Ontario Green Energy Failure

The problem with so-call Green Energy is that it is often more of a feel-good solution than a practical one when it comes to solving environmental and grid problems.

This issue (among others) is highlighted in Scott Stinson’s column, McGuinty Liberals’ dream of renewable energy has not come to pass:

Of greater concern is the problem of when the wind blows and the sun shines. On Oct. 28, for example, one of the windiest days of the year, Ontario’s wind energy farms were humming along in the early evening and producing more than 1,450 megawatts — about 85% of wind capacity. This is highly unusual; in the high-demand summer months, wind routinely produces at less than 10% of capacity. But here was a rare day when the wind facilities were doing what they were intended to do — and the province was dumping the electricity on the market at a tiny fraction of what it was paying for it.

In fact, at various points of the day, according to data published by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator, the province was exporting to neighbouring jurisdictions almost the exact same amount it was generating from wind farms. At 3 p.m., it was generating 1,432 megawatts of wind — at the mandated rate of ¢13.5 per kw/h — and exporting 1,507 MW at less than ¢3 per kw/h. At 4 p.m., it was producing 1,450 MW from wind and exporting 1,425 MW, at the same 80% discount.

You get the idea: Renewables producing excess energy at the time it is least needed...

Wind turbines sound like a good idea until you realize that the power can’t be stored and is unpredictable at best.

So at least one of Dalton McGuinty’s legacy projects is an abject failure. And a costly one at that – not even factoring in the scandals.

*   *   *   *

Update

This comment by ‘gregorypspeers’ on the same National Post page made me chuckle:

I used to vote conservative, then I changed to liberal, even voted for Jack the one time. I guess I am wishy-washy. Dalton and the Liberals however topped the list of my biggest disappointment when it comes to political parties. yes even more than Harper. I bought into the green energy fiasco, watched in horror as they squandered billions on E-heath and gas plants. With Harper I knew what to expect and nothing he does surprises me. I can at the least respect that. Dalton on the other hand cut to the bone like the feeling you get when you find your best friend in bed with your wife.

Oh the betrayal! Another lemming wakes up and smells the gas stink.

And this is a good read by Lorrie GoldsteinAn ill wind for McGuinty:

…In many ways, the social disaster caused by McGuinty’s reckless and uninformed blunder into green energy rivals the financial disaster he inflicted on all Ontarians in pursuit of it, as revealed by Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter’s findings last year.

McCarter found McGuinty added billions to the cost of electricity generation — to be paid for by Ontario consumers — by failing to do proper business planning, ignoring the advice of the government’s own experts on how to reduce costs and committing Ontario to paying hundreds of millions of dollars for green energy it doesn’t need and may never use.

The problem with the McGuinty Liberals, of course, is that they are now so committed to green energy they’re incapable of admitting error, much less reversing course, something unlikely to change with a new leader…

We’ll have to put pressure on him or her.  And any McGuinty successor who was part of the Cabinet is going to have to answer for this disaster.

This entry was posted in Big Environment, Big Government, Big Green, climate change, Culture of Conceit, Dalton McGuinty, environment, environmentalists, Follow the money, Global Warming, health, Incompetence, It's the debt stupid!, Just trust Dalton, Lemmings love Fiberals, Liberal Party of Toronto, McGuinty Secrecy, Ontario economy, Ontario election, Ontario government, Ours to Recover, Premier Dud, scandals, Solar scam, Wind farms, Your tax-dollars. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Ontario Green Energy Failure

  1. Bec says:

    WOW! The comment in the ‘update’ is profound. AS well, when I heard the Canadian jobs report late last week where the Provinces of Ontario and BC were in the bottom of the pack, their environmental zealot mentality is the first thing that I thought of as a valid and obvious reason.
    These 2 govts have destroyed their provinces financially due to ideology+ imo, unions. Voters such as the individual featured above are refreshing to come across.

  2. fh says:

    Decided for some unknown reason not true ( I had to get out of the house)
    to drag my spouse to a movie
    we saw Looper I do not recommend it too much violence
    however it showed cars with solar panels the impression not favourable
    it was a glimpse of our green energy future
    I hope we do not go down that path we need to look after our planet earth not destroy it IT WAS ONLY A MOVIE I know

  3. Greg says:

    Keep in mind a couple of other facts. One reason we were exporting electricity is because overall demand in Ontario is down because employment is down, partly because energy costs are up. To be fair the 28th was a Sunday so demand is low anyway.
    The other fact that makes my brain hurt is that in order to avoid exporting more expensive power at a loss, the utility shuts down any generators it can. They can only really shut down hydro electric power (Niagara), and the newest gas plants. The guaranteed contracts with wind operators means we were shipping $0.13 cost power at $.03 while shutting down Niagara Falls which runs at less than $.02 cost.

    • Richco says:

      Great points Greg.

      Remember when Mike Harris proposed that Ontario team up with Manitoba in order to create and east-west energy corridor between the two provinces? I was reminded about that at a social event this past weekend. It made sense to me back then and makes even more sense now.

      I have to laugh at what’s turning out to be a parade of fools lining up for a shot at the provincial Liberal leadership. Murray, Wynne, Kennedy…..all seeking what could amount to the shortest Premiership in the history of the province because there’s no way that the Liberals will see anything but third party status after the next provincial election.

      • Liz J says:

        The media has chosen to ignore McGuinty and do polling to see who Canadians would vote for in the US election. Since it looks like “Canadians” love Obama in large numbers it’s hard to figure where their heads are. All we can do is hope they’re all crying in their beer come Wednesday.

        BTW, where is Big Al Gore, haven’t seen his big butt trotting around in support of the big O.

        • Richco says:

          “The media has chosen to ignore McGuinty ”

          I don’t agree.

          • Richco says:

            Actually, all you have to do is follow the posts and discussions right here to know that the Ontario based media haven’t ignored McGuinty. Both the G&M and NP have had their kicks at the can also.

            Not enough perhaps, but it’s been there, we’ve recognized it and those pundits who have never EVER let go of putting the screws to McGuinty.

  4. old white guy says:

    when i was in business and needed to expand i had to do a cost analysis on any project. not part of the project all of it. i did not have the option of using taxpayers money to pad my books. if so called green energy was not being subsidised by the taxpayers, not one project would ever have been approved by anyone with half a brain.

  5. Bubba Brown says:

    It was never about saving the planet.
    It was always about redistributing the worlds wealth.
    It was always about shoving a people hating, prosperity eating green gorilla into every political office and kitchen.
    It was always about demonizing anyone who did not dance to the music that only Al Gore, David Suzuki and Lizzy Mae could hear.
    Remember Lizzy pushing her pudgy little fingers in our PM’s face while caterwalin’
    “HE dosen’t get it”
    The BC govt is building windmills in Tumbler ridge you know where that huge coal mine is.
    Just down the road from the biggest gas deposit in North America, pipeline goes by their front door.
    Just down the road from the biggest dam, and damm lake in BC , the powerline goes right by headed south also.
    I lived in that area in Mackenzie, you get freeze up end of October winter lasts until April, 11′ to 14′ of snow, when it is 40′ below the wind does not blow.
    They are howling about the pipe line no mention that we have had a pipeline under the city of Vancouver for 97 years and shipped by tanker all that time with no problems.
    The only time I can remember a spill was when some Hoe operator dug down 14′ without “call before you dig” he found the line alright.
    Life does not come with a 100% guarentee it is not idiot proof.
    I have always thought somewhat cynically perhaps that if “global warming” was real and “millions are going to die from drowning etc.” well that is a self solving problem is it not?
    I don’t believe most people believe the greenies anymore.
    This is the first Presidential Election in three where it was not mentioned in the debates.
    Soon to be ex-president Barry did mention it at one of his poorly attended rallies, it is the ideal straw man, great excuse to enrich your crony supporters.
    Anyway a beautiful clear morning here in Parksville, up early, hate day light saving.
    Screws up my beauty sleep.

    • Greg says:

      You are right, the one commonality among all radical greens is a hatred of humanity. That’s why they banned DDT, why they keep writing books about doom whether it’s an ice age or global warming. The same people have claimed both! Always wrong, but never STFU.

  6. Bruce says:

    McGuinty et all forgot to factor in snowfall in their zeal for solar power…….now who will sweep all of that pesky white stuff off of those solar panels??????????

    • Greg says:

      Even dust will reduce their output significantly. Clouds are a big factor as well. I was at a customers factory last year. They have panels installed on the roof of multiple factories in a single town. They also set up their own system to continuously measure the amount of power generated so they can check how much the utility is paying, and because it’s a toy for the owner. They can track a single white fluffy cloud across town because each facility will drop to 10% of maximum output as it passes over each roof. Imagine the drop over the last week or so with daily heavy dark clouds. Needless to say they are disappointed with the actual $ they are getting compared to what was sold to them. Lucky for them, unlucky for the taxpayer, there was all kinds of grants available to help with the install cost and capital.

      • Richco says:

        let’s also not forget the huge announcement and photo op that came when the TDSB was going to “go green” and outfit their schools with solar panels.

        I wonder how THAT’S working out for them….not!

  7. Martin says:

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/07/20/ontarios-power-trip-power-dumping/

    This is old news to those following the analysis of green energy follies in the NP. The article above by Parker Gallant estimates losses on electricity exports at $904 M since 2006. The link leads to other other analytical aricles for Ont energy , all in a similar vein.
    As Greg points out, the simplest way to make room for sudden wind power on the grid, is to spill water over Niagara and other hydro facilities. So Ont replaces one green energy source with another costing 6x as much, and exports the excess to US at a loss.
    Sometimes the Americans are paid to take the excess electricity.
    The Ont Engineers Society have warned McGuinty that in present FIT structure, nuclear plants may be forced to shut down temporarily to make way for wind power. If this occurs Ont will face higher CO2 emissions as gas plants are reved up to fill the gap once the wind dies down. Ont will then have exponentially higher rates, along with higher CO2 emissions. This is not what the GEA envisioned.

    A resident relying on CBC, Ottawa Citizen, CTV etc. is unlikely to be aware of these figures and the true cost of McGuinty’s green energy schemes. A great many simply refuse to believe the analysis. I have long felt that Tim Hudak should make the financial case against renewable energy, using these figures.

    • Joanne says:

      Thanks for that link. Scary stuff.

      • Richco says:

        scary doesn’t begin to describe it Joanne. That link that Martin posted is over a year old. It was all there BEFORE the last provincial election.

        Too many ignored it.

    • Richco says:

      “The Ont Engineers Society have warned McGuinty that in present FIT structure, nuclear plants may be forced to shut down temporarily to make way for wind power.”

      Do you have a link to this Martin?

  8. Martin says:

    http://ww3.tvo.org/video/176506/getting-current-green-energy-act

    The remarks can be heard here on The Agenda from last Apr. Listen to Paul Acchione, Ont Society of Professional Engineers. Parts of this segment were rebroadcast on Sept 12 program. Steve Paikin is taken aback when Acchione makes his comments.
    Both McKitrick and Acchione demolish any of the arguments put forward by others on the panel.

  9. Liz J says:

    So, our PM is visiting India and what is the most important part to report from the usual media jerks? Why it’s all about the armoured cars taken along as part of security detail and of course the cost.

    • Joanne says:

      Lots going on tonight. Evan Solomon was making a big deal about this tonight and Rob Silver pretty much shot him down. Good for him. It’s the RCMP that makes these kinds of decisions – not the PMO.

      And big pushback against CBS on Twitter for withholding a crucial interview until two days before the election.

      • Richco says:

        Don Martin was shot down as well. No story here. Just the PM and his lovely wife chatting with the press. They were very candid, funny and respectful.

        Re: CBS – Watch Ezra tonight on the CBS Coverup.

  10. Bubba Brown says:

    Liz J @ 5:40 Good one! PM Harper has done more to expand the markets available to Canadian buisness than any other PM I can remember.
    The Prestitutes of course would much rather trivialize than report anything positive.
    That the corrupt media actually noticed that our PM is in India is only because his security detail was not satisfied with the arrangments made by India and decided to ship in limos up mto the task.
    Expensive? Probably no more than it cost to keep Saint Jack in TP for a year.
    After all he stiffed the Canadian tax payedr 3000+ a day every day of the year for “expenses” between him and Oliva.
    Not much intrest in Corrupt Media over that even when they both claimed full amount for a rental in Ottawa.
    Try that little trick with Revenue Canada and see how quickly you are audited.
    Our PM is over there doing buisness for us, keeping him safe is a priority.
    If the media thinks thats expensive try CBC, now thats expensive.

    • Richco says:

      CBC and CTV tried to spin this issue and were shot down. SNN never did.

      I notice the media accompanying the PM aren’t crying the blues about how well the PM treats them?

  11. Liz J says:

    Any sightings of Dalton the Destroyer of the economy and the landscapes as he worms around doing what he bloody well pleases unobstructed?

    • Joanne says:

      What a snake he is. Even the press are complaining about lack of availability.

      • Liz J says:

        There’s something very wrong with a system that allows a premier in a minority situation to close up shop, go into hiding and act like he has a majority.

        This time we should point the finger at the Lieutenant Governor who quietly granted this prorogue without asking if the opposition would get together and keep the doors open.

        This sort of stuff makes one think how close to dictatorship this democracy really can get when a minority premier or prime minister and the appointed Queen’s representative go counter to the peoples choice.

        • Richco says:

          So are you saying that Harper was wrong too Liz J. ?

          • Fay says:

            I am not sure if the situation is exactly the same Richo?
            I know when the prime Minister paroled parliament, he was not given a free ride from the press!

          • Liz J says:

            No, I’m not saying Harper was wrong, he wasn’t handed the prorogue without it being well thought out by the GG, she did her job and the public was well aware of it. The press had their theater, they played it to the hilt too.

            This McGuinty deal is something else, all done on the QT surprising everyone.
            McGuinty could start a club and call it “Sneaks Are Us”.

        • Richco says:

          I only asked Liz J. because you included “prime minister” in your post.

  12. Richco says:

    O/T – Terrific article here on how the Sponsorship Scandal is coming back to haunt the Federal Liberals in a big way.
    This just might tarnish the Trudeau crown a bit too.
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1283111–hebert-ghosts-of-quebec-sponsorship-scandal-still-floating-around

  13. fh says:

    O/T every time there is a need for action the Liberals and ndpq want a taxpayer waste of money commission
    I am thankful for our Canadian Conservative Government that is working hard for Canadians and is taking action to get the JOBS done

  14. Bubba Brown says:

    Well it is show time, I hope our American cousins are able to come up with a result that will enable them to move ahead.
    Not Forward.
    Anyway further to the whining in our own demented Dominion over our PM’s security detail spending a million to move his limo to India.
    Funny how Pseudo Chretain could spend 250 million on not one but two jets with no chattering from the presstitutes.
    A million would not have kept Saint Jack in the style he was accustomed to.
    So what exactly did our PM and his Ministers accomplish in India?
    Only 2.5 billion in trade agreements.
    Makes the transport charges look “small town cheap” or rather the ones blotivating about it.
    http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do;jsessionid=ac1b105430d8d3b9d300e7fa4af9afec92fdfafee041.e34Rc3iMbx8Oai0Tbx0SaxmPbhf0?mthd=tp&crtr.page=1&nid=704889&crtr.tp1D=1
    Why one might ask are the oppos and third place Lib’s so cranky one might reasonably ask.
    Does it have anything to do with a bill that clears up the truants that are not repaying their leadership “donations” all dressed up as “fake” loans.
    I am thinkin’ that Ken Dryden, Joe Volepe, Hedy Fry and Martha Who-Who are all entering the “pucker factor” zone.
    If they don’t pay the party is responsible.
    Conservatives doing the job Elections Canada won’t, it’s called the
    Political Accountability Act Bill C-21 and has had second reading.
    It is high time Elections Canada got a dose of epsom salts.
    I love a Conservative majority!

  15. Liz J says:

    “Presstitutes”, good one Bubba, it fits to a tee.

    If Bob Rae wants to talk about big spending he can check a bit of the history of his second party of choice under Jean C. Maybe he’d like to tell us what it cost to pave the road into Chretien’s “cottage” somewhere around Shawinigan.

  16. Bubba Brown says:

    There are more questions than answers with the Mean girls Media Liz J.
    The reason they are fixated on the cost of moving the Limo is it is the “shiny thing” du Jour.
    This way they can pretend to cover the India story while picking away at our PM.
    Like Wafer-gate etc.
    That 1 million was spent on moving the limo is true I guess.
    Should I care, is this important is it at all relevant?
    No more than the little reporters trying so, so hard to be noticed
    Probably more depending on the size of our delegation and weather or not they had orange juice.
    A billion is one thousand million dollars.
    This trade mission has brought in 2.5 billion dollars, so 2500 X 1 million return
    Not too shabby eh?
    More jobs, extremely valuable long term contracts sounds great!
    So media drags out “shiny thing” Taa Daaa
    To heck with the Media! Initaves like this make me damn proud to have a strong Conservative Majority.
    Good work PM Harper ! You Rock!

  17. Greg says:

    Those are some good ones fh, but there’s more. Even if the solar panels did work, they still would not accomplish the main task they are meant for – reduction in CO2 emissions. I was at a venture capital presentation that included solar start ups. I prof in electrical engineering from Mac stated at the meeting that he had been involved in semi conductor engineering since the ’70’s, and knew exactly how much energy is required to create silicon semi conductor material – the main ingredient in construction of the most common solar panels. Even under perfect conditions, it will take at least 20 years for a solar panel to produce the energy that was needed to make it. Given the issues – dust, cloud, shade, (heck something called snow in Canada)it will never happen. Chinese coal plants being built so North American and European suckers can pretend they are environmentalists, and unfortunately dragging us all down with them.

  18. Liz J says:

    A lot of Canadians will be celebrating today, their man Obama won. Now if anyone is looking for cheap real estate in Florida…….

    If anyone can figure out how anyone can say Obama won on the economy given the state they are in they need a refresher course in basic math.

    • Joanne says:

      All I can think is that half of America is still just looking at the outside of the package – refusing to admit that it’s empty inside.

      • Greg says:

        I’m just glad my financial advisor put my a good part of my savings back into resources like gold, silver, etc a couple weeks ago.

        • Joanne says:

          Yeah. Lots of talk about the upcoming ‘fiscal cliff’. Wouldn’t want to be too heavily invested in risky equities right now.

          • Joanne says:

            And check this out: Chris Matthews on Obama win: ‘I’m so glad we had that storm.’

            Unbelievable.

          • Richco says:

            the way the markets are reacting today says a LOT about the lack of confidence in last night’s decision.

            You DO know what happened right?

            Americans re-elected a Dalton McGuinty.

            They’ll pay for it too, just like we did and blame the other guy….because that’s just what Liberals do.

  19. MadMacs of Bytown says:

    Brian Lilley and John Robson at http://www.cfra.com at 08:10 am eastern.

  20. Liz J says:

    Were the words “fiscal responsibility” and the thought of losing government cheques a part of the reason Romney lost?

    • Joanne says:

      Entitlements were certainly part of it. The GOP wasn’t blameless but it’s hard to accept austerity when you’re promised goodies by the other guy.

      • Richco says:

        Yes Joanne – right out of the McGuinty playbook.

        Oh and “that storm” is just a clue as to what’s to come in the next 4 years.

        Obama played politics on the backs of those victims and got away with it. Unfortunately the role of genuine empathy was played beautifully by the star of the show.

  21. Richco says:

    O/T but back to McGuinty’s failed green energy program, here’s a letter from my MPP that appears in a local news paper today . Coverage locally has been nicely sticking it to McGuinty for a long LONG time. It’s getting better by the day in that respect.

    More people read their local papers than they do the larger papers. It’s why we don’t fall for the MSM spin.

    “Dear Editor,

    As the Progressive Conservative Deputy Critic for Green Energy, I was stunned last week to hear that in these time of economic uncertainty, the Energy Minister and his Liberal government is recklessly forging ahead with more unaffordable feed-in tariff (FIT) contracts, even though Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals put the brakes on the Ontario Legislature.

    By proroguing the Legislature while still pushing ahead with policies and project approvals, the Liberal government is abusing their power and are not making themselves accountable to opposition parties, the ratepayers and voters. With the doors locked at Queen’s Park, we as elected members of the Official Opposition have no way to hold the government to account. There is no Question Period, no debates and no committees. Just the minority Liberal government making decisions to move ahead with more unaffordable FIT contracts without community consultation, and without having to put these decisions in front of the opposition.

    With this latest move, it is obvious that the minority Liberals are trying to render the opposition powerless with a move unwanted in many communities. This is a stark contrast from my Leader Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservative Party. We remain steadfast that Dalton McGuinty’s “green dream” has not worked; in fact it has caused skyrocketing electricity rates for all Ontario families and driven businesses and manufacturing out of Ontario.

    Tim Hudak and the PC’s are committed to an Ontario where a mix of energy resources will be reliable, affordable, feasible and most importantly—welcome in communities. We have committed to the cancellation of the FIT program, a decision we stand firmly behind. We will work together with industry and municipalities to define an energy plan that works for all of Ontario—one that is based on energy demand and affordability.

    By shutting down the Legislature, the minority Liberals have blocked our only venue to question their actions and motives. They erased important bills and motions, including my four motions calling for a moratorium on further wind development until proper studies are completed. The Liberals are hiding behind prorogation and using this time to push through policies and projects that are self-serving, irresponsible, and driven by a political agenda—and the PC Party will not stand for it, but we will stand beside the citizens of Ontario advocating for transparency, accountability and responsibility.

    Lisa Thompson, MPP
Huron-Bruce”

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