Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ontario Green Energy Failure

(Reposted from BlueLikeYou - Nov. 5, 2012)

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.
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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 Goldstein - An 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.

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