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The Ontario Federation of Agriculture today announced it is asking the Ontario government to stop industrial wind power generation development. Too many  problems and unresolved issues, the Federation said in a news release, here:

http://www.ofa.on.ca/media/news/OFA-calls-government-suspend-wind-turbine-development-in-Ontario

 

We say, AT LAST!!!!

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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For some, the appointment of new ministers by the McGuinty government, offered a ray of hope that new thoughts might be employed—especially in the Ministry of Energy where the renewable enery initiative has been plagued with criticisms of poor planning, galloping expense, and a complete lack of insight from other jurisdictions. According to the Auditor General for Ontario, there has never been a cost-benefit analysis done for what the McGuinty government plans, especially for the wind power generation business. And as for the environment, the approval process for industrial wind power projects seems to be nothing more than a rubber stamp.

This past week, Minister of the Environment Jim Bradley appeared on CBC Radio’s Ontario Morning. Interviewer Wei Chen tried her best to get some original thoughts out of the Minister, but here is the result.

CBC RADIO: In principle, most Ontarians support the idea of wind turbines for green energy, but that general acceptance often diminishes with their proximity to you. Many who live near wind turbine developments have concerns about the health impact of low level noise they emit. They’re not comforted by the fact that they can’t be closer than 550 metres from their homes, and they’re angry that the Green Energy Act robs their municipalities of a say in where they can be built.

This morning, we’ll address some of these concerns with the Minister of the Environment. Jim Bradley joins us from Toronto. Good morning.

JIM BRADLEY: Good morning.

CBC RADIO: Now, we have heard time and again on our program that the low level noise and vibration associated with wind power is harming the health of people who live near them. What’s your understanding of those negative health effects?

JIM BRADLEY: Well, we don’t — have not seen evidence that that is the case. Scientists have not found any direct link between wind turbine sound and human health, and we’re certainly reliant upon those scientists. See, wind turbines have been in existence — what? — for more than 40 years in Europe and elsewhere, and there have been a number of studies. It has never been scientifically determined by these scientists that turbines have a direct impact on health.

Ontario, as you know, is taking a cautious approach. We have one of the strictest criteria for sound in North America, including the 550 metre minimum setbacks. This limit is consistent with the World Health Organization’s recommendation for the protection of human health. I know even Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has said there’s no direct causal link between wind turbine sound and adverse health effects. That’s the same conclusion drawn by another provincial study done by an independent consultant. Even I think the Chief Medical Officer of Health from Chatham-Kent, whom you had on this program, told your listeners there is no direct* link. That said, we’re always open to new information and we have funded a university chair to do even more research.

CBC RADIO: But that Environmental Review Tribunal that was looking at that wind farm in the Chatham area found that there are negative health impacts from the noise created by the turbines.

JIM BRADLEY: Well, in the same case, the Environmental Review Tribunal recognized that Ontario’s standards for wind turbines’ sound limits are consistent with the — well, with what? — the best available science in this issue and with international approaches. Also in the same decision, the Environmental Review Tribunal upheld the Ministry’s approval of a wind farm, and the wind turbines’ opponents lost that particular case. So all scientific data studied to date indicates there is no direct causal link to health impacts. And as I said, the Ministry will continue to study all emerging technologies and all the health studies as they emerge to ensure our setback and noise limits protect human health and the environment.

CBC RADIO: Why not err on the side of caution, though? Why not rethink even that 550 metre setback? Why not place it a bit further?

JIM BRADLEY: I don’t know whether in any case you would find there’s stricter criteria that are applied. Certainly ours is among the strictest there is in North America. And health studies have clearly indicated that there’s no direct causal effect on individuals’ health with the limits that we have now, which we consider to be, as I say, among the strictest that you will find in North America and around the world.

CBC RADIO: The other controversy sparked by the Green Energy Act has been that its taken control away from local governments. What was the justification for that and is there any need to revisit it?

JIM BRADLEY: Well, Ontario’s Renewable Energy Approvals process requires now that developers of all major wind projects consult with the local municipalities and with the public even before they submit an application to the Ministries. They must inform the local municipality about the proposed project, they have to hold at least two public meetings during the planning stages, and they’ve gotta document all municipal feedback received as part of the application process. So the Ministry considers if the developer has met the consultation requirements and how it plans to address the municipal concerns that happen to have been raised.

I should say my colleague, the Minister of Energy, has also conducted a two-year review of what’s known as the Feed-In Tariff or the FIT program, and I can say that local consultation and the Renewable Approvals process are certainly part of that FIT review. The Ministry of Energy has consulted extensively with the public and other stakeholders, and I certainly, as you do, await the release of that FIT review.

CBC RADIO: Now even the architect of the Green Energy Act, former Deputy Premier George Smitherman has expressed some concerns. He’s admitted that the Act has some failings, and that is that municipalities should have some say. He’s actually recommended that they should be able to weigh in on projects of a larger size.

JIM BRADLEY: Certainly they have those powers at the present time. There’s extensive consultation with local municipalities.

CBC RADIO: Can they actually veto a project?

JIM BRADLEY: But I can say this, that my colleague, the Minister of Energy, he’s conducted a two-year review of what’s known as the Feed-In Tariff, and that’s one thing being looked at by the FIT review. I think the Minister’s very interested in the kind of feedback that has come as a result of concerns that have been expressed, and I expect that he has addressed these in that review. In fact, he has addressed them, and I await the presentation of that to the public.

CBC RADIO: But would you actually give municipalities a veto over projects that they don’t agree with?

JIM BRADLEY: I would not want to presume to come in ahead of that particular review. I think we will see what the Minister has been able to conclude from the extensive consultation that’s taken place with all concerned. And that is one of the areas he will look at.

CBC RADIO: What are municipalities to do though if their bylaws are meaningless under the Green Energy Act?

JIM BRADLEY: I have to say that there is a very extensive consultation that takes place at the present time. The municipal information that is provided to the Ministry is very valuable in making the final determination, and certainly we consider that to be important. It’s not something that’s easily dismissed. The local input often through the municipality, but also through the process that the Ministry has established draws certain conclusions from what the public has put forward and what expert opinion has put forward.

But I think the FIT review is going to be very valuable in this regard. I know the Minister was interested in that as one of the aspects of the FIT review, the Feed-In Tariff review, because he did hear from various people, including some municipalities, that they were concerned about that. There are other municipalities who might be happy to have the Ministry make the final decision, but there are some that genuinely would like to have that final ability to veto. But there is an advantage, I guess, to municipalities in that all of the advantages that might come from a proposal are available to the municipality, and ultimately the Minister has to make that decision, not the municipality.

But I think that FIT review is gonna be very valuable, and I look forward, as I think the public does, to the publication of that FIT review.

CBC RADIO: There are also many who are concerned about the costs. Some critics have suggested that the Green Energy Act has created an unsustainable financial advantage for the corporate wind developers at the expense of property owners, electricity rate payers, and taxpayers. What assurance can you give them — give Ontarians that we will benefit in the long run?

JIM BRADLEY: Well, first of all, I think it’s important to know why we’re doing this. We’re doing it because we’re trying to produce cleaner air in the province of Ontario. We’re trying to find ways of producing electricity that are more benign than the coal-fired plants which we’ve relied upon for a number of years. What we are doing in closing the coal-fired generation and replacing it with cleaner sources by 2014, we’re really engaged in the largest single climate change initiative in North America. It’d be similar to taking 7 million cars off the road.

It’s been estimated that replacing coal with clean, renewable energy has resulted in about $4.4 billion in avoided healthcare and environmental costs, and has created over 20,000 jobs. So there’s a lot of benefit to the people of the province of Ontario. I can remember the Ontario Medical Association for years pointed out that air pollution was a major problem, and that the single largest source of that was the coal fired plants in the province of Ontario. They have indicated, for instance, that 1900 premature deaths that were taking place as a result of air pollution, largely from the coal fired plants in the province. And by replacing these with more benign ways of producing electricity will make a major impact in terms of healthcare costs in this province.

CBC RADIO: Can you address the widespread unhappiness with wind turbines? It cost your party seats in rural Ontario. How aware are you of this anger?

JIM BRADLEY: I think there have been both opponents and proponents. There are a number of people in this province who are very pleased to see the province embarking upon an initiative that would ensure that there would be alternative energy available to people in our area for the health reasons that I’ve mentioned, for the benefits that have come to the province of Ontario, for the fact that we won’t be able to rely on coal fired plants or other fossil fuels to produce electricity. Remember that natural gas someday will run out. Oil someday will run out. And this heavy reliance on fossil fuels will put us really behind the eightball in that regard. I understand there have been concerns. I cannot attribute to what they might be as why seats are lost and so on. Remember the federal Liberal party lost a lot of seats in the province of Ontario as well, and there were different factors at play at that particular time. But we are concerned mostly about the health of the people of this province. And you know, if you have to make those tough decisions which result in better health for the people, a better result for the people, that’s the kind of decisions our government wants to be involved in.

CBC RADIO: Jim Bradley, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us.

JIM BRADLEY: Thank you very much.

* a direct link would be when one of the blades fell on your head or if the turbine noise caused hearing loss. No one is saying that.

We’re sure you have a few thoughts of your own now. Email Minister Bradley at:  jbradley.mpp@liberal.ola.org

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

News stories are updated daily at http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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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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According to a story in the London Telegraph, HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, gave a blistering summary of Britain’s subsidized wind power business … to a wind power developer executive no less. Saying that wind power developments are useless and the claim that they can replace anything is a “fairy tale,” the Duke went on to castigate the executive for sopping up taxpayer money for no return.

The Duke, no stranger to controversy and well known for his frank remarks, will likely be criticized for his comments which are in direct opposition to government policy.

Here is the story. Follow the link to read comments, which include one from a reader in Germany who said that Germany’s wind turbines operate at less than 5% efficiency and are indeed useless and ugly, adding “I wish we had a Duke.”

Wind farms are useless, says Duke

The Duke of Edinburgh has made a fierce attack on wind farms, describing them as “absolutely useless”.

Wind farms are usless, says Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke’s views are politically charged, as they put him at odds with the Government’s policy 
 

<!– remove the whitespace added by escenic before end of tag –>

9:30PM GMT 19 Nov 2011

 

In a withering assault on the onshore wind turbine industry, the Duke said the farms were “a disgrace”.

He also criticised the industry’s reliance on subsidies from electricity customers, claimed wind farms would “never work” and accused people who support them of believing in a “fairy tale”.

The Duke’s comments will be seized upon by the burgeoning lobby who say wind farms are ruining the countryside and forcing up energy bills.

Criticism of their effect on the environment has mounted, with The Sunday Telegraph disclosing today that turbines are being switched off during strong winds following complaints about their noise.

The Duke’s views are politically charged, as they put him at odds with the Government’s policy significantly to increase the amount of electricity generated by wind turbines.

Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, last month called opponents of the plans “curmudgeons and fault-finders” and described turbines as “elegant” and “beautiful”.

The Duke’s attack on the turbines, believed to be the first public insight into his views on the matter, came in a conversation with the managing director of a leading wind farm company.

When Esbjorn Wilmar, of Infinergy, which builds and operates turbines, introduced himself to the Duke at a reception in London, he found himself on the end of an outspoken attack on his industry.

“He said they were absolutely useless, completely reliant on subsidies and an absolute disgrace,” said Mr Wilmar. “I was surprised by his very frank views.”

Mr Wilmar said his attempts to argue that onshore wind farms were one of the most cost-effective forms of renewable energy received a fierce response from the Duke.

“He said, ‘You don’t believe in fairy tales do you?’” said Mr Wilmar. “He said that they would never work as they need back-up capacity.”

One of the main arguments of the anti-wind farm lobby is that because turbines do not produce electricity without wind, there is still a need for other ways to generate power.

Their proponents argue that it is possible to build “pump storage” schemes, which would use excess energy from wind power to pump water into reservoirs to generate further electricity in times of high demand and low supply.

It emerged last year that electricity customers are paying an average of £90 a year to subsidise wind farms and other forms of renewable energy as part of a government scheme to meet carbon-reduction targets.

Mr Wilmar said one of the main reasons the Duke thought onshore wind farms to be “a very bad idea” was their reliance on such subsidies.

The generous financial incentives being offered to green energy developers have led landowners to look to build wind farms on their estates, including the Duke of Gloucester, the Queen’s cousin.

Prince Philip, however, said he would never consider allowing his land to be used for turbines, which can be up to 410ft tall, and he bemoaned their impact on the countryside.

Mr Wilmar said: “I suggested to him to put them on his estate, and he said, ‘You stay away from my estate young man’.

“He said he thought that they’re not nice at all for the landscape.”

The Duke’s comments echo complaints made by his son, the Prince of Wales, who has refused to have any built on Duchy of Cornwall land.

Yet a turbine will be erected opposite the Castle of Mey in Caithness, where he stays for a week every August, if a farmer succeeds in gaining planning permission from Highland Council.

While they are opposed to onshore wind farms, the Royal family stands to earn millions of pounds from those placed offshore.

Last year, the Crown Estate, the £7billion land and property portfolio, approved an increase in the number of sites around the coast of England. The Crown Estate owns almost all of the seabed off Britain’s 7,700-mile coastline.

Experts predict that the growth in offshore wind farms could be worth £250million a year. Britain has 436 offshore turbines, but within a decade that number will reach nearly 7,000. From 2013, the Royal family’s Civil List payments will be replaced, and instead they will receive 15 per cent of the Crown Estate’s profits, although the Queen, the Duke, the Prince of Wales and other members of the family do not have any say over how the estate makes its money.

Mr Wilmar was at a reception last week in Chelsea, west London, marking the 70th anniversary of the Council of Christians and Jews at which the Queen and Duke were guests of honour.

The Dutch businessman’s company describes itself as committed to preserving the planet. Infinergy, which is a subsidiary of the Dutch firm KDE Energy, is planning to build on a number of sites across the country, from the north of Scotland to Totnes in Devon.

Mr Wilmar claims that onshore turbines are less reliant on subsidies and more cost-effective than those built in the sea. “If you go offshore it costs you twice as much as being on-shore because you have to lay foundations in the sea,” he said. “It’s very expensive for very obvious reasons.”

Two-thirds of the country’s wind turbines are owned by foreign companies, which are estimated to reap £500million a year in subsidies.

A spokesman for the Duke said that Buckingham Palace would not comment about a private conversation.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-philip/8901985/Wind-farms-are-useless-says-Duke.html

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

 

 

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For those of us who know the truth about industrial wind power generation–it is not “green”, it’s not “free”, and it can’t live up to any of the promises made about it–the sight of the industrial wind turbine in Toronto at Exhibition Place is a cruel joke. Thousands of people in Toronto pass by it every day and see it as innocuous, pretty even.

The truth about that one structure is a different story.

Here from Parker Gallant and the Financial Post, the true story of the Exhibition Place wind “mill.”

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/11/08/ontarios-power-trip-the-globe-has-gone-with-the-wind/

Ontario’s Power Trip: The Globe has gone with the wind

  Nov 8, 2011 – 9:35 AM ET | Last Updated: Nov 8, 2011 9:38 AM ET

The Globe and Mail declined to run the following letter to the editor from Parker Gallant:

Marcus Gee’s Nov. 2 article on the wind power in Toronto included the following statement: “A single wind turbine, championed by Jack Layton, the late NDP leader, has been operating for years at Exhibition Place in Toronto. Toronto Hydro says the impact on birds has been minimal and there is no evidence anyone’s health has been affected.”

Whether that single turbine has been beneficial to the Toronto Hydro customers is a question that was conveniently omitted. The facts speak for themselves. It has cost the taxpayers a lot of money! The following reference can be found in Toronto Hydro’s 2007 Annual Report, the last reference to be found in any subsequent Annual Reports.

“Renewables/Clean and Green Generation
TH Energy/WindShare wind turbine at Exhibition Place has produced approximately 4 million kWh of green energy since 2003”

So that single turbine that Toronto Hydro owns a big piece of has operated at 12.2 % of its rated capacity for the five years from 2003 to 2007 but questioning Toronto Hydro on the issue as to what has happened since 2007 gets no response. It hides behind the cloak of “confidentiality.”

The Exhibition Place turbine was championed by none other than Joyce McLean, current Director, Strategic Issues at Toronto Hydro, when she was engaged with TREC (Toronto Renewable Energy Association) pushing for the erection of the turbine. Ms McLean also sat as a Director and Chair of CanWEA (Canadian Wind Energy Association) and prior to that was active with Greenpeace. Jack Simpson, current VP, Generation on his posted Toronto Hydro bio, said he was an early advocate of green generation projects, responsible for the 750kW wind turbine at Exhibition Place and the 36kW photovoltaic system at 500 Commissioners St. in Toronto. So these two advocates of the turbine are in a position to deny their responsibility on the costs of their boondoogle by hiding behind the “confidentiality” issue burden the ratepayers with their misguided efforts to save the world!

If you vist the TREC website you will get an idea of how this entity would be unable to survive without handouts/grants from the Toronto taxpayer-owned Toronto Atmospheric Fund ($910,000), or the provincially owned Community Power Fund (amounts granted are undisclosed) and the provincially owned Trillium Foundation ($202,500). TREC also claim support from the Ontario Power Authority, City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro, CanWEA, CanSIA, the Ministry of Environment and the Toronto District School Board, of whom most are taxpayer funded institutions.

It should be pointed out that the anemometers in Lake Ontario were partially funded by TAF who granted funds to Toronto Hydro for their erection. This waste of taxpayer funds is a blatant affront, along with the necessity of Toronto Hydro paying the legal fees for their current lawsuit against OMERS. This lawsuit was instituted because Toronto Hydro isn’t satisfied that its executives will have sufficient monies in retirement benefits, because OMERS restricts the “bonus” payments when calculating retirement benefits. This CEO earned over $700,000 in 2010 including a bonus that exceeded $300,000.

Parker Gallant is a retired bank executive who looked at his electricity bill and didn’t like what he saw.

 E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind
 
Check out Dirty Business: the reality of Ontario’s rush to wind power, with contributions by Parker Gallant and three local authors, at http://dirtybusinessbook.wordpress.com

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From the last edition of Ontario Farmer, Tom van Dusen’s Eastern Limits column, excerpted here.

Powerful people

Power of the People seems to have played a crucial role in the minority Liberal government outcome of the provincial election. Power of the anti-wind people, that is.

An advocacy group called Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO) says it targeted 10 ridings where existing or planned wind farms have become controversial, with an eye to defeating sitting Liberal members who supported the projects, or to getting opposition candidates elected where vacancies existed due to retirement.

It’s hard to know if WCO should get all the credit…but, in fact, Grits were shut out of those ridings.

Some prominent rural Liberals who backed wind and solar energy bit the dust on election day, including two former OMAFRA ministers, Carol Mitchell, who held the post in the last government, and Leona Dombrowsky, the province’s most recent education minister. Both went down to spectacular defeat. Also blown out of his riding was the pre-election environment minister, John Wilkinson, also an outspoken supporter of his government’s green energy policy which offered some subsidies and high energy generation payments to wind and solar power entrepreneurs.

…At the east end of the province, it looks like turbine opponents helped elect Tory Jim McDonell in Stormont-Dundas-South Glegarry which had been vacated by Liberal MPP Jim Brownell. McDonell’s stock seemed to go up after he called upon Dalton McGuinty to stop the proposed South Branch Wind Farm at Brinston before it got to the construction phase. A collection of 14 turbines, South Branch has been promoted by Prowind Canada dating back to 2008. Over the intervening years, there have been scores of meetings and studies about the impact of the project.

For WCO, Prowind is similar to all industrial turbine installations: the advocacy group claims they all threaten human and animal health, habitat, and property values as well as cause noise and aesthetic concerns.

WCO says it set its sights on toppling Liberal candidates because the government “denied science” indicating turbines could be harmful, and refused to accept “local democracy” by pushing forward with turbine projects against the will of residents.

The anti-wind turbine lobby appears to have registered a big blow to the McGuinty Grits. Retaining only a few of the lost 10 seats would have made a difference between majority and the premier’s so-called “major minority”. … the WCO campaign proves resoundingly that taxpayers can have an impact on voting day even if it’s not the ultimate outcome of defeating a government.

“The Liberals have an opportunity to change their course during this minority parliament, act on our concerns and put the interests of people ahead of special interests behind the industrial wind lobby which cost them their majority,” WCO gloated in a news release.

… There’s nothing wrong with modestly encouraging development of new energy sources. However, the last Liberal government seemed to want to make it happen right now at whatever cost, and damn any side effects such as the potential health hazard.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Well, we knew that. You can’t keep paying people exorbitant amounts of money for wind and solar, then sell it for a quarter of what you paid—oh, and give away what you don’t need when you have too much on the grid–without prices of energy to consumers going up.

But by how much? Turns out the Ontario government hasn’t been very forthcoming with that information, particularly before the recent provincial election.

Now, a research study details just how bad energy prices could get in Ontario. The forecast is grim: higher electricity costs will result in “energy poverty” which is a killer for small and medium businesses.

A report on the story is here: http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1071332–power-prices-will-rise-steeply-study-says

The North Gower Wind Action Group is a community organization dedicated to providing information about industrial-scale wind power generation, and opposed to inappropriately sited power projects that will be too close to homes and communities.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Well, we said you should have listened to your constituents, Von Bommel, Wilkinson, Dombrowsky and the rest. Here is the story:

Anti-wind turbine coalition may have cost McGuinty a majority

 
 
 
By Don Butler, The Ottawa Citizen October 8, 2011
 
 
The Liberals lost 10 seats — almost all in rural Ontario — targeted by the anti-wind coalition Wind Concerns Ontario. Had they retained even one of those seats, they’d have won a majority government.
 

The Liberals lost 10 seats — almost all in rural Ontario — targeted by the anti-wind coalition Wind Concerns Ontario. Had they retained even one of those seats, they’d have won a majority government.

Photograph by: Peter J. Thompson/National Post,

OTTAWA — Did wind turbines cost the Ontario Liberals their majority in Thursday’s provincial election? A close look at the election results suggests it’s more than possible.

The Liberals lost 10 seats — almost all in rural Ontario — targeted by the anti-wind coalition Wind Concerns Ontario. Had they retained even one of those seats, they’d have won a majority government.

Progressive Conservative or New Democrat candidates defeated seven incumbent Liberals, and won three Liberal seats where the incumbent wasn’t running for re-election. All the ridings are home to industrial turbine projects or have active proposals for some.

Three Liberal cabinet ministers from rural Ontario were among the casualties, including Environment Minister John Wilkinson, an outspoken defender of the government’s green energy policy, who went down to narrow defeat in Perth-Wellington. He won the seat by 6,000 votes in 2007.

Leona Dombrowsky, education minister in Dalton McGuinty’s cabinet, lost by 3,000 votes after winning by 6,000 votes in the last election. And Agriculture Minister Carol Mitchell, whose margin of victory in 2007 was 7,000 votes, fell to Tory Lisa Thompson by 4,500 votes in Huron Bruce.

Liberal incumbents also lost in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, Northumberland-Quinte West and Algoma-Manitoulin. Conservative candidates won in two open Liberal seats — Chatham-Kent-Essex and Elgin-Middlesex-London, and the NDP picked up Essex.

All 10 seats were targeted by Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of wind opponents that claims to have mobilized thousands of volunteers angry at the Liberal government’s embrace of wind power.

“The Ontario Liberals have spent the last two years denying science, refusing to accept local democracy, and tonight they paid a price,” John Laforet, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, said in a news release.

“The Liberals have an opportunity to change their course during this minority parliament, act on our concerns and put the interests of people ahead of the special interests behind the industrial wind lobby that cost them their majority,” Laforet said.

Jane Wilson, chair of the North Gower Wind Action Group, which is fighting a proposed eight-to-10 turbine development near their community, said the election results show “the tide has turned.

“If the Liberal government wants to have good government for all Ontario, they’re going to have to look at the concerns of rural communities,” Wilson said.

She credited Wind Concerns Ontario with connecting concerned residents with other communities already living with wind turbines. “It gave them a kind of cohesion and more information than they would have had just acting on their own.”

The proposed turbine development near North Gower came up repeatedly during the campaign, according to Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod, who represents the area and opposes the project.

Wilson said the project is still awaiting a contract under the province’s Feed-In Tariff program. “I gather that’s connected to whether there’s transmission capacity,” she said, adding: “We don’t believe there is.”

dbutler@ottawacitizen.com

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Anti+wind+turbine+coalition+have+cost+McGuinty+majority/5524109/story.html#ixzz1aJDBNC4T

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Rick Conroy, editor of the Wellington Times—one of Canada’s last independently operated newspapers—has been outspoken on the “green” energy move by the Ontario government. In one of his earlier columns he famously wrote that no industrial wind turbine in the world can “power a toaster on its own”—they all need back-up from a tarditional power source. In the case of Ontario, that’s natural gas.

But we digress. Here is Rick’s most recent column, from last Friday.

Unravelling

It was another tough week for Dalton McGuinty on the energy file. First the European Union jumped on board the effort to force the Ontario government to open its renewable energy market to international suppliers.

McGuinty understood all along that if his dream of wind turbines on every horizon and solar panels on every pasture was to take root, he needed to promise jobs. Lots of jobs. He would call them green jobs.

He understood as well that these jobs had to be more than just a few weeks of bolting together components manufactured somewhere else. So he tried to kickstart a provincial wind and solar component sector. He did this by restricting the amount of foreign content (both goods and services) that could go into projects under his government’s FIT (feed-in tariff) program. Under his decree 60 per cent of the content of a solar project must be made up of domestic products and services by next year—50 per cent for wind projects.

These restrictions were in direct violation of world trade organization (WTO) rules, and McGuinty knew it. But he gambled that by the time the court heard any appeal a homegrown industry would have developed— ready to compete toe to toe with the world.

It didn’t happen. Nervous about shifting ground rules and manic management of the energy file in general, investment capital largely stayed away. Frustrated by the lack of action McGuinty jumped into bed with Korean industrial giant Samsung—promising billions of taxpayer dollars if they would please, please build windmills and solar panels in Ontario.

Desperate people make bad deals. It will take hundreds of millions of dollars for the next government to unwind the province from this arrangement.

In the meantime, first Japan and now the EU have launched appeals to overturn McGuinty’s indefensible protectionist tactics. Appeals they will win. McGuinty is running out of time. This folly too, and the cost of defending it, will end up on your electricity bill.

But matters got worse last week in an Ontario Energy Board hearing when Hydro One asked the regulator for a six-month exemption from meeting deadlines for assessing and connecting small renewable-energy projects. Nearly all of these are small solar home and farm-based projects.

Currently the province has received nearly 35,000 applications for small renewable projects (10 kilowatts or less)—22,821 have received conditional offers. But only 6,780, or less than a third, have executed contracts—meaning they are generating electricity into the grid and earning revenue. Tens of thousands of folks have been left hanging. Many have spent $100,000 or more on solar panel installations believing they had a deal. But with each delay their prospects of ever getting connected to the grid grow dimmer.

They should not have been surprised.

The fundamental hurdle with solar and wind energy is that it is intermittent and cannot be harnessed. It is a supply source that cannot be turned up or down to match demand. Electricity cannot be stored in grid scale amounts—so it must be produced when it is needed.

Nothing in our 60-year-old electricity grid is designed or equipped to manage generating sources that are pumping out electricity at 100 per cent one moment, zero another and 33 per cent the next. It is a physical and technical hurdle that had to be addressed first—before we squandered families” nest eggs and added billions of wasted dollars onto our electricity bills.

Then this week we learned that McGuinty knew all along that the noise from industrial wind turbines would have adverse effects on residents nearby— even those 550 metres away as prescribed by the Green Energy Act. This fact was revealed in a memo between Ministry of Environment officials last spring (See page 14). The document only came to light as a result of a freedom of information request.

Bit by bit the blind ambition McGuinty brought to the energy file is unravelling at his feet. The bureaucrats who once acquiesced to the premier’s wishes despite their better judgment—are now sitting on their hands. They are waiting for the self-destruction to be complete—waiting for the electorate to deal with the McGuinty government in October.

The wacky decision-making may end in October but the bills for nearly a decade of mismanagement of Ontario’s electricity grid will pile up for years to come. McGuinty’s enduring legacy.

rick@wellingtontimes.ca

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and catch the latest Windyleak at http://windyleaks.com

 

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Results of a new study on wind power generation from the U.S., summarized by author Robert Bryce in Forbes. Neat summary of the truth about wind power generation and its supposed effect on the environment: total fiction…or worse, a giant financial scam.

Here is the article.

http://www.forbes.com/2011/07/19/wind-energy-carbon.html

A New Study Takes The Wind Out Of Wind Energy

Robert Bryce, 07.19.11, 05:00 PM EDT

Reality has overtaken green hope.

 

Facts are pesky things. And they’re particularly pesky when it comes to the myths about the wind energy business.

For years, it’s been an article of faith among advocates of renewables that increased use of wind energy can provide a cost-effective method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The reality: wind energy’s carbon dioxide-cutting benefits are vastly overstated. Furthermore, if wind energy does help reduce carbon emissions, those reductions are too expensive to be used on any kind of scale.

Those are the findings of an exhaustive new study, released today, by Bentek Energy, a Colorado-based energy analytics firm. Rather than rely on computer models that use theoretical emissions data, the authors of the study, Porter Bennett and Brannin McBee, analyzed actual emissions data from electric generation plants located in four regions: the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Bonneville Power Administration, California Independent System Operator, and the Midwest Independent System Operator. Those four system operators serve about 110 million customers, or about one-third of the U.S. population.

Bennett and McBee looked at more than 300,000 hourly records from 2007 through 2009. Their results show that the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and other wind boosters have vastly overstated wind’s ability to cut sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide.

Indeed, the study found that in some regions of the country, like California, using wind energy doesn’t reduce sulfur dioxide emissions at all. But the most important conclusion from the study is that wind energy is not “a cost-effective solution for reducing carbon dioxide if carbon is valued at less than $33 per ton.” With the U.S. economy still in recession and unemployment numbers near record levels, Congress cannot, will not, attempt to impose a carbon tax, no matter how small.

AWEA claims that every megawatt-hour of electricity produced by wind turbines cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 0.8 tons. But the Bentek study shows that in California, a state that relies heavily on natural gas-fired generation, the carbon dioxide reduction from wind energy was just 0.3 tons of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour. Further, the study found that in the area served by the Bonneville Power Administration, which uses a large amount of hydropower, the carbon dioxde reduction was just 0.1 ton of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour.

The wind industry’s prospects are so bad that T. Boone Pickens, long one of the sector’s loudest advocates, has given up on the U.S. market. Pickens, the billionaire self-promoter who famously placed an order for some $2 billion worth of wind turbines back in 2008, is now trying to find a home for those turbines in Canada.

In addition, the wind industry faces increasingly vocal opposition in numerous countries around the world. The European Platform Against Windfarms now has 485 signatory organizations from 22 European countries. In the UK, where fights are raging against industrial wind projects in Wales, Scotland, and elsewhere, some 250 anti-wind groups have been formed. In Canada, the province of Ontario alone has more than 50 anti-wind groups. The U.S. has about 170 anti-wind groups.

While many factors are hurting the wind industry, the Bentek report, which was released today, undercuts the sector’s primary reason for existing. The Global Wind Energy Council, one of the industry’s main lobby groups, claims that reducing the amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere “is the most important environmental benefit from wind power generation.” For its part, the American Wind Energy Association insists that the wind business “could avoid 825 million tons of carbon dioxide annually by 2030.”

But if wind energy doesn’t significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, then critics can easily challenge the industry’s hefty subsidies, which include the federal production tax credit of $0.022 for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. That amounts to a subsidy of $6.44 per million BTU of energy produced. For comparison, in 2008, the Energy Information Administration reported that subsidies to the oil and gas sector totaled $1.9 billion per year, or about $0.03 per million BTU of energy produced. In other words, subsidies to the wind sector are more than 200 times as great as those given to the oil and gas sector on the basis of per-unit-of-energy produced.

If those fat subsidies go away, then the U.S. wind sector will be stopped dead in its tracks. And for consumers, that should be welcome news.

The wind energy business is the electric sector’s equivalent of the corn ethanol scam: it’s an over-subsidized industry that depends wholly on taxpayer dollars to remain solvent while providing an inferior product to consumers that does little, if anything, to reduce our need for hydrocarbons or cut carbon dioxide emissions. The latest Bentek study should be required reading for policymakers. It’s a much-needed reminder of how the pesky facts about wind energy have been obscured by the tsunami of hype about green energy.

*******************

Note that the environmental claims put forward for wind power generation are not proving to be true. Note the increasing number of people around the world who are opposed to industrial wind power projects. Why? Not because they are “climate change deniers” but because WIND DOESN”T WORK. And, it industrializes communities, causes health problems and negatively affects property values.  The argument put forward by so-called environmental groups is that these costs are necessary to effect climate change. Small-scale community projects, yes. Huge industrial projects, no.

 

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

The North Gower Wind Action Group believes in the responsible siting of industrial wind power development projects; we do NOT believe it is environmental or fair to locate these projects near homes and schools.

 

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