TVO’s take on Wind Energy

On Nov. 4,  TVO’s The Agenda had a panel on wind energy.  My response to this somewhat shameful display of biased journalism can be found on the following website.  I’ve also included a copy below.


Dear Steve Nov. 6/08


In no way can I express the full extent of my disappointment with your presentation on wind last night. The fact that John Adams was allowed to start the discussion with his points then have each panelist, who were the majority pro-wind, to counter these, easily leads one to conclude that you have bought into CanWEA’s propaganda and Minister’s Smitherman green washing of Ontario. You were obviously not interested in presenting a balanced debate but rather to squash the democratic voice of rural Ontario.


Not once was the fact raised that people are being pushed out of their homes or having to sell their properties at reduced values because of wind turbine generated noise and stray voltage. This is a real phenomena that CanWEA denies because they know they are putting people in harms way. In my many attempts to make my gov’t aware of this, my concerns and findings are literally brushed aside as false information despite my witnessing first hand these facts. Could they not at least investigate to see the extent of the problem? Instead Minister Smitherman spends taxpayers dollars to visit Denmark, Germany and California, countries with strong wind mandates, mostly because they have a manufacturing base for wind, but in turn cannot visit established sites within our own province to determine how wind energy is affecting the populace of rural Ontario after 3 years of living with these behemoths.

From your presentation last night I can see that rural people are being viewed as expendable collateral and when Paul Donelly accused rural Ontario residents that it’s time that we do our fair share toward s improving Ontario’s energy supply, confirms this completely. I could in turn ask the same of my urbanite friends, especially Toronto, who could easily use their brown field sites to put up turbines. At least these would be closer to the source who needs it. Since CanWEA assures us that turbine collapses, blade and ice throws and noise are non issues, Toronto should easily embrace wind energy in their own backyards. As for his emotionally charged arguments about air quality, ask Mr. Donelly how much GHG emissions wind energy will remove if integrated at the levels discussed. Most reports indicate at best 1% .

If helping the global warming issue is the aim here, than wind is a dismal failure. In addition it’s performance as an energy source is at best pitiful. At 35% efficiency, 5000MW will represent only 5.4% of Ontario present capacity.

Your chart referring to 34.4% of our energy supply coming from renewables mislead the public to believe this to be from wind only. Impossible, Eon-Netz of Germany stipulates that 90% of the nameplate capacity of wind must be backed up with fossil-fuel generation making these sources highly inefficient in utilizing a limited resource. Alberta last year announced the need to build a Natural gas generation plant near their wind turbine sites in Pincher Creek specifically for back up generation needed for wind’s intermittent nature.


As for renewables replacing coal have a look below:


Coal power to remain important part of Canada’s supply

Coal-fired generation will remain a significant component of Canada’s power production mix, though the sector will face tough challenges due to concerns about air quality, uncertainty about future greenhouse gas regulations, and competition from other sources of generation, the Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) predicted in an industry overview released Friday.
The federal regulatory agency said in its briefing note, titled “
Coal-Fired Power Generation: A Perspective,” that coal-fired generation will decline; however, it expects that an estimated 10,000 MW of capacity will be installed by 2030.
Canada’s coal reserves are roughly equivalent to its oil reserves, and coal-fired generation represents more than 16,200 MW, or 13%, of the nation’s installed power generation. In 2006, about 16% of the country’s electricity (mostly in Alberta and Ontario) was generated from coal. Coal-fired generation is nonexistent in provinces such as British Columbia and Quebec that rely on hydroelectric resources.
Uncertainty about the direction of the future greenhouse gas regulations and the cost and reliability of newly developed clean-coal technologies will impact the consideration of coal-fired generation as a practical investment and limit the opportunity for increased coal-fired generation, the agency said.
The energy brief provides a rundown of the nation’s latest technological developments concerning coal-fired generation. Concerning integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), the NEB said that at present, the levelized unit cost of power generation is estimated at 15% to 20% higher than the next-best, supercritical coal-fired technology.
“If sufficient experience is gained, either from plants in other countries or pilot projects in Canada, IGCC has the potential to become the preferred technology for generating electricity from coal,” it said.
Likewise, if carbon sequestration and storage proves practical, it would address a major concern about coal-fired generation and tend to promote the construction of new coal-fired power plants and associated CO
2 pipelines, the agency suggested.

Source: Canadian National Energy Board

As for the cost of integrating wind have a look at the National Post article below.

Ontario blows it

Dealing with erratic wind power brings huge costs



So you see Steve, we are all being mislead by an industry who stands to gain substantial financial returns off the backs of Ontario taxpayers. Like Pat from the CATO Institute said, is this the kind of issue the general public want to spend on??? especially when they don’t know the whole story. Paul Donelly’s claim that wind is free is plain and simply, a lie. I hope in order to redeem yourself and the reputation of your program you and your producers will revisit this issue and in turn help the rural residents of Ontario have a voice that so many with high financial stakes want to stifle.  


One response to “TVO’s take on Wind Energy

  1. I actually found this more eniteratning than James Joyce.

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