Category Archives: Green Energy

We are all suffering

heat-or-eatEnergy Poverty is a direct serious harm to health that has resulted from Ontario’s energy policies. Poverty determines your level of health.  Not being able to pay your hydro bill is an adverse health outcome resulting from the pursuit of renewable energy projects without careful consideration of benefits and costs.  The Green Energy Act and rates paid for renewable energy (wind & solar) generated electricity has fueled the crisis of soaring hydro rates. There is a growing fury among those who can no longer bear such political agendas.  The pressure is building. People are demanding Government serve people, not only the interests of the “green” industries.

 

hamilton-protest
City Hall Protest Targets Skyrocketing Hydro Rates- Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton Spectator

A rally against oppressive hydro bills attracted at least 100 protesters in front of city hall, and enough supportive horn honking on Main Street to sometimes drown-out speakers assailing Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government.

Most notable were those mobilized enough by the issue to get downtown by 5 p.m. and who have never publicly protested anything before.

Home electricity bills have skyrocketed in the last five years: off-peak prices have increased 47 per cent, and on-peak prices have increased 67 per cent.

That’s why Lori Balkom took part in her first protest, holding a sign standing close enough to the road to feel the breeze from cars driving by honking.

“My last bill was $850,” she said. “Last summer it was $500 … There are people out there who can’t afford food because of (their hydro bills). It’s not right.”

Her sisters Debbie Leblanc and Patti Glenn joined her. Leblanc lives in a building for seniors, and said at least one woman couldn’t afford to turn on air conditioning this summer and had to hang out in a mall instead.

Jeff Coe happened upon the protest while out for a walk and was swept up in it and signed a petition.

“I’m all for conservation, I conserve my kilowatt hours, but the bill keeps going up,” he said. “So that’s why I’m here, too.”

The focus of the rally was Wynne: signs called on her to resign, and labelled her government “corrupt or stupid.” The most popular read: “Keep hydro public,” a reference to calls for Wynne to reverse the privatization of Hydro One, the province’s electricity transmission monopoly.

Politicians from the provincial Progressive Conservatives and NDP spoke, but the rally’s organizer, Sarah Warry-Poljanski, was the focal point, dressed in work boots, bright orange hydro worker-style coveralls, and white hard hat.

“With the cost of hydro we are all suffering … seniors and pensioners, people working two or more jobs just to get by,” she shouted into the microphone. “This is unacceptable … The (government) needs to stop serving themselves, and serving us.”

READ ARTICLE: http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6884575-city-hall-protest-targets-skyrocketing-hydro-bills-in-hamilton/

 

Ontario Suspends Large Renewable Procurement

NEWS
Ministry of Energy

 Ontario Suspends Large Renewable Energy Procurement

Decision Will Reduce Electricity Costs for Consumers

September 27, 2016 9:00 A.M.

Ontario will immediately suspend the second round of its Large Renewable Procurement (LRP II) process and the Energy-from-Waste Standard Offer Program, halting procurement of over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, wind, hydroelectric, bioenergy and energy from waste projects.

This decision is expected to save up to $3.8 billion in electricity system costs relative to Ontario’s 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) forecast. This would save the typical residential electricity consumer an average of approximately $2.45 per month on their electricity bill, relative to previous forecasts. No additional greenhouse gas emissions are being added to the electricity grid.

On September 1, 2016, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) provided the Minister of Energy with the Ontario Planning Outlook, an independent report analyzing a variety of planning scenarios for the future of Ontario’s energy system. The IESO has advised that Ontario will benefit from a robust supply of electricity over the coming decade to meet projected demand.

Informed by the Ontario Planning Outlook, consultations and engagements will begin this fall with consumers, businesses, energy stakeholders and Indigenous partners regarding the development of a new Long-Term Energy Plan, which is scheduled to be released in 2017. As part of this plan, Ontario remains committed to an affordable, clean and reliable electricity system, including renewables.

Ontario has established itself as a North American leader in clean energy development, attracting billions of dollars in private sector investment and generating over 42,000 jobs in the clean technology sector. The province has about 18,000 MW of wind, solar, bioenergy and hydroelectric energy contracted or online and the electricity supply is now over 90 per cent emissions-free.

Responsible management of Ontario’s electricity system is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

QUOTES

” Over the course of the last decade, Ontario has rebuilt our electricity system and secured a strong supply of clean power. Our decision to suspend these procurements is not one we take lightly. This decision will both maintain system reliability and save up to $3.8 billion in electricity system costs relative to the 2013 LTEP forecast. The typical residential electricity consumer would save an average of approximately $2.45 per month on their electricity bill, relative to previous forecasts. As we prepare for a renewed LTEP, we will continue to plan for our future and ensure Ontario benefits from clean, reliable and affordable power for decades to come.” – Glenn Thibeault Minister of Energy

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario’s new LTEP will be guided by a number of strategic themes including greenhouse gas reductions, innovation, grid modernization, conservation and energy efficiency, renewable energy, distributed energy and continued focus on energy affordability for homes and businesses.
  • At the end of 2015, Ontario’s installed wind capacity represented almost 40 per cent of all installed wind capacity in Canada.
  • Ontario is home to more than 99 per cent of all installed solar photovoltaic capacity in Canada.
  • Ontario successfully eliminated coal-fired electricity generation in 2014, the single largest greenhouse gas emissions reduction action in North America.

LEARN MORE

Katrina Xavier Minister’s Office Katrina.xavier@ontario.ca 416-325-2690

Aslan Hart Communications Branch aslan.hart@ontario.ca 416-326-5452

 

Available Online

Disponible en Français

 

Amherst Island Project- High Risk to Public Safety

Amherst Island Wind Project – High Risk to Public Safety
(Marine Logistics and Hazardous Materials)

Over 1400 barge trips across the Amherst Island ferry path will be needed to transport all turbine parts, heavy haul trucks, cranes, a cement batching plant, materials, fuel, fuel trucks, and supplies from the mainland to Amherst Island. The potential for collision is exacerbated by the plan to undertake all construction from September to March.

Two industrial docks, one on the mainland and one in Kerr Bay on the Island are proposed. A 4.6 km transmission cable laid by a specialized ship will follow the barge path and similarly intersect with the ferry route. This constant intersection of barges and ferry poses a multitude of risks for residents of the Island, all those using the ferry, and hundreds of recreational boaters.

Hazardous materials transported by barge include dynamite, fuel trucks, diesel, gasoline, transmission and hydraulic fluids, anti-freeze, motor oil, cementitious materials, nacelles containing oil, turbine parts composed of over thirty different minerals, 300 heavy haul trucks and several cranes. Every barge trip will intersect with the ferry path to Amherst Island. Two barges will be used for transport: a 300-foot-long component barge and a 150-foot civil barge. A marine accident involving hazardous materials in the channel is an unacceptable risk.

Loyalist Township documented their concerns with the proposed routes of the barge traffic and the submarine cable used to connect the transmission line to the mainland. Both routes cut across the ferry path. The Frontenac II ferry crosses the North Channel every 30 minutes from 6:00 am until 2:00 am between Millhaven and Stella and has right-of-way over all other marine traffic.

It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this right of the ferry to pass freely on its scheduled route: it is literally a lifeline for Island residents. An island offers no alternative routes for residents, commuters, suppliers, and most significantly, emergency vehicles. Most regular users of the ferry have encountered the situation in which the ferry, in mid crossing, makes a sudden course reversal, returning to the mainland to pick up an ambulance. Maneuverability and speed are essential, factors which would obviously be impeded by the presence of constant barge traffic crossing the ferry path.

The barge traffic will also pose serious navigational hazards for the hundreds of recreational boaters in the waters north of the Island and impede access to several well-known safe anchorages on the Island’s north shore.

The daily traffic from tugs with barges crossing the ferry route and entering Kerr Bay will create an unacceptable hazard in violation of the Navigable Waters Act. The ferry and the hundreds of other mariners in the waters off Amherst Island would have their right to safety threatened and, particularly for the recreational boaters, their access to safe anchorage or moorings impeded by the heavy volume of barge traffic.

This hazardous situation is exacerbated by the fact that the barge traffic, unlike the scheduled ferry crossings, would be constant but irregular, increasing the risk of a marine collision.

Windlectric has not provided the Marine Safety and Logistics Plan required in the MOECC Decision on Instrument for this project nor has it produced an Emergency Response and Communications Plan acceptable to Loyalist Township.

Our entire community is at risk.

Please ask Minister of the Environment Glen Murray (minister.moe@ontario.ca) to revoke approval of the Amherst Island Wind Project.

Protect Amherst Island: http://www.protectamherstisland.com/

Global News September 26, 2016:

http://globalnews.ca/video/2965085/amherst-island-residents-want-renewable-energy-development-rethink

Wind industry’s global attitude: blame the victims

annette%20smith-3_web

RE: “Defending wind power, turbines” [Letters, Sep. 14]:

Few Vermonters will defend wind turbines, so the national organization comes to the rescue. Go look at the American Wind Energy Association’s members: mostly large multinational corporations heavily invested in fossil fuel and nuclear.

The industry’s global attitude of blaming the victims is offensive in the extreme. Abuse people once by making them sick and unable to sleep; abuse them again by telling everyone it’s all in their heads. Same story everywhere.

At a Sept. 19 ribbon cutting in Searsburg, Governor Shumlin celebrated making people in the region sick and unable to sleep. He wants more Vermonters to suffer.

Annette Smith

Published on  September 14, 2016

READ AT:  http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=15609&page=1#.V-ienCErLIV

Public Health on Wind in Poland

Position of the National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene on wind farms

Position of the National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene on wind farms

The National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene is of the opinion that wind farms situated too close to buildings intended for permanent human occupation may have a negative impact on the well-being and health of the people living in their proximity.

The human health risk factors that the Institute has taken into consideration in its position are as follows:

  • the emitted noise level and its dependence on the technical specifications of turbines, wind speed as well as the topography and land use around the wind farm,
  • aerodynamic noise level including infrasound emissions and low-frequency noise components,
  • the nature of the noise emitted, taking into account its modulation/impulsive/tonal characteristics and the possibility of interference of waves emitted from multiple turbines,
  • the risk of ice being flung from rotors,
  • the risk of turbine failure with a rotor blade or its part falling,
  • the shadow flicker effect,
  • the electromagnetic radiation level (in the immediate vicinity of turbines),
  • the probability of sleep disruptions and noise propagation at night,
  • the level of nuisance and probability of stress and depression symptoms occurring (in consequence of long exposure), related both to noise emissions and to non-acceptance of the noise source.

In the Institute’s opinion, the laws and regulations currently in force in Poland (regarding risk factors which, in practice, include only the noise level) are not only inadequate to facilities such noise source as wind turbines, but they also fail to guarantee a sufficient degree of public health protection. The methodology currently used for environmental impact assessment of wind farms (including human health) is not applicable to wind speeds exceeding 5 m/s. In addition, it does not take into account the full frequency range (in particular, low frequency) and the nuisance level.

In the Institute’s view, owing to the current lack of a comprehensive regulatory framework governing the assessment of health risks related to the operation of wind farms in Poland, an urgent need arises to develop and implement a comprehensive methodology according to which the sufficient distance of wind turbines from human habitation would be determined. The methodology should take into account all the above-mentioned potential risk factors, and its result should reflect the least favourable situation. In addition to landform (natural topography) and land use characteristics, the methodology should also take into consideration the category, type, height and number of turbines at a specific farm, and the location of other wind farms in the vicinity. Similar legislative arrangements aimed to provide for multi-criteria assessment, based on complex numerical algorithms, are currently used in the world.

The Institute is aware of the fact that owing to the diversity of factors and the complicated nature of such an algorithm, its development within a short time period may prove very difficult. Therefore, what seems to be an effective and simpler solution is the prescription of a minimum distance of wind turbines from buildings intended for permanent human occupation. The setback criteria are also a common standard-setting arrangement.

Having regard to the above, until a comprehensive methodology is developed for the assessment of the impact of industrial wind farms on human health, the Institute recommends 2 km as the minimum distance of wind farms from buildings. The recommended value results from a critical assessment of research results published in reviewed scientific periodicals with regard to all potential risk factors for average distance usually specified within the following limits:

  • 0.5-0.7 km, often obtained as a result of calculations, where the noise level (dBA) meets the currently acceptable values (without taking into account adjustments for the impulse/tonal/modulation features of the nose emitted),
  • 1.5-3.0 km, resulting from the noise level, taking into account modulation, low frequencies and infrasound levels,
  • 0.5-1.4 km, related to the risk of turbine failure with a broken rotor blade or its part falling (depending on the size of the piece and its flight profile, rotor speed and turbine type),
  • 0.5-0.8 km, where there is a risk of ice being flung from rotors (depending on the shape and mass of ice, rotor speed and turbine type),
  • 1.0-1.6 km, taking into account the noise nuisance level (between 4% and 35% of the population at 30-45 dBA) for people living in the vicinity of wind farms,
  • the distance of 1.4-2.5 km, related to the probability of sleep disruptions (on average, between 4% and 5% of the population at 30-45 dBA),
  • 2,0 km, related to the occurrence of potential psychological effects resulting from substantial landscape changes (based on the case where the wind turbine is a dominant landscape feature and the rotor movement is clearly visible and noticeable to people from any location),
  • 1.2-2.1 km, for the shadow flicker effect (for the average wind turbine height in Poland, including the rotor from 120 to 210 m).

In its opinions. the Institute has also considered the recommended distances of wind farms from buildings, as specified by experts, scientists, as well as central and local government bodies around the world (in most cases recommended from 1.0 to 5.0 km).

READ AT: http://www.pzh.gov.pl/en/position-of-the-national-institute-of-public-health-national-institute-of-hygiene-on-wind-farms/

Scrap Green Energy Act

field-and-turbinesTORONTO – If the Ontario government wants to make a dent in soaring hydro rates it should scrap its controversial Green Energy Act.

That according to Christine Van Geyn, the Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. She says Premier Kathleen Wynne’s acknowledgement Wednesday that her government needs to move to address the high cost of electricity is coming far too late for many Ontarians.

“Call me a cynic, but if it takes losing a byelection of a Liberal stronghold for this to become an urgent issue maybe you don’t actually care about it,” she said of last week’s vote in Scarborough-Rouge River.

Progressive Conservative candidate Raymond Cho beat Liberal Piragal Thiru by 2,000 votes, snatching the long-held riding from the government.

“It’s been an issue for people in this province for years,” Van Geyn said of the soaring rates. “It takes losing for her to listen.”

Wynne said Wednesday that her newly minted energy minister, Glenn Thibeault, will look into the problem. But the message sent by Scarborough voters — and people around the province — hasn’t been lost on her.

“It’s not something that is isolated in one riding in Toronto,” Wynne said. “This is a concern across the province and I recognize that.”

Van Geyn said that if the government were to dismantle the Green Energy Act that would help rein in rates.

“It’s the whole reason we’re in this mess,” she said of the act. “The auditor general found that as a result of these Green Energy Act contracts for wind and solar power, where we pay between two and three and a half times above market rate, we overpaid for power by about $37 billion.”

READ MORE:  http://www.torontosun.com/2016/09/08/scrap-green-energy-act-to-help-hydro-mess-tax-watchdog-says?token=60776aed1cc5e2dd0f1293b7b3451832

Green Energy & Energy Poverty

heat or eat

“Going green is fine. But not at any price! And right now Ontario is in the midst of a growing electricity crisis. We have the power, that’s not the issue. The problem is the soaring cost of delivering electricity to customers, especially those who are unfortunate enough to live in lightly populated, rural areas.”

Soaring hydro costs driving families into poverty

Carleton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette

When people ask if you are “into green energy” it is nice to be able to hold up your hand.

I have no issues with working to eliminate coal-fired electrical generation or reducing our dependency on nuclear energy which, despite a record of success, still scares many of us.

Going green is fine. But not at any price! And right now Ontario is in the midst of a growing electricity crisis. We have the power, that’s not the issue. The problem is the soaring cost of delivering electricity to customers, especially those who are unfortunate enough to live in lightly populated, rural areas.

The Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne refuses to term the current situation “a crisis.” But for thousands of rural Ontarians who are struggling to pay their electricity bills it is a catastrophe.

Some of the tales of woe we’re hearing on a daily basis are truly pitiable.

Three weeks ago I read about a man in Bruce County, near Lake Huron, who after suffering a serious heart attack told family and friends it would be better if he died instead of surviving.

His reasoning is that the medical equipment he is now required to use regularly runs on electricity. It is driving up his family’s already ridiculous hydro bill.

READ MORE: http://www.insideottawavalley.com/opinion-story/6844567-soaring-hydro-costs-driving-families-into-poverty/

 

Eagle Kills & Wind Projects

“How do you report that birds are taken, are you counting them, and are they reporting them?” Kasperik asked.

“The short answer is, no,” Abbott said.

“Pretty much with all the projects out there, unless the company that is running that operation is going out there and conducting surveys of their own, there are no data being collected in terms of the number of migratory birds being taken.”

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Doug Bell of the East Bay Regional Park District, in a 2007 photo with a golden eagle found near turbines in California’s Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. The raptor, which had a compound wing fracture, later was euthanized. Janice Gan/Courtesy East Bay Regional Park District

Eagle Take Permit Considered at Hearing

A new federal regulation that would give the wind industry 30-year permits for unintentional eagle deaths was the topic of a recent legislative committee hearing in Casper.

The issue centers on a 2013 U.S. Fish and Wildlife decision that increased the length of eagle take permits from the current five years to 30, but only for wind energy projects and related infrastructure, such as transmission facilities.

A federal judge in California struck down the rule in 2014, shortly after it was issued, after conservation groups challenged it on environmental grounds. This past February the federal government decided it was not going to appeal the court’s decision.

Tyler Abbott, a deputy field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wyoming Ecological Services, told the Select Federal Natural Resources Management Committee that a new rule was emerging as a result of those actions.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service … is in the process of developing some definitions, some draft regulations and an environmental impact statement that could potentially lead to the authorization of an incidental take permit in the future, but right now it’s in development, and it’s not active legally,” Abbott said.

The proposed new rule would continue to allow 30-year permits for wind energy, but it now also includes a review every five years, bringing it somewhat in line with present permit length. The rule also has stipulations that companies seeking eagle take permits work collaboratively with Fish and Wildlife on a bird protection plan.

READ MORE:  http://casperjournal.com/news/local/casper/article_6c745815-e428-56e1-a79d-7c8883380802.html

Wind Turbine Health Study

Wind-Turbines-1-autumn-2014There stands to be a landmark Huron County Board of Health Meeting, Thursday, September 1, 2016, starting at 9:00 a.m. in the Auditorium of the Health and Library Complex, Huron County Health Unit, 77722B London Rd., Clinton, Ontario. 

Under section 8.1 of the agenda is a recommended motion that  

the Board of Health agrees to the request made during its August 4, 2016 meeting for the Health Unit’s participation in the proposed investigation into wind turbines and reported associated human health effects, to be conducted in partnership with Wind Concerns Ontario and the University of Waterloo 

Agenda:    2016_09_01_BOH_AgendaPackage

It is expected that the Board will pass the above motion.  Given the public is typically not allowed to speak, I would hope there will also be additional clarification on next steps, providing residents with an opportunity to make informed choices  on how each can best support efforts moving forward.  

Many people are suffering and I encourage everyone who is able to please attend. A crowd in the public gallery at these meetings is important and powerful.  Don’t leave it to others to show up and please pass the word along to family, friends and neighbours.

It takes great courage for people to share their concerns, especially when it comes to something as personal as health.  Tremendous efforts on the part of many have brought us to this point and I want to thank all who have worked so hard to ensure the health concerns of Huron County residents are going to be addressed. 

Concerned Citizens for Health