are designed to raise the price of electricity by pushing wind and solar generation.

The Conference program devotes most of the first day to pontificating on the election results and the potential impact on sustainable energy as well as the upcoming review of the FIT program.

The following excerpt from the program is an indication of the hand wringing going on; “ Election uncertainty has left champions of conservation and renewable energy, community and commercial developers, manufacturers, suppliers and investors wondering what’s next for Ontario?”

Looking at this from the perspective of a ratepayer; the “champions” in this session may now know what the 4.5 million ratepayers in the province have been going through since the Act was passed.

Who was our champion while the Conference attendees were using taxpayer and ratepayer funds to push their agenda forward while IWTs were springing up throughout the province damaging our health, killing wildlife and causing our electricity rates to jump by over 100%?

Perhaps it is now the ratepayers who have some hope, hope that the insanity of the Act will be discovered for what it is.

Parker Gallant,
November 11, 2011

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind

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NORTH GOWER WIND ACTION GROUP INC.

northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

NEWS RELEASE

Citizens’ group queries election candidates on wind project

OTTAWA, August 23, 2010 

For immediate release— A local citizens’ group, representing hundreds of families in the Kars, North Gower and Richmond areas of Ottawa, has sent a backgrounder and questionnaire to candidates for the upcoming municipal elections in Ottawa, asking for their views on industrial wind turbine projects and on the loss of municipalities’ ability to plan for such projects to protect citizens’ health and property values.

“This is a complex issue that is important to all of Ottawa,” says North Gower Wind Action Group Chair Gary Chandler. “Local residents are concerned about the proposal for the 190-meter or 50-storey high industrial structures in our community because they will be close to many homes and our school, and because of reported health effects elsewhere in Ontario, and around the world. There is absolutely no need to put these things on top of people in this province.”

The larger issue, Chandler says, is the fact that wind power is expensive for consumers and cannot deliver on promises to remedy climate change or to replace coal-fired power generation plants in Ontario: “A review done by retired Queens University physics professor Dr John Harrison shows that for the year July 2009 to July 2010, Ontario’s existing wind turbines produced on average just under 300 megawatts a day…a fraction of the energy produced by one nuclear, coal or natural gas plant.”

Wind is inefficient and unreliable, Chandler says, and it isn’t “green” either. “The inputs in terms of construction are significant. The effects on the environment such as noise and vibration, altering the water table, and the possibility of killing birds and other wildlife are worrying,” he says. “People may not be aware, wind turbines use power from fossil fuels to operate. In short, wind power is high-impact with low potential. Industrial-scale turbines have no place inside a community like ours.”

Candidates are being asked for their views on the proposed industrial wind turbine installation in south Ottawa, and whether they would be willing to move Ottawa to take action as more than 40 other Ontario communities have, to ask that municipalities’ planning powers removed under the Green Energy Act be restored.

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For many of us, it’s been exactly a year since we visited the North Gower Wind Action Group’s display in the community booth at the North Gower Farmers’ Market and discovered that the proposed wind turbine development, long rumoured to be “somewhere” west of North Gower, was in fact right smack beside the village boundaries, and close to hundreds of homes in North Gower and south Richmond.

Most of us were completely uninformed about the industrial turbine installation as it was proposed, and about wind energy in general. Who could blame us? The province of Ontario and the corporate wind lobby have devoted huge sums of money and plenty of marketing expertise to promote wind energy as “clean” and “green” and the province’s salvation in terms of job creation and power generation.

Now, a year out, with the reading and listening and learning we have done, we know what is truth, and what isn’t:

-the province’s setbacks are not based on any science whatsoever and are actually political; if setbacks were 1-2 km as they are in Europe, there would be NO industrial wind turbines in southern Ontario. But they have to be, because that’s where the transmission capacity is, and where the power is being used.

-the Green Energy Act, far from being legislation to encourage environmentally-friendly sources of energy production, is a deft move by corporate interests and the Ontario government to completely remove the planning powers of Ontario municipalities where these projects are concerned. Now, in the City of Ottawa, you can object to your neighbour installing a dormer on his house that will affect your property, but your rural neighbour who wants to erect 626-foot industrial wind turbines that will affect you, your health and your property values, can go ahead. (An example more to the point occurred a few years ago when an Island Park resident wanted to put up a small wind turbine in his back yard but was prevented from doing so for “safety” reasons; now, with the Green Energy Act, he could do it without restriction, but says he doesn’t want to upset his neighbours.)

-the corporate wind industry cries “coal is killing people” when scientific studies have shown that not to be true. Pollution in Ontario is due to industry, pollution from industry south of the border, and from cars. People who take ill in Ontario due to smog are made ill because of the heat and other health problems. Not coal. And yes, we should clean up coal: so let’s use the technologies that exist to do that. Same thing for hydro: gear it up.

-wind doesn’t work. Someone described wind industry as being like a car that’s running out of gas just when you need it the most. In fact, wind turbines NEED fossil fuel back up to function.

-job creation is a myth: studies done in Spain, Germany and Denmark show that their economies have suffered because of wind development, and that jobs are merely taken from other sectors. In Ontario, the only jobs created will be connected to manufacturing sites in southern Ontario (a political move to take the place of the defunct auto plants, but which will never employ those numbers of people)…as for construction of wind turbine sites, any local jobs created will be temporary.

-industrial wind turbines do make noise and cause sleep disturbance for some people. This seems particularly true for people living among arrays of multiple turbines. Health studies have shown that noise that disturbs sleep such as from traffic causes health problems; to pretend that the same isn’t true for wind turbines is deceitful. The corporate wind industry, however, can buy medical opinions apparently. But somehow, while they have $250,000 to fight the people of Arran-Elderslie, they don’t want to spend the $100,000 it would take to do a simple sleep study.

-the corporate wind lobby is very rich and very powerful, and protective of the millions they stand to make from Ontario citizens’ subsidies to this non-viable industry. Who says wind doesn’t work? Dragon’s Den’s Kevin O’Leary; the Globe and Mail’s Marget Wente; the National Post’s Terence Corcoran. One estimate is that every Ontario family will pay approximately $1800 in subsidies to the corporate wind industry.

-it’s a myth that Ontario communities and citizens can do nothing. We can empliy a variety of legal means, one of which is helping out the Ian Hanna legal challenge to the Green Energy Act.

A year of being angry in North Gower, a year of fighting for our community against big business interests that do NOT have the environment in mind, and that are focused only on profits.

The fight continues.

To contact the North Gower Wind Action Group, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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