Posts Tagged ‘green jobs Ontario’

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?

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.


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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News release from today.

 February 13, 2012, Toronto:

Wind Concerns Ontario announces Golden Pinwheel Awards for the wind power industry

Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of more than 50 community groups concerned about the effects of industrial wind power plants throughout the province, has announced its first annual Golden Pinwheel Awards.

“We had a bit of fun with this,” said WCO president Jane Wilson. “But it is a serious business: Wind power is being pushed through Ontario as an answer to a number of problems, but it’s really a giant profit-making scheme for a few individuals and companies. It won’t ever live up to the promises of job creation and power production, and instead will end up costing the people of Ontario millions.”

1.   The “Green Doesn’t Mean Honest” Golden Pinwheel : Bullfrog Power. In September, the clean energy retailer was fined by the Ontario Energy Board for using misleading contracts and marketing practices. 
2.   The “Pie in the Sky” Golden Pinwheel: to Toronto Hydro jointly with Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative for their fantasy claims about the Toronto Exhibition Place wind turbine, which has barely operated above 13% efficiency and has cost investors millions. Maybe to recoup their losses they should charge Dalton McGuinty a fee every time he uses the useless icon for a photo op.


3.   The “Take It for Granted “ Golden Pinwheel: the Ontario Power Authority for insisting it pays for its own advertisements instead of cash-strapped Ontario ratepayers.


4.   The “Best Supporting Role in a Political Debacle” Golden Pinwheel: former Minister of the Environment, John Wilkinson, who ignored his own constitutents as well as other rural Ontario residents who don’t want their communities turned into wind power factories, and was defeated in the October 6th election, helping to create a serious rural/urban division in Ontario.

5. The “I Can’t Hear You-lalalala” Golden Pinwheel: Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty who is ignoring the Auditor-General’s criticism that the province is spending too much on renewable energy schemes, particularly wind, that the claims of 50,000 jobs being created are unsubstantiated, that health problems are being ignored, and that the province embarked on all this without a single cost-benefit study.

For more information, please contact windconcerns@gmail.com and visit http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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Today from Parker Gallant, an explanation of where the money from industrial wind power generation goes. It’s worse than you thought.

Here is the link http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/a-win-win-for-samsung-a-lose-lose-for-ratepayers/#more-31821

and here is the post.

A Win-Win for Samsung. A Lose-Lose for Ratepayers!

Posted on 09/22/2011 by MA

by Parker Gallant
On January 21, 2010 with much fanfare Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal Party issued a press release titled; “Korean Companies Anchor Ontario’s Green Economy”.  The McGuinty press conference to announce this event; labelled as the biggest wind and solar deal in the world was held at the TSX and he stated;

“Thanks to today’s announcement, we will be delivering more green energy for Ontarians to use — and more green energy products for North America to buy. With this step, Ontario is becoming the place to be for green energy manufacturing in North America.” .

The promise was it would create 16,000 jobs and a $7 billion investment. The investment amount has never been questioned, however what the press failed to report was the cost to Ontario’s ratepayers over the 20 years the contract for the 2,000 MW of wind and 500 MW of solar generation would be. It is over $20 billion that Samsung will be paid!

The PC party recently said this deal would cost each family in Ontario $732. per year. They don’t disclose how they came up with that value however, my calculations say that it will cost every ratepayer $119. per annum or $2,380 over the 20 years of the contract. My calculations are based on the delivery of approximately 4.7 million MWh (27% of rated capacity) of wind per annum at $135. per MWh and approximately 650 thousand MWh of solar (15% of rated capacity) at $443. per MWh less the current average cost of electricity of 7.3 cents per kWh.

It is also based on 4.5 million ratepayers. The McGuinty press release said Samsung’s 2,500 MW of renewable generation would be enough to power 580,000 homes. Missing in the press release was any reference to needing 2200 MW of new gas generation to back up Samsung’s wind and solar generation and paying the gas generators whether the wind was blowing or the sun was shining. That would add another $220 million each year (gas generators are paid approximately $100,000 per MW to sit idle) to the costs, and burden the ratepayers with another $50 per annum or an additional $1,000 over the 20 years.

Not included was the massive costs paid to deliver this power to our neighbours in Michigan, Quebec, New York and elsewhere as most of it will be delivered in the middle of the night or in the Spring and Fall when demand is low. My estimate also doesn’t include additional transmission costs (estimated at 4/5 cents per kWh) which will appear on the delivery lines of our hydro bills.

Now if the 16,000 jobs actually happened each of those jobs would be subsidized by the ratepayers at approximately $48,000 each. The math is simple; 4.5 million ratepayers pay $169 each to create those jobs and that amount is divided by the 16,000 jobs. But is that really going to happen?

Fast forward to August 30, 2011 and Samsung issued a press release on a website they called; www.cleanjobstoday.ca. Cute, eh-if its clean it must be good! Samsung’s press release was issued only days before the election writ was dropped and carried this message; “The company remains committed to fulfilling the terms of its Agreement and as a global, neutral company, has no interest in entering into a political debate.” It seems to me that they have in fact entered into a political debate, simply by issuing the press release knowing full well the election writ would be issued a week later. It is a fact that Samsung didn’t bother to register with the Ontario Lobbyist Registry until June 13, 2011 but perhaps they felt it wasn’t necessary as, from all outward appearances, it was our former Minister of Energy, George Smitherman that approached them.

Putting the foregoing aside however, it is interesting that the press release reports on the actual number of jobs that Samsung will create. The following “FACT” is taken directly from the foregoing press release;

“FACT: Samsung’s Agreement will see the creation of four new manufacturing facilities to produce state-of-the-art wind turbines and solar panels for its projects in Ontario, and for export around the world. Three of the facilities are now under construction and as a result, 600 people are at work today. 1,800 people will ultimately have jobs because of Samsung’s manufacturing commitment.”

So ultimately 1,800 people will have jobs, not the 16,000 promised by McGuinty back on that winter’s day in January 2010. This certainly ramps up the subsidy per job by a considerable margin and according to my calculation is an annual subsidy per job of $297,000.

The average cost of power delivered to the grid by Samsung will be 17.25 cents per kWh versus our current average TOU price of 7.3 cents per kWh. This is 135% more then we pay today. Samsung will generate a minimum of $927 million per annum meaning, on a cash flow basis, their $7 billion investment will be recouped in less then 7 1/2 years. The $927 million doesn’t include; cost of living increases in the contract (up to 20% to the cost of wind generated electricity), or the recently reduced “adder” of the (present valued) $110 million which will reduce that payback period.

Samsung’s press release also marginally overstates their anticipated production, forecasting they will provide power for 600,000 homes when all 2,500 MW are up and running. This is 20,000 more homes then the McGuinty press release stated but perhaps Samsung are confident that many Ontario families will be energy poor in the future thereby reducing our current annual average consumption to a lower level.
The final sentence in this press release will be sure to win the hearts and minds of all ratepayers and taxpayers in Ontario as it sums up by saying; “This is a win-win for Ontario’s taxpayers and hydro ratepayers alike. Samsung looks forward to continuing to partner with Ontario to create jobs in the production of clean energy for generations to come.”

In my opinion and from my humble perspective as a ratepayer and taxpayer I have some trouble in buying into this homily, however I’m sure there are plenty of McGuinty supporters like Dr. Suzuki, Rick Smith of Environmental Defence and John Bennett of the Sierra Club that see this as a happy event and are pleased with this wealth transfer to the Korean giant, Samsung.

Parker Gallant,
September 22, 2011


E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

For more information on Dirty Business: the reality of Ontario’s rush to wind power, for which Parker Gallant was Contributing Editor, go to http://dirtybusinessbook.wordpress.com

And, visit http://www.windconcernsontario.org for news through the day



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A picture is worth 1,000 words, and here’s one for you: this is from the village of Shelburne, Ontario, taken August 26th, as a SINGLE turbine rotor blade is hauled along Shelburne’s main street.

The picture shows the size of these structures; take note too of the “green job”…the pilot car is from Texas.



E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

And please donate to help us get the message out. Our September event will be rescheduled due to the announcement that the leaders’ TV debate will now take place on the 26th.

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This is an editorial from the August 13th edition of The National Post. Wind doesn’t work. And, it’s taking Ontario farther down the path to total failure (did you know that Ontario’s current debt stands at more than $230 BILLION?)

Here is the post:

National Post editorial board: Ontario’s green dreams

  Aug 13, 2011 – 10:41 AM ET | Last Updated: Aug 12, 2011 4:45 PM ET

On Thursday, the European Union filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization claiming that the huge subsidies Ontario is offering developers of alternate energy violate international trade rules. If the EU complaint is upheld, Ontario will have to abandon its Green Energy Act of 2009 — since green energy isn’t economically feasible on a large scale without some form of government subsidy, either in Ontario or anywhere else. By that time, the plan will have cost Ontario taxpayers and consumers billions of dollars.

Over the last 12 months, the Ontario Liberals already have had to abandon plans to build huge wind-power turbine farms in the Great Lakes, cancel construction of a natural gas-fired power plant in Oakville, and admit there is no practical way to connect to the provincial power grid all the solar panels they encouraged farmers and landowners to erect. That means the tens of millions of dollars they spent subsidizing the building of solar collectors was wasted — as were the tens of millions that private landowners invested with the promise of energy income when the government’s scheme was realized. (On Thursday, it was reported that Silfab Ontario, a solar-panel maker that’s just a few months old, already has a huge backlog of unbought panels and may have to lay off workers.)

Ironically, the Europeans have been as guilty of magical thinking on green energy as Ontarians — maybe more so. Notwithstanding their WTO complaint, the EU has supplied its own subsidies to wind, solar and bio fuel. However, their budgets ran out before Ontario’s did. So, at least in part, their complaint to the WTO is an attempt to beggar Ontario in the same way that their decades of free spending have already beggared them.

In responding to the EU challenge, Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid insisted it was a sign of the Europeans’ envy. The EU, we are told, sees “the thousands of jobs being created here and the billions of dollars of investment flowing into Ontario.” But if such a fantasy were truly unfolding, then the industry would need no subsidies — and there wouldn’t be any EU complaint.

As Stéphane Dion showed us at the federal level, green dreams die hard. Mr. Duguid may realize the same lesson when the province’s election comes on October 6.

National Post


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News release from the Government of Ontario today:

June 21, 2011

McGuinty Government Builds Clean Energy Economy As Province Continues To Turn The Corner

Ontario’s shift toward clean, renewable energy is strengthening the province’s economy by attracting good jobs, investment and opportunities for Burlington-area families.

Siemens Canada recently made its first shipment of solar inverters for Ontario’s growing clean energy economy to two solar farms. The inverters manufactured at the company’s Burlington facility each year will enable solar projects in Ontario to produce enough electricity each year to power 32,000 homes. The company is on its way to creating 50 jobs as a result of this clean energy strategy.

Ontario is replacing dirty, coal-fired plants with cleaner sources of renewable energy like water, wind, solar and bio-energy. It’s part of the province’s plan to keep costs down for families today, while building a clean, modern and reliable electricity system for tomorrow.

Ontario’s Green Energy Act will create 50,000 clean energy jobs by the end of 2012. Over 13,000 jobs have already been created as a result of our plan.


“Ontario’s clean energy economy continues to grow, creating thousands of good jobs and attracting billions of dollars of investment for Ontarians. Our Long-Term Energy Plan is replacing dirty coal, while cleaning up the air we breathe and building a healthier future for generations to come.”

 – Brad Duguid
Minister of Energy


Here is retired banker Parker Gallant’s critical review of the numbers. A very different story!

OK! Now let me get this straight, according to Duguid:

“The inverters manufactured at the company’s Burlington facility each year will enable solar projects in Ontario to produce enough electricity each year to power 32,000 homes. The company is on its way to creating 50 jobs as a result of this clean energy strategy.” According to standard consumption used by Duguid and the utility companies, the “average” consumer uses 800 kWh per months or 9.6 mWh per year. So, 32,000 homes would require a 35-MW electricity generating unit running at 100% capacity to produce the 300,000 mWh (35 X 8740 hours in a year) those households need. As solar only delivers approximately 13 % of its rated capacity, we would need 369 MWs of solar capacityto power those 32,000 households. The solar generators would earn an average (ground mounted 64.2 per kwh & roof mounted 80.2 per kwh = 144.4 cents / 2 = 72.2 cents) of $722 per MWh creating revenue of $216-million versus current average billing to consumers of about $80 per MWh which would represent a cost of $24-million.

So the subsidy to create the 50 jobs that Duguid claims is $192-million  ($216 -million less $24-million of current cost = $192-million) or $3.8million per job. Now that makes a lot of sense eh?


Our question: if you “continue to turn the corner” at some point aren’t you going in circles?

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Remember the showing of Windfall this Sunday at the Alfred Taylor Centre in North Gower, 2 PM> $5 admission, limited seating.

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