Wind Energy Program Costing Ontario Billions
THUNDER BAY – EDITORIAL – Ontario has embraced ‘green energy’. At the Lakehead University sponsored Research Matters event at Fort William Historical Park the audience was told that Ontario is not getting their ‘Bang for the Buck’ from the provincial network of wind turbines.
While the Premier has repeatedly stated how critical it is for Ontario to get off of coal, it appears perhaps that some of the research is being ignored. Perhaps too the high cost of wind turbines produced energy is being overlooked.
Russ McKitrick, from the University of Guelph stated that wind turbines are producing energy in Ontario at times when the demand is not there. That means Ontario is paying other jurisdictions to take the highly subsidized wind energy. Plus Ontario energy consumers are forced to pay to produce high costs for energy.
The University of Guelph researcher told the Thunder Bay audience that eighty per cent of the energy produced by wind turbines in Ontario is at times when it is not able to be used. The province ends up having to sell off that surplus subsidized energy to New York at a substantial loss.
In Thunder Bay, the news was received by members of the Friends of the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment. “We didn’t start out being against wind turbines, only the location, but as we dug in deeper and deeper, and the facts came out, we realized they are not a full solution,” according to one participant.
Energy costs are a detriment to manufacturing jobs, and are costing consumers more of their income. Ontario residents and businesses are now paying some of the highest energy prices in North America.
Green Energy and The Taxpayer
The Ontario solution of subsidized ‘Green Energy’ is hitting hard on the pocketbooks of Ontario taxpayers.
In the longer term, the highly subsidized wind energy and solar energy subsidies are costing Ontario taxpayers in higher energy costs, and in higher costs.
The long-term impact on Northwestern Ontario is huge and will carry long term impacts. Currently, the Ontario Government is borrowing one billion dollars a month.
A small increase in interest rates will hammer Ontario hard.
Wind Concerns Ontario says that over the next twenty years, the Ontario Government is also going to be on the hook for up to $1 billion a year for contracts that are in the approval process are brought online.
That cost of up to $20 billion dollars is on top of other costs.
Cancelling the Programs?
Despite statements made to the media by Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli that it would be “illegal” to cancel Feed In Tariff contracts with wind power developers, court documents show that the opposite is true, Wind Concerns Ontario states in a letter to the Minister today.
“The decision in Trillium vs. Ontario, 2013, clearly states that governments are free to alter policies in the public interest,” says Jane Wilson, WCO president. “As well, a legal opinion from Osler Hoskins Harcourt advises that companies in the renewable power business participate in government subsidy programs ‘at their own risk.’ That means, Mr. Chiarelli and his government could cancel these multi-million-dollar contracts if they want to.”
At present, Ontario has 55 wind power projects in various stages of approval; if all are approved the costs to Ontario could be more than $1 billion a year or $22 billion over the 20-year life of the contracts.
“Mr. Chiarelli said in the Legislature that Ontario has a surplus of power,” Wilson says. “The question for Ontario now is, why not cancel these contracts for power we don’t need and can’t afford? Does he answer to Ontarians, or the wind power lobby?”