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Consumers finance green energy schemes

Re: “My Thoughts on Wind Turbines”

Finally, a newspaper article that hits the nail on the head. While everyone has been preoccupied for the past year with the introduction of the HST(a tax is a tax and the government will collect them in some way, shape, or form), I have been preaching the fallacies of the provincial government’s “Green Energy Policy.”

Chris – I totally agree with your article. As you state, wind energy is very, very expensive to produce, at 13 to 15 cents per kwh as compared to hydro electric (water generators) at 2 or 3 cents and nuclear or fossil fuel energy is 5 or 6 cents/kwh hour. Thus, wind farms are not economically feasible without subsidies to pay for the energy at three times the normal cost of electricity.

However, this program pales in comparison to the provincial government’s contracts to pay suppliers 80 cents/kwh for solar energy, which is 15 or 16 times the cost of ‘normal’ (hydro, fossil and nuclear) sources. The provincial government was able to lure people to invest $80,000 to $100,000 for solar panels with a promise of 12 to 14 per cent return on investment over a 20 year period. In today’s economic climate, anyone with money saw this phenomenal guaranteed return, as a no-brainer. Obviously, none of these programs could be viable without extremely high subsidies from the government.

My biggest concern is the provincial subsidy program to pay for these 20 year projects. These ‘subsidies’ to the wind energy companies and to all solar energy suppliers are paid by you and I with every hydro bill. We, the consumer, had no input into the negotiations/contracts to spend our money, and have no choice but to pay the subsidies on every bill under the camouflaged name of Provincial Benefit.

The provincial government has mortgaged every energy consumer in our province for the next 20 years with this unbelievable program. And, as you have explained, to implement the programs, the provincial government has also removed the power of decision for such installations away from municipal governments.

In Ontario, I believe the province’s “Green Energy” program refers to the color of money that large wind energy companies, investors with $100,000 of spare cash for small solar systems, and solar panel manufacturers, have been able to obtain from us, the consumer, aided and abetted by the provincial government.

I can only thank you Chris for initiating this much needed discussion prior to the next provincial election. I hope this becomes a significant election issue – it affects everyone of us dramatically – just look at your hydro bill.

Howard Chambers,