Recent article published in the Hamilton Spectator about Ontario’s electricity generation sources has generated lively feed back and thought provoking comments.
Published Hamilton Spectator|May 3, 2019
Afterthoughts pulls together reaction to specific Hamilton Spectator stories. These opinion submissions follow the April 30, 2019 feature Who’s powering Hamilton?
Afterthoughts: Not all power generation created equal
Wind turbines and solar are intermittent energy sources that only produce power when the wind blows or the sun shines
From Catherine Mitchell:
Your article failed to mention that not all energy generation is created equal. Because the industrial wind turbines and solar are intermittent energy sources that only produce power when the wind blows or the sun shines, they only produce a portion of the name plate capacity.
Industrial wind turbines produce 28 per cent of the name plate capacity. (It’s a bit like putting a one-titted cow on the dairy production line or buying seed with a 28 per cent germination rate.) Solar is worse with 13 per cent production of name plate capacity.
The downside of renewable energy is that “non-polluting” wind energy is culpable for air pollution (gas plants on standby and smelting), ground water contamination (toxic effluent and ground disturbance), electromagnetic pollution, noise pollution (infrasound), radioactive waste (rare earth mining), and toxic waste” (Each blade made of fiberglass produces 6 tons of toxic waste). In addition to the loss of habitat created by the huge footprint required for installation of industrial wind turbines and solar fields.
We are currently under utilizing our hydro energy production to accommodate wind and solar. So the question becomes if we under utilize hydro to accommodate wind and solar — is any of the flooding being caused because water is being held back? The dam is a man-made restriction so blaming ‘climate change’ may not be the correct answer.
For example — the Ottawa River is one of the most highly regulated rivers in Canada, with over 50 major dams and hydroelectric generating stations scattered throughout its tributaries and mainstem. If you count all the smaller water control dams in the river system, there are hundreds of dams throughout the watershed.
The Ottawa River and its tributaries flow right into the St. Lawrence and the spring run-off often causes flooding with a particular affect on Quebec towns and cities. The amount of water is all controlled by the Saunders dam and is the responsibility of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority. Because water is held back it also causes flooding in many parts of Ontario.
I am not sure the people experiencing the recent flooding care if it is a result of mismanagement by the St. Lawrence Seaway Authorities or underutilizing hydro energy, either way this could be a man-made disaster.
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