Wind Concerns Ontario is calling on the provincial government to cancel the expensive feed-in tariff (FIT) program for industrial-scale wind power, as well as halt wind power developments and compensate rural residents whose properties near wind power generation facilities have lost value.
The group released a report called Unintended Consequences on March 13, which discusses the FIT program.
“This program has not worked. Wind is expensive and unreliable and needs fossil-fuel backup,” said Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario. “Our report shows the result is higher electricity bills for everyone and poor value for Ontario.”
The report makes recommendations to halt the FIT program, stop all industrial wind projects until an independent clinical healthy study is done, compensate non-participating property owners whose properties have lost value near wind developments and return local land use planning powers for renewable energy projects to Ontario municipalities.
“We don’t need wind power in Ontario,” said Wilson. “It’s expensive. It’s unreliable and it’s out of phase with demand.”
Wilson said that electricity prices hit a record low over the weekend and Ontario had to shut down power generation.
“Meanwhile, Ontario is pushing industrial-scale wind power, which is industrializing our rural communities and elevating electricity costs, which in turn harms people and businesses.”
The Unintended Consequences report often refers to the Auditor General’s report from 2011, which notes that Ontario failed to conduct a business case study for its FIT program or a cost-benefit analysis of the impact of the subsidy.
“Wind power has not fulfilled one single promise made by this government,” said Wilson. “It has a high environmental impact for very low return. The jobs are temporary and the developments are not welcomed in most communities.”
She said that many other countries in the world with subsidy programs for wind power have given up.
“Wind power at that scale just doesn’t make sense.”