Ontario Liberal’s Green Energy Act Ful of Hot Air – Christina Blizzard (Toronto Sun – April 12, 2013)

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TORONTO — Wind blows — and so sadly does the Liberal government’s Green Energy Act. Even before the Fraser Institute came out with its damning report on wind and solar energy this week, the writing was on the wall.

Turbines have wreaked havoc on rural Ontario, ruining the countryside, pitting neighbour against neighbour as wind farms sprouted on once lovely fields.

We’ve gone from generating the cheapest electricity in the world to the most expensive in North America. The report, Environmental and Economic Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA) authored by Ross McKitrick, recalls provincial auditor general Jim McCarter’s scathing 2011 report in which he said the province has already lost $2 billion in electricity exports because power generated by wind often has to be exported at a loss.

“Eighty percent of Ontario’s generation of electricity from wind power occurs at times and seasons so far out of phase with demand that the entire output is surplus and is exported at a substantial loss,” the report says. “Data from the Independent Electricity System Operator shows Ontario now loses, on average, $24,000 per operating hour on such sales, totalling $200 million annually.”

Those costs will continue to add up with every new wind turbine installation, because of the mismatch between when wind energy is generated and when it’s needed.

Turbines have proven to be a political liability for the Liberals.

In the 2011 election, they lost most of their rural seats — mainly because rural voters were irate at the high-handed way they were steamrolled on decisions about the siting of turbines.

Tory energy critic Vic Fedeli says it was all for nothing — there’s no more “green” energy now than there was before the GEA in 2009.

“Wind power does not replace coal,” Fideli told me. “Coal was replaced by electricity generated by nuclear and gas.
“Coal is down 14%. Nuclear and gas are up 14%.”

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