Monday, December 09, 2013

Tom Adams In Sun: Mostly Sane

There are bits of it I don't agree with.  For instance, any fair reading of Ontario history would show that the province's dalliance with gas power predates the Green Energy Act, and wasn't  a conspiracy to cover-up (or "backstop") the poor performance of its wind farms.

But most of it (meaning over half) is OK, even relatively informative.  There are several bits that are particularly interesting, because they undermine the arguments anti-wind types, Adams among them, have made on previous occasions.  For instance this:

Adams said the real effect of the wind and solar investments on bills has yet to sting ratepayers but will drive up prices over the next few years.

...which is to say that, Vic Fedeli aside, you can't really lay any serious portion of the recent increases to your power bill  at the feet of wind energy (well, a little bit--wind & solar account for about three per cent of your total bill though that, as everyone admits, will rise in time).

And then there's this bit:

Ontario hydro ratepayers pay Bruce nuclear and solar and wind generators even if the power isn’t needed or used, he said.

Gas plants are a guaranteed a rate of return through a monthly stipend — even at times when the power they generate is not needed, he said.

Which is to say that the kind of deal arrangement that critics of wind power complain about (ie wind farms are paid to produce unneeded power) also exist between the government and all the province's other electricity producers.  So why single out wind for special approbation?


Kuze said...

"Why single out wind?"

Because wind/solar power in Ontario is stupid the same way Conservative "tough on crime" policies are: They assuage intuitive ideological preferences but don't actually lead to better outcomes. They make effete urbanites feel like we're doing something of use to combat climate change when we're not. But we've GOT TO DO SOMETHING, right?

Dan Wrightman said...

Since 2009 the wind proponents have been boasting how paying wind developers above market prices of 13.5 cents per kwh for 20 years was a good deal for Ontario ratepayers because they would only be paying for the power that was generated. Now the rules have suddenly changed, the question everyone is asking is Why??? As well, considering that one of the goals of wind energy is supposed to be less use of fossil fuels & nuclear energy it seems counterintuitive to pay wind developers to not generate energy.