Climate protection groups are criticizing the German government’s plans to slow down renewable energy development. In spite of a recently decided coalition agreement, the debate about the right pace will continue.
While it is heartening to see the Obama administration finally following the law, Justice’s decision might also indicate that the green bubble is about to burst.
Consider data from the American Wind Energy Association, an industry group. In 2012, when federal subsidies were flowing, wind companies installed a record 13,131 megawatts of new capacity—about 6,500 turbines. But installations have tanked this year amid uncertainty over the extension of the federal production tax credit, which offers companies a hefty 2.3 cent per kilowatt-hour subsidy. During the first three quarters of 2013, the domestic wind industry installed a mere 70.6 megawatts of new capacity. Wind-industry lobbyists are desperately trying to get the production tax credit extended again before it expires at the end of the year. The Duke case won’t endear them to the public.
The renewable-energy craze may also lose its lustre as the public discovers how expensive “green jobs” are. Texas is the top wind-energy state in the nation. But in January Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported that each wind-related job in the Lone Star State is costing taxpayers $1.75 million.
There is also a public backlash against ruining scenic countryside with giant wind turbines. The outrage spans from the United Kingdom to Wisconsin. Last year, to cite just one example, about five dozen landowners in Herkimer County, New York filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Hardscrabble Wind Power Project. Their many complaints included reduced property values and excessive noise. To judge from news reports, suburban and rural residents don’t want 130-meter-tall windmills in their neighborhoods. They also don’t want the constant noise the turbines produce, or the relentless blink of the turbines’ red lights all night, every night.
Definitive proof that the green energy bubble has burst will come when the government brings more legal action against renewable companies for violating U.S. law. That may be happening: The Fish and Wildlife Service has 18 active investigations into bird kills at various wind-energy projects. Seven have been referred to Justice for prosecution.
And it may not be limited to wind energy. Last week, Chris Clarke of the California public television station KCET reported that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, a new solar-thermal plant in the Mojave Desert, killed 52 birds in October. Many of the birds were apparently killed by the intense heat generated by the project’s mirrors. It appears that the project is attracting birds, which means the deaths may increase when the facility reaches capacity. Mr. Clarke went on to opine that the solar-thermal projects now being built in the California desert “could well depress bird populations from the Arctic to the Panama Canal.”
Apologists for wind and solar power insist that wind turbines only kill a few birds while climate change is the real threat. Last month, in a letter to The Wall Street Journal, an official from the American Wind Energy Association said that wind energy “enables the U.S. to develop a diverse energy portfolio better equipped to fight climate change—the number one threat to wildlife, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”
Perhaps that’s true. But everyone is threatened when the law is not applied equally, and so the Justice Department should continue ruffling the feathers of lawbreakers in the green-energy business.
Reserve Your Tickets Now!
Just a note to invite you to our last dinner for 2013. This evening is very special as we will be having our great friend and well-known health researcher, Carmen Krogh, as our guest speaker and visiting with us. Please keep Thursday Dec.19th open. We will be hosting Carmen, at our usual venue, the Silverdale Hall.
Dinner to begin at 6:00pm. Menu includes an offering of a beef or chicken lasagne, salad, buns, desserts, beverages.
We plan to pre sell tickets to this event. The cost will be $20 per person per ticket. We will be making a list of names this time so we know how many people will be attending. Money will be collected at the door and we’ll check off your names. The tickets will give you a chance at special door prizes as well as your meal.
There will be a raffle as well, with some amazing prizes!!!
If you are able to come and would like to pre order a ticket…just contact Shellie or myself to attend this wonderful evening!! Please share this message with all your contacts. If you do not know about Carmen…just look up this amazing lady on line!!! Thank you again and we hope to see you all on the 19th,
Susan 905 957 3541 and Shellie 905 386 0765
Mothers Against Wind Turbines
Last ditch effort to oppose turbines
Dear Andrea Horwath and Peter Tabuns;
Thanks you for your consideration and approach to finding out about concerns from Ontarians with regards how rising electricity rates are affecting families. This subject is one that is dear to my heart as I have spend the last 12 months researching the topic extensively. Almost 2 weeks ago, I also found out that the factory I work at which employed 60 people in Caledonia (Just outside of your consituency), will be “Idling” in the first quarter of 2014….so that the corporation can put the jobs back into the US. Energy costs for Large Consumers – aka manufacturing – has risen in Ontario on average 30% since 2008. (Fraser Institue Report Here) My colleagues and I will now be looking for work in an economy where manufacturing has been leaving in astronomical numbers, along with the middle class. The Fraser institute report shows how in New York state, their large consumer electricity rates have actually dropped over 20% from 2008 rates…That is a 50% difference for companies who are manufacturing goods from Ontario to NY State. We sell our excess electricity at a loss, and have paid Quebec and New York state at times to even take our electricity! We paid them!!!
Never before have I been so interested in Ontario’s energy policies, especially after reviewing the Auditor Generals report from 2011. I am extremely worried about Ontario’s current path related to energy policies as I know that my children and their children will be suffering the consequences of the current LIberal governments mismanagement. As a child, the Hydro One debt was tacked onto my parents electricity bills, and to this day my generation of ratepayers continue to pay for a debt that the Liberals contnue to extend final payment to, almost unquestioned. The Green Energy Act and FIT contracts are blatantely killing the economy. The numbers are there for all to see, if anyone would actually take a look at the output capability reports from IESO which on any given day would show you that Wind power is supplying less than 1% of our daily demand….after spending billions on subsidies and infrastructure.
On Page 89 of the Auditor Generals report, it states that The Ministry of Energy at the time (George Smitherman) claimed that the Green Energy Act would lead to “modest incremental increases in electricity bills of about 1% annually” yet in November 2010 the Ministry forecast concluded that a typical residential electricity bill would rise about 7.9% annually over the next 5 years, with 56% of the increase due to investments in renewable energy.” It also states that “wind and solar renewable power will add significant additional costs to ratepayers’ electricity bills.” Electricity is a necessity in Ontario, how many households can afford this?
We are being asked to pay for a second energy system – wind – while we underutilize hydro and gas. According to IESO the Energy Output by Fuel Type for 2012 has nuclear at 56.4%, hydro at 22.3%, gas at 14.6% coal at 2.8% and wind at 3%.
On Page 90 it shows the Minister of Energy replaced the RESOP (Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program ) with the FIT (Feed in Tariff) program providing renewable energy generators with significantly more attractive contract prices adding $4.4 billion in costs over the 20 years.” If the government’s goal of 10,700 MW of renewable energy by 2018 (p. 89) is realized the FIT subsidy will be closer to $2.6 billion per year or $52 billion in costs over the 20 years just for the FIT subsidy.
Hours per year
10,700 MW X .28 efficiency X 8760 hours per year X $103.50 = $2,624,496,000 FIT subsidy per year!
According to page 111 of the Auditor General’s Report the operating efficiency of industrial wind turbines is 28%. The cost per MW is based on the FIT guaranteed price of $0.135 per kw minus hourly Ontario Energy price estimated at $0.0315 per kw = $0.1035 per kw making it $103.50 per MW. So 10,700 MW X .28 efficiency X 8760 hours per year X $103.50 = $2,624,496,000 FIT subsidy per year! )
Just in Fit Subsidies, we are being asked to pay over $2.6 BILLION per year for only 3% of Ontario’s energy output. This is while we spill, “clean hydro energy” over Niagara Falls, in order to take WIND that we do not need.
Those on fixed pension incomes, contract workers, and those earning minimum wage will be most affected by these energy policies. In the United Kingdom, fuel poverty, which now affects 5.5 million households, has become a household term, largely because of electricity policies similar to those that are being pursued in Ontario. In Germany, every year over 600,000 Households are disconnected annually for not being able to pay their electricity bills. Ontario is now being boasted about Internationally as having an energy policy “Worse than California”.
1) Why are we even investing in any additoinal energy sources, a 2nd system, when we have “enough energy” in Ontairo as per the Ministry of Energy office. $2.6BILLION/YEAR for subsidies on Energy we don’t need!!!!!!!!
2) Why does the government ignore the over 75 Municipalities in Ontario who have asked to “Not be a Willing Host” to wind turibnes? Why doesn’t your party support these Ontarians in ever growing numbers?
3) Why is it ok for the Liberals to let manufacturing jobs in Ontario leave?
4) When will my insurance rates go down? I have actually got notices about rising rates, not decreasing….
I hope that your party stops propping up the LIberals and takes a stand for Ontarians for once….if you don’t, our children and their children will be paying down the debt of this eras failed energy policies. I would like a response and look forward to it.
No guarantee town safe from turbines
John Spears Toronto Star
Deciding not to build new nuclear reactors will drive Ontario’s carbon emissions back to 2005 levels, says a McMaster University professor.
John Luxat, professor of nuclear safety analysis, told the Economic Club that foregoing nuclear in favour of renewable energy comes at the price of higher greenhouse gas emissions.
Ontario has said it won’t proceed with construction of two proposed new units at the Darlington nuclear station.
At the same time, the province is expanding renewable generation such as wind and solar.
Luxat, who worked for many years in Ontario’s nuclear power sector, said the problem with wind and solar is that they are intermittent, depending on weather. That means they require back-up to fill the gaps – a function largely performed in Ontario by natural gas-fired generators, which emit carbon dioxide.
John Spears mentions in the article how Germany has again turned to burning coal in response to the intermittency of wind and solar.
The result will be a rebound in its carbon emissions, Luxat said, as the Germans fill the gap with coal and coal-backed renewables.
That option will not be open to us here in Ontario as our Premier Wynne is on a mission to outlaw the use of coal.
And read this article for a laugh. It made me feel better.
Steve Paikin is TVO’s Host for the Agenda. This letter from a Niagara Resident makes excellent points which demonstrate the corruption in Ontario Canada due to the current Liberal Government. Hopefully they will see some change in economic policy as it is scary to see what will happen for our childrens future!
Dear Steve Paikin,
re: high electricity prices
Your guest Jatin Nathwani (Nov. 26, 2013) provided an overview of the problems contributing to the increase in electricity prices in Ontario, a problem that will indeed determine the future of this province. He eluded to the origin of this problem but really needed more time to expose the fundamental flaws.
When former premier Dalton McGuinty “chose a lane” with the direction he was going on the energy issue, his advisor was Minister of Energy – George Smitherman.
In Psychology 101 you learn that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behavior. Prior to becoming minister of Energy George Smitherman was the Minister of Health. Under George’s watch in the Health Ministry we find the eHealth scandal and the Ornge scandal.
According to Rob Ferguson and Robert Benzie Queen’s Park Bureau, Published on Tue Mar 06 2012 the spin-off of the troubled ORNGE air ambulance service was done without competitive bidding thanks to an exemption sought by then-health minister George Smitherman…the deal was not subject to a request for proposals (RFP) from prospective operators of air ambulances in 2005…
An amendment passed in the Legislature gave the minister authority to establish this. This unusual move, which appears to contravene traditional government practices on bidding, was approved by Smitherman and was solely for ORNGE.
Opposition parties noted a lack of competitive bidding is also what led to the spending scandal uncovered at eHealth Ontario after Smitherman left the health portfolio.
As the scandal and OPP investigation into financial irregularities at ORNGE have shown, there wasn’t enough government oversight. When you avoid a competitive, open, fair bidding process, you open the door for what has happened at ORNGE and eHealth. ORNGE set up a web of for-profit companies to capitalize on the $150 million a year the air ambulance service got from Ontario taxpayers.
The health ministry sent in forensic auditors to check the books and the government has since taken steps to shut down the complex web of for-profit companies at ORNGE aimed at selling consulting services overseas.”
Fast forward to 2009 and we find the $7 Billion deal that Energy Minister George Smitherman signed with a Korean Consortium – Samsung . According to the Auditor General’s Report 2011 p.88 the objective of the audit was to access whether the Minister of Energy (Ministry) and the OPA had acquired systems and procedures in place to -“ensure that renewable energy resources are obtained in a cost effective manner and within the context of applicable legislation and government policy.”
p. 90-91 “The Ministry (of Energy) negotiated a contract with a consortium of Korean companies to build renewable energy projects…… ( a $7 BILLION deal that the taxpayers of this province are expected to pay) However, no economic analysis or business case was done to determine whether the agreement with the consortium was economically prudent and cost effective, and neither the OEB nor the OPA was consulted about the agreement”
According to the Auditor General’s Report 2011 the Cabinet was informed of this decision, so they did not vote on this contract either.
With no due diligence, no input from the OEB or the OPA, no democratic vote from the people that we elected to serve and protect us, is this another questionable contract?
With the creation of the Green Energy Act, the Ontario government changed laws that protected the health of the citizens of Ontario, changed laws that required an Environmental Assessment to determine the impact of new development on the environment and changed laws so that the authority of municipal councils has been undermined. The rural citizens have had their municipal councils stripped of their planning rights to control the siting of Industrial Wind Turbines in their communities.
Premier McGuinty’s government ignored many experts at the time of drafting the Green Energy Act. What resulted is a situation that benefits huge power developers, but not the people of Ontario, who are seeing communities destroyed by industrialization; plummeting property values; people being made sick by the environmental noise; destruction of natural habitat and the killing of wildlife, and finally, punishingly high electricity rates.
When former Premier Dalton McGunty chose the Minister of Energy Smitherman plan for renewable energy in Ontario he drove us directly into the ditch. With no due diligence, no input from the OEB or the OPA, no democratic vote from the people that we elected to serve and protect us, what exactly do the people of Ontario get? We get to pay private for profit frequently multi-national corporations huge profits for the Feed-in-Tariff subsidies for wind and solar. As energy consumers we pay for surplus energy that we then pay other jurisdictions to take from our grid. We get to watch our industrial base leave for lower electricity rates in New York and Quebec where the electricity Ontario supplies is offered at a much more competitive rate. We get to watch our rural environment destroyed as we install industrial wind turbines and solar panels – inefficient, intermittent sources of power that only work when the wind blows and the sun shines. We get to spin our wheels and dig ourselves into a debt that will bring this province to it’s knees. The poor and those on fixed incomes will be driven into “energy poverty” where we have to decide to turn the heat up and the lights on or pay for food and shelter.
Resident of the Niagara Region
MAWT was out in full force once again at the Silverdale Community Hall in St. Anne on November 27th 2013.. The Mothers Against Wind Turbines are a group of strong, determined and dedicated women. Who with their family members will not stop the fight to preserve their communities against the relentless onslaught of wind projects being forced unto them. The depth of talents and skills ranged from the cooking in the kitchen, dessert table submissions, and a large variety of crafts donated for the raffle table. Smiles and laughter rang out throughout but the purpose for the gathering was ever present. The year is drawing to a close and Christmas is just around the corner. The true strength of this group is being agents of change. The talk in the kitchen and the hall was positive and focused on what can be done and what is being done next in the wind battles. Today is the start of that change, and tomorrow will be the memories of yesterday. Hope you can join us and see you next time.