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Blowin’ in the wind: Liberals’ green energy plan is all smoke and mirrors 

Credit:  By Lorrie Goldstein | Toronto Sun | January 26, 2013 | www.torontosun.com ~~

Our new premier, just like Dalton McGuinty, desperately wants you to believe the Liberals have replaced coal-fired electricity with wind power in Ontario.

Problem is, it’s not true.

What they actually did was to replace electricity generated by coal, with electricity generated by natural gas.

Due to a massive expansion program in recent years, natural gas has become one of the three workhorses in the province when it comes to producing electricity.

The biggest, by far, is nuclear power, which supplies 56.4% of our electricity needs.

That explains why it’s important to keep our nuclear plants up-to-date and in a state of good repair and why it’s idiotic to pretend, as many “environmentalists” do, that we don’t need nuclear power, which, ironically, doesn’t emit air pollution or greenhouse gases.

Next comes clean, green hydro power, which supplies 22.3% of our electricity generation, followed by natural gas at 14.6%.

By comparison, wind, which last year supplied 3% of Ontario’s energy needs, is a bit player and solar is so inconsequential it’s not worth mentioning, save for the fact solar is ridiculously expensive, even compared to overpriced wind.

The Liberals and their friends in the wind industry – literally, since many people in the wind industry are Liberals – recently boasted that for the first time last year, electricity generation from wind, at 3%, exceeded coal at 2.8%, thus indicating the Liberals are succeeding at replacing coal power with wind power.

Of course, this is specious nonsense.

Wind can’t replace coal because it can’t supply reliable, base-load power to the system on demand. For this reason, wind has to be backed up by other forms of conventional electricity generation.

In Ontario, the Liberals chose natural gas, ostensibly to back up wind, but in reality to replace coal.

In fact, it would have made far more economic and environmental sense for the province to replace its coal-fired electricity plants with natural gas-fired ones, while avoiding the wind boondoggle entirely.

That’s because while coal and natural gas are both fossil fuels, the latter produces less pollution and greenhouse gases when burned.

On the down side, people don’t like living next to natural gas plants.

That’s why the Liberals, who have been ramming industrial wind turbines down the throats of rural Ontarians, simultaneously cancelled or moved natural gas plants in urban areas, to save the political hides of a few Liberal MPPs in the last provincial election. In the process, they’ve wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars.

As for the Liberals’ boast wind is out-producing coal, that’s only because they’ve rigged the system.

Not only are the Liberals forcing electricity consumers (us) to spend outrageous amounts of cash buying wind power via the 20-year, no-cut contracts they’ve signed with the wind industry, they’ve also stipulated that whenever wind power is produced, it has to be bought before all other forms of energy.

And since we have an energy surplus in Ontario because of our depressed economy, when the province buys wind power, it has to dump cheaper forms of energy like hydro power, or sell it, often at a loss, to Quebec or the U.S.

This ongoing fiscal disaster is only going to get worse over the next few years as more and more expensive wind power comes on line, that we don’t need.

As for coal, the Liberals are boasting they will curtail using it for electricity generation by the end of this year, one year ahead of schedule, apparently having forgotten that McGuinty promised in 2003 that he would eliminate coal by 2007. In other words, they’re six years behind schedule, not one ahead.

Finally, when Ontario’s auditor general looked at the Liberals’ renewable energy policies in 2011, he found they (a) rushed into the field without knowing what they were doing (b) failed to develop a business plan (c) did no internal audit work (d) ignored the advice of their own experts on reducing costs (e) didn’t put contracts out to public tender and (f) grossly over-estimated the number of jobs they would create.

As a result, the auditor general found, they have added billions of dollars to the cost of electricity Ontarians will be paying on their hydro bills for years to come.

But that’s not the worst of it. The worst of it is that the new Liberal premier is going to defend this train wreck as vigorously as McGuinty did.

Source:  By Lorrie Goldstein | Toronto Sun | January 26, 2013 | www.torontosun.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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