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Posts Tagged ‘Green Energy Act’

July 12

MPP Pierre Poilievre and MP Lisa MacLeod of Nepean-Carleton announced their demand for a moratorium on the proposed Marlborough wind project, planned for the North Gower-Richmond area of the City of Ottawa, at a joint news conference held in North Gower this morning.

In a quiet cul-de-sac in the Meadowbrook neighbourhood MacLeod and Poilievre noted that the power project is completely incompatible with the community.

Poilievre cited statistics on the noise that could be produced by the gigantic and powerful turbines and told the dozens of community members who gathered on the hot weekday morning that the recently announced Health Canada study on health effects and wind turbine noise will provide valuable information to help people from becoming ill due to the environmental noise produced by the machines.

Lisa MacLeod spoke of how she has supported the community in its opposition to the project for years and called on the Ontario government to halt development of wind power facilities until proper regulations for safety can be established.

Both the MP and MPP are among the first elected representatives to call for the moratorium.

North Gower Wind Action Group Chair and Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson said that the fact that Health Canada has recognized and acknowledge the health problems associated with large-scale wind turbines means that the federal government at least is listening to the concerns of citizens. She too called on the Ontario government to stop issuing approvals for wind projects and to help the people already affected. “This is not our Ontario, when people are not being heard.”

email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

or Wind Concerns Ontario at windconcerns@gmail.com

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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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In the current issue of Rural Voice, publication of the National Farm Union of Canada, is a column by Ontario resident Robert Budd.

Right off, he puts the boots to the notion that we must bring in wind power because people are dying from coal. In Ontario right now, less than 3 % of our power is produced from coal-fired power generation … and we’re only using coal because we need to keep the plants on in case of a high peak of demand. Mr Budd notes that Denmark uses far more coal to create power, and comments, “If people are dying in Ontario from 4 percent coal use, it’s a wonder the Danes aren’t extinct…”

Indeed.

If only these arguments were just silly, and not a horrendous excuse for industrializing communites, wrecking scenic vistas in a thoroughly beautiful province, crushing property values and actually making people ill.

Read Mr Budd’s column here … and be inspired to write something yourself!

http://freewco.blogspot.ca/2012/06/why-green-energy-doesnt-always-make.html?showComment=1339189964480

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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If you follow this blog regularly you know we’ve reported this in the past: that lawyers predicted once people have gone through the frustrating and obstructive review and approval process to try to object to wind power generation projects in Ontario, they will begin to take legal action.

And, we noted that it had already started.

Now, property owners near Collingwood, Ontario are taking action against WPD and two landowners leasing land for turbines, according to this report : http://www.theenterprisebulletin.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3537118

There are so many landowners–and businesses–involved that at the moment, the claim has reached $17 million.

An interesting point here is that the wind power development will affect the Collingwood airport operations. Collingwood is an important local airport. But does the Ontario government care? Nope: wind power development trumps everything, including people’s homes, their property value, their health, and the success of Ontario businesses.

A lot of people are watching this one and they may not wait for a conclusion; it just makes sense to take whatever steps you have to to protect your interests.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind

Visit Wind Concerns Ontario at http://www.windconcernsontario.ca for news through the day, and resources.

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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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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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