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Wind energy is un-FIT for everyone

Wind energy is unreliable, inefficient and very costly. Wind is intermittent, making it difficult to control its flow on the grid, which in turn affects the grid’s stability and because it’s intermittent, wind power often requires other sources of energy to back it up.

In 2010, 86 per cent of wind energy was produced when we already had a surplus of power (Auditor General’s Annual Report 2011) and wind doesn’t blow when power is needed most. Wind turbines’ capacity is said to be about 30 to 50 per cent, but actual numbers are less and decrease over time with years of production.

Hundreds of wind turbines are required to make a meager amount of power. A writer for Canadian Energy Issues wrote: “Wind-powered electricity is so inefficient that nobody gets into the wind generation business unless they are paid to do so.”

The Ontario government’s 2009 Green Energy Act’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) paid wind energy generators a whopping 13.5 cents/kw (now 11.5 cents/kw) and they’re paid even if ordered to shut down during times of surplus.

Ontario has an excess of power, so we often have to export the excess for a loss, sometimes even have to pay our neighbours to take the surplus and sometimes water is spilled from hydro generators, our cheapest power, to make room for expensive wind power!

No wonder Ontario now has the highest electricity rate in Canada and no wonder our economy is in a mess and we’re deep in debt!

The Ontario government was in such a hurry to replace coal-fired power generation with renewables, that “billions of dollars were committed to renewable energy without examining the effects of renewable policies on prices or identifying cost-effective alternatives to renewables such as imports and conservation.” (Auditor General’s Annual Report 2011)

The Ministry of Energy estimated that 56 per cent of the rise in electricity bills would be due to renewables. (Auditor General’s Annual Report 2011)

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) recently stepped up to the plate and made new rules that they estimate will save us $200 million a year. The new rules will allow the IESO to shut wind generators off the grid at times of low demand but they will be paid for some of their lost output. A step in the right direction to help reduce our costs.

But until the Green Energy Act’s FIT is cancelled and the Act’s other policies are changed/removed, we the ratepayers are footing the bill for the Liberal government’s energy debacle and residents like myself, living where wind turbines are placed without our say, have become guinea pigs for the government’s energy experiment, which is not FIT for anyone!

Betty Ortt,