Archive for the ‘Ontario energy’ Category

Ontario Hydro – The Future

April 28, 2009

This video spoof of BC Hydro should be looked at as a warning for people living in Ontario.

The “Green Cult” has too much say in the operation of our electrical generation system.

This must STOP!

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John Gerretsen, M.P

January 13, 2009

By Ron Stephens
Independent candidate for Grey – Bruce

The letter below is from Hugh Christopher Brown of Wolfe Island, Ontario.

He, like many others in this province, is frustrated with the Minister of Environment. From the office of Premier McGuinty to the office of your local MPP, the government has shown absolute disrespect for the citizens of this province.

From the dismantling of Ont. Hydro by Maurice Strong, the father of Kyoto, to the present day, our electrical system has been guided, not by those who understand our electrical systems and the needs of the province, but by the E8, another Maurice Strong product, and Agenda 21 from the UN.

Our electrical system has been sold off, and the citizens and manufacturing sector are being fed to the wolves.

It would not matter which party is in power. They have all bought into the idea of rule by the UN. Sustainability they like to call it. Sustainability means giving up our rights and freedoms to an outside entity.

Treason, if you will.

Every political party in this province will push wind farms to appease the “Green Movement”. Why? Because they are gutless traitors.

The govt. cannot present a case to defend their actions, because other than Green rhetoric, there is no case.

Nowhere in the world has wind energy proven it’s worth. The Danes are fighting against wind farms in Denmark, birthplace of modern day wind energy.

Germany, home to more wind power than any other country is building 26 coal plants. Why? Wind is not doing the job, nor will it ever.

Denmark saw wind as a clean alternative. It is a very small country of 5 million, yet it is heavily dependent on it’s neighbours for it’s power.

Enron discovered they could make a lot of money and gain control of large portions of the American grid by jumping on the “Global Warming” wagon.

Clinton, Gore and Maurice Strong were all involved in helping Enron.

Through subsidies and tax benefits, combined with their natural gas interests, there was billions to be made.

Nothing has changed. The wind industry of today is the ghost of Enron reborn, and it’s just as evil.

Don’t take my word, do your own research.

Please support the people of Wolfe Island and the many other communities threatened by wind farms by sending your thoughts to the Minister of the Environment.

.

April 12, 2008

Mr. John Gerretsen, M.P

Minister of the Environment

135 St. Clair Ave W., 15th Floor

Toronto, Ontario

M4V 1P5
RE: WOLFE ISLAND WIND PROJECT – APPEAL REQUEST FOR EA
Dear Mr. Gerretsen:
I am in absolute disbelief that an individual Environmental

Assessment has been denied for this project.

CREC has obliged itself to deliver a wind plant with nameplate

capacity of 197.8 megawatts, to be operational by October 2008.
In a letter to Shelia Allen, dated January 4 2008, Ontario Projects

Manager Geoff Carnegie refers to financial penalties to be imposed by

the OPA should CREC fail to deliver on this obligation.
In the same letter, Mr Carnegie also comments on the economic

“non-viability” of turbine deactivation or removal, and allows that

CREC will counter adverse effects only by employing “commercially

reasonable” efforts.
So Mr. Gerretsen, am I to understand that a private energy company is

taking money to fulfill a production quota, self site a power plant,

and now declares itself immune to accountability on financial basis?
I do not need to go into great detail about the social and

environmental uniqueness of Wolfe Island. You have been well furnished

with documents to that effect. You know that this island sits at the

head of the biggest estuary on the planet, is on the flight path of a

significant number of migratory species, and is the nesting site for

many endangered species. You also know as a CLASS IV IBA, Wolfe Island

would not even qualify for this development were the proposal made

today.
You are also well aware that not a single turbine has been moved in

response to the

many recommendations of Environment Canada, Ministry of Natural Resources,

Ducks Unlimited and the Kingston Field Naturalists. So what exactly is

going on?
You have attended a conciliatory BBQ with optioned landowners and

told concerned citizens that you “like the look of windmills”.
You are the Minister of The Environment, and you demand nothing more

of corporations than they self regulate their practices as much as is

‘commercially reasonable’ ?
I am well aware of the political risks of criticising wind energy. I

also know that if these projects are done recklessly, it jeopardizes

the future of wind development in our country.
You need look no further than our divided community, or the price of

real estate Melanthon to see where a lack of policy is getting us.

Does your party want to go down as the builders of sustainability,

viable public infrastructure, or the contractors of political

expedience? To choose the later risks not only your legacy, but as I

stated, that of the industry itself.
I like the look of windmills too. I like the clusters of 4-5 you

see outside of Danish villages, or the 20 in Copenhagen’s harbour.

Denmark is the leader in renewable energy, has decades of experience

in wind harnessing, uses minimum setbacks of two kilometres, and

practices the environmentally meaningful method of energy production:

‘use at source’. This is not the paradigm being followed here.
Our constituency is further insulted that we are left to the mercy

of absurd ‘post construction mitigation’, carried out at the

discretion of a company which has lied to us with promises of turbine

deactivation in the event of high avian mortality, noise, ice throw or

other perils. Mr Carnegie’s letter lets us know this form of

mitigation is actually an autopsy. Once our habitats are desecrated,

CREC proposes buying land elsewhere and “creating new sites with

desirable habitat features”. So much for good old conservation. I

would call this level of vanity ‘Biblical’.
If a bump-up is denied , we will take every political and legal

measure to bring this ill-informed green washing to light. As a

musician who travels the world, I have watched communities grow up

quickly in the face of political opportunists. I am no longer asked in

interviews what my problem with wind power is, but where is my

government in all this?
I would like to say that it is working with due diligence to secure

meaningful and sustainable practises. Today those are definitely not

the words I use. Give our island the respect of full environmental

assessment, and let us implement appropriate safeguards to protect the

environment and your constituents. Anything less implicates a

dedicated ignorance or ulterior motive.
Sincerely,
Hugh Christopher Brown

Wolfe Island, Ontario

c.c.
Lynn Moore, Chair

Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment

792 Fairfax Dr., Kingston, Ontario K7M 4V7
c.c.
Dalton McGuinty, Premier

Legislative Building

Queen’s Park

Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1

dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
Mr. Robert W. Runciman

Room 436, Main Legislative Building

Toronto ON M7A 1A4

rwrunciman@brockville.com
John Yakabuski

Official Opposition Energy Critic

Queen’s Park

Room 202, N.W., Legislative building

Toronto, Ontario M7A lA8

john.yakabuski@pc.ola.org
Ted Arnott

Tourism Critic PC

181 St. Andrew St E, 2nd Flr

Fergus ON N1M 1P9

ted.arnott@pc.ola.org
Ms. Peggy Smith, Solicitor

160 Johnson St.,

Kingston, Ontario K7L 1Y1

middle@kos.net
Mr. John Tory, PC Leader,

Room 200, NW, Legislative Bldg,

Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario M7A lA8

leader@ontariopc.net
Ms. Elizabeth May, Leader

Green Party of Canada

P.O. Box 997, Station B

Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5R1

leader@greenparty.ca

Bonnechere Valley Township Loses Backbone

January 7, 2009

Editor:

A few days ago the Bonnechere Valley Township called for a moratorium on wind farms until studies could be done to make sure the wind turbines were being located at safe distances from people.

I got an email a short time ago saying that during an emergency meeting the council rescinded their request. (An emergency meeting for a wind farm?)

I will update as I get more information.

I have seen this kind on nonsense before while trying to convince the ACW council to call for larger setbacks for the Epcor-Kingsbridge ll wind farm near Goderich Ont.

Please read what the Bonnechere Valley Township said a few days ago and then try to figure out the reason for the quick flip.

I know, but you try and figure it out.

BV TOWNSHIP adds it’s name to “Councils with Backbone”!

PREAMBLE:

Wind energy generation is a useful and potentially environmentally friendly method of augmenting our growing energy needs. At present, many municipalities across Ontario and the rest of Canada are considering numerous approvals for projects to harness this energy source. These projects are being undertaken mostly on private lands that cover terrains ranging from flat farmlands to mountains with heavy forest cover. Each application is being considered on a case-by-case basis with engineering and environmental reports being commissioned before decisions are made. However, the technical nature of the information in these reports is frequently beyond the ability of most municipal staff to comprehend in any meaningful way; therefore, we rely upon reviews by different engineers for interpretation. Even these reviewers do not have sufficient resources to undertake more than a casual review of the technical data and are unable to do much more than fact check the data. Some of the issues of greatest concern to the public, such as noise, economic impact and possible medical side effects, are little understood by the engineers as well as municipal councils and staffs, even after these reports and peer reviews are presented. Our tendency is be dismissive of challenges to findings that show noise levels to be within Ministry of Environment guidelines. Supposed medical concerns are generally dismissed outright. This could be a costly mistake.

There is a growing body of concern around the world that there is a need for a more comprehensive study of the reported incidents of apparent adverse health reactions due to prolonged exposure to the environmental alterations caused by industrial wind generation projects. It is beyond the expertise of municipalities and the resources available to them to undertake any meaningful studies in this area. Additionally, it would be wasteful in terms of time, money and resources to study this issue on a project-by-project basis. The provincial and federal levels of government in conjunction with the international community need to determine the nature of these health concerns through scientific study in order to create guidelines for safe setback distances from residential and other sensitive occupancies.

Please visit the SOS site for full statement

Suncor wind farm Ripley

Suncor wind farm Ripley

Enbridge wind farm Kincardine Ontario

Enbridge wind farm Kincardine Ontario

Is the govt. being honest about wind energy

December 10, 2008

poll results

wind turbines towering over farm

Is the govt. being honest about wind energy

Yes (198)
No (840)
Don’t Know (83)

Total votes: 1121

Premier, Dalton McGuinty Talks About Renewable Energy For Ontario

Before You Sign a Wind Turbine Contract

Province to push renewables – Green Energy for Ontario

September 19, 2008

The Ontario Govt. seems to like this story. Maybe if they read it enough times they might just figure out the scam themselves. It’s 4:15 Fri. the 26th of  Sept. The Gov. of Ontario has viewed this page 12 times today.

gov.on.ca Toronto, Ontario 4:06:34 pm 3 24:48 http://windfarms.wordpress.com/agenda-21/

gov.on.ca Toronto, Ontario 4:03:20 pm 7 62:45 http://kincardine.wordpress.com/…09/21/ontario-pushes-renewables/

gov.on.ca Toronto, Ontario 3:41:46 pm http://kincardine.wordpress.com/…09/21/ontario-pushes-renewables/

gov.on.ca ? (Canada) Time of Visit Sep 26 2008 3:00:35 pm Last Page View Sep 26 2008 3:37:56 pm Visit Length 37 minutes 21 seconds Page Views 6 Visit Entry Page http://kincardine.wo…o-pushes-renewables/

gov.on.ca Toronto, Ontario Sep 26 1:50:25 pm
http://kincardine.wordpress.com/…09/21/ontario-pushes-renewables/

gov.on.ca ? Sep 26 2008 1:16:51 pm

http://kincardine.wo…o-pushes-renewables/

gov.on.ca ? Sep 26 2008 9:44:51 am
http://kincardine.wo…o-pushes-renewables

As you read through this article from the Toronto Star, you might want to ask yourself. Where are the people and engineers that actually understand our energy system. Then I want you to read the Green Agenda in order to understand what is taking place. This is not about energy, it about control. You might also ask yourself how these people gained such influence over our elected officials.

I try not to cuss, but under the circumstances it seems appropriate.

Global Warming is a complete and total fraud. The sooner you understand it the better off you will be.

Smitherman calls for review of energy plan to speed conservation, and green technologies (Smitherman used to be the Ont. health minister. He’s the guy who wanted our elders to sit in their own dirty diapers until they were 75% full. Go fuck yourself Smitherman.)added

Energy Reporter ( Hamilton says he’s an energy reporter yet he has no idea what he’s talking about. If he did, he would refuse to write this drivel. A shill for CanWEA and the wind industry in general.  Tyler go fuck yourself.) added

NIAGARA FALLS–Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman has directed Ontario’s power authority to review and “fine tune” the province’s 20-year energy plan with the goal of accelerating conservation efforts and adding more renewable energy to the electricity mix.

But Smitherman, also deputy premier, said yesterday in a speech to energy-industry officials that the government is sticking with its target of phasing out coal by 2014 and maintaining the capacity of Ontario’s nuclear power fleet.

Inspired by recent learning expeditions to Spain, Denmark and Germany, considered global leaders in renewable energy adoption, and to California, the energy-conservation capital of North America, Smitherman said he’s convinced that more can be done in Ontario to unlock the potential of conservation and clean energy.

The Wind Energy Scam- Compare the Numbers

(Denmark is a tiny country  with about the same population as Metro Toronto, they are 83% dependent on fossil fuel for their energy. Germany is now fast tracking coal plants because they need energy.  Germany is over 60% dependent on fossil fuel for their energy and it will rise as they add coal plants. Go fuck yourself Smitherman.)added

The review will also look at ways to improve transmission capacity that has limited the development of renewable-energy projects, as well as explore opportunities for pump storage – a way of storing water power in natural geological reservoirs for use during peak times.

“With innovation and strong leadership I know we can raise the bar on the energy system,” said Smitherman, making his first major speech since he took over the “super ministry” in June. “Just because we’re doing well doesn’t mean we can’t do it better.”

(Smitherman, you couldn’t even figure out how to keep our elders in clean diapers and we are to trust you with our electrical system. Go Fuck yourself)added

In an interview, Smitherman said he would work “very closely” with the Ontario Power Authority over the next six months to refine the plan.

Environmental groups appreciated the strengthened commitment to green power and conservation but said Smitherman, by leaving the nuclear file untouched, didn’t go far enough.

“We agree that prioritizing renewable energy and conservation is essential as such economic strategy holds huge potential for job creation and the establishment of new industries to replace job losses in Ontario,” said José Etcheverry from the David Suzuki Foundation.

“However, we also believe that rethinking the commitment to new nuclear and refurbishments should be now top on the agenda to develop a truly innovative, reliable, and competitive green-energy sector in Ontario.”

(David Suzuki and his followers want no coal and no nukes. Think about it! Suzuki go fuck yourself)added

Both the Canadian Wind Energy Association and the Ontario Waterpower Association said they were encouraged by the announcement. “I am particularly pleased with the recognition that enabling transmission is critical to the achievement of our renewable energy targets,” said Paul Norris, president of the water association.

The Ontario Power Authority’s proposal – called the Integrated Power System Plan – is currently in the hands of the Ontario Energy Board. The regulator launched a hearing early last month that will determine if the plan is “economically prudent” and “cost effective.”

Under the current plan, Ontario’s nuclear power capacity is limited to 14,000 megawatts, which will be maintained by building new reactors or refurbishing old ones. Renewable energy has been doubled to 15,700 megawatts, while conservation and demand management efforts are targeting a 6,300-megawatt reduction in peak-time energy consumption by 2025.

Some industry associations, including the Power Workers’ Union, consider the renewable and conservation targets already too aggressive and say coal plants should be cleaned up and kept in the mix.

Smitherman said Ontario hasn’t begun to scratch the surface and the government isn’t going to rest on its laurels. “I’m pretty stoked, really, about the early progress that we’ve made, and the message that sends about the next steps.”

Keith Stewart, an energy expert with WWF-Canada, said it’s unclear what will happen at the current energy board hearings. “It is difficult to see how the hearings would proceed while the review is under way.”

(Stewart is not an energy expert anymore than anyone reading this is.(Keith Stewart has a PhD in political science from York University, where he studied environmental politics Gerald Butt’s the ex-principal secretary for McGuinty, is now the head of WWF Canada and a Bilderberger. For working so hard to undermine Ont. and it’s economy, go fuck yourselves.)added

This article is from the Toronto Star one of Ontario’s many propaganda machines

Read the GREEN AGENDA.

get educated

and

WAKE UP!

Wind energy unreliable, says E.On

Wind Energy – Can it last? – The Scam Continues For Now

September 13, 2008

Can it last?

On the back of the BBC having a go at subsidy wind farms, we now have The Sunday Telegraph joining the battle.

This paper is retailing a report from the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) which asserts that wind is failing to deliver value for money and distorting the development of other renewable energy sources. Furthermore, excessive subsidies make them an expensive and inefficient way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The report is actually written by John Constable, of REF, and Robert Barfoot, the chairman of the North Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. And even this has a greenie tinge as they say the subsidy scheme is encouraging energy firms to build as many wind farms as possible because it is more profitable than investing in other more expensive forms of renewable technology, such as wave power.

Actually, the main problem is that the generosity of the subsidy scheme is diverting cash from investment in longer-term schemes such as nuclear, and also driving generators to invest in increasingly expensive gas, this being the most suitable back-up for wind.

Nevertheless, the report authors say: “The market for renewable energy is an artificial one created and maintained by government legislation. The question is whether this consumer-derived money is well spent. It is worth noting that the excessive subsidy offered to onshore wind development has drawn developers even to sites where the wind resource is very weak and the environmental impact severe.”

Full report at EU Referendum

Energy Price Shock -Two Energy Firms to Raise Prices

August 21, 2008

Editor:
If you live in North America take a close look at what is coming. The Greens want to destroy the economies of
the industrialized world, via political pressure and the blocking of opening oil reserves and new nuclear power.
Expect massive increases in your electric bill in the very near future. Watch as more and more manufacturing flees North America and heads to China and other Asian countries.
While China and others continue to build coal plants – we will rely on expensive intermittent wind and solar for our power.
Why?
Read the Green Agenda – after which you should be rightfully pissed at your elected officials.

Energy firms E.On and Scottish and Southern Energy are to raise gas and electricity prices by up to 29%.

E.On said it would up its gas prices by 26% and electricity bills by 16% on 22 August for domestic customers.

Gas rings

The move comes shortly after British Gas announced a record rise in bills

Scottish and Southern followed a few hours later by announcing a 29.2%
increase in gas bills, with electricity tariffs up by 19.2% on 25
August.

This is E.On’s second price rise for domestic customers this year. In
February it put up gas bills by 15% and electricity tariffs by 9.7%.


We
are extremely concerned that the one in three pensioner households
likely to be living in fuel poverty by the end of the year will feel
forced to cut back on essential food or fuel

Gordon Lishman, Age Concern

Complete Article

Homeowners living near windfarms see property values plummet

July 25, 2008

Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario

Sir: The reason you said we need to erect wind turbines in Ontario ,was because of the need to reduce CO2, in order to fight global warming.

According to Anthony Cary- High Commissioner for the United Kingdom you are incorrect in your assessment of the situation.

Apr. 25th 2007- Anthony Cary- High Commissioner for the United Kingdom stated at a Club of Rome (Canada ) meeting. “There is no direct link between CO2 emission and climate change”.

Are you telling the citizens of Ontario the truth, or are you pushing the Green Agenda. After all,it was the Club of Rome that said “We came up with the idea of global warming”

One thing for sure, your office continues to show absolute disrespect for the health and property values of the people of Ontario.

Do the right thing – and in the process gain some respect for yourself and your office.

Put a moratorium on wind turbine construction until a proper health study has been done and reviewed by an independent panel.

Otherwise, people might think you’re putting the desires of both, the Club of Rome and the UN ahead of the citizens of Ontario.

That might be looked upon as a dereliction of your duties Mr. Premier.

By Nigel Bunyan and Martin Beckford

Last Updated: 12:01am BST 26/07/2008

Thousands of homeowners may see the value of their properties plummet after a court ruled that living near a wind farm decreases house prices.

In a landmark case, Jane Davis was told she will get a discount on her council tax because her £170,000 home had been rendered worthless by a turbine 1,000 yards away.

Estate agents have said  no one is likely to buy the Jones's house, which was worth £170,000 before the wind farm was built - Homeowners living near windfarms see property values plummet
Estate agents have said no one is likely to buy the Jones’s house, which was worth £170,000 before the wind farm was built

The ruling is effectively an official admission that wind farms, which are accused of spoiling countryside views and producing a deafening roar, have a negative effect on house prices.

It means many other families living in the shadow of the giant turbines could see thousands wiped off the value of their homes, as the Government pushes ahead with plans to build 7,000 more wind farms over the next decade to meet ambitious green targets.

Campaigners also fear ministers want to remove the legal right to complain about noise nuisance, condemning those who live near wind farms to years of blight and reducing the opportunity for them to resist expansion plans.

Mrs Davis, who launched a nationwide campaign after her own home was rendered worthless by the deafening roar of a wind farm, claims ministers are tabling an amended to the Planning Act which will remove eight crucial words that previously offered at least some protection to householders

“For people living near wind farms, both now and in the future, it will be a disaster,” she said.

“There are many, many people living in Middle England who have worked hard all their lives and yet will see the values of their homes suddenly diminish.

“This isn’t about Nimbyism, but the rights of ordinary people to live a normal life.”

Mrs Davis, 52, a retired nurse, lives 1,017 (930m) from a wind farm at Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire. Her husband, Julian, 43, originally bought the property from the county council and the couple had planned to extend it.

But the noise generated by the turbines is so severe, particularly when certain winds make all the blades rotate in unison, that it left the Davises unable to sleep. They currently live in a rented house a few miles away.

“It’s just like the effect you get in a car when the sun roof is open or a window at the back is open. In a car you can do something about it. But if it’s in your house and is coming from a giant turbine a few yards away, you can do nothing,” said Mrs Davis.

Local estate agents have acknowledged that the house, worth £170,000 before the wind farm was built in 2006, is now so severely blighted that no one is likely buy it.

Earlier this week the Davises won a landmark victory that reduced their council tax banding.

Although financially the difference is minimal, the reduction was granted on the basis that their home had been blighted by noise “on the balance of probability”.

Furthermore, the couple secured the ruling in the absence of a statutory noise nuisance – a fact that brought dismay to wind farm operators.

But Mrs Davis now fears the imminent change in legislation will turn the advantage back to the wind farm lobby, which is planning to build 4,000 turbines across the countryside – double the current number – and increase the number of those offshore from 150 to 3,000 by 2020.

From the Telegraph

The Wind Energy Scam- Compare the Numbers

July 11, 2008

Editor:

Let me start by saying, I’m no fan of Mr.Harper.

Both Harper and Dion are TRAITORS.

Dion wants Canada to be ruled by the unelected officials at the UN

and

Harper wants to integrate us with the US and Mexico.

Either way Canada will no longer call the shots concerning it’s future.

Dion and Suzuki keep screaming about “EVIL CO2″.

They, along with the wind industry keep telling us we should be more like Denmark and Germany.

Why? It’s not because of their low CO2 emissions.

Why is India Electricity – production by source:fossil fuel: 81.7%
hydro: 14.5%
nuclear: 3.4%
other: 0.3% (2001)
and China exempt form Kyoto. Their CO2 emissions are higher than ours.
Do some research.

Denmark
Electricity – production by source:
fossil fuel: 82.7%
hydro: 0.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 17.3% (2001)
(They have been using wind since the 70’s)

Germany
Electricity – production by source:
fossil fuel: 61.8%
hydro: 4.2%
nuclear: 29.9%
other: 4.1% (2001)
(We are told that Germany has more wind energy than anyone,yet Germany is in the process of building 20+ new coal plants)

Canada
Electricity – production by source:
fossil fuel: 28%
hydro: 57.9%
nuclear: 12.9%
other: 1.3% (2001)

Looks to me that the rest of the world should be following Canada.

We are told we need to follow the examples of Denmark and Germany. Why?
Even if they managed to cut their emissions from fossil fuel by 50% they would still have higher emissions than us.

We need to recall our elected officials today and demand an explanation.

Ontario could have put the scrubbers on the coal plants and built a new nuke for about 10 billion- according to the senior policy adviser for the ministry of energy.
Instead we are spending between 60 and 70 billion on a faulty dream.

No money for health, education or agriculture.
There is no excuse for the massive fraud taking place in this country.

Read Agenda 21 and Cloak of Green both found here

Have some fun – Google Enron,Al Gore,Maurice Strong and Bill Clinton.

http://www.windfarms.wordpress.com.

Enjoy the day and the scam

Ron

Britain’s Climate Madness

July 3, 2008

Absurd and Costly

There is not the faintest chance that 7,000 wind turbines can be constructed in this time, given the construction capacity restrictions and tight timetable. But, even if the turbines

were built, this would not be the end of the matter. Britain would still require a considerable back-up of conventional electricity-generating capacity because the turbines would frequently produce no electricity at all, given the fluctuation in wind speeds. Paul Golby, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, has said that this back-up capacity would have to amount to 90% of the capacity of the wind turbines, if supplies were to be reliable. This would be an absurd, and costly, misallocation of resources, with the extra costs falling on households and businesses. But, costs apart, there is yet another problem. And that is whether the necessary back-up capacity is likely to be available.

The current Government has woefully neglected Britain’s energy infrastructure, and much of Britain’s current electricity-generating capacity is due for closure over the next 10 to 15 years. Most of Britain’s ageing nuclear power stations are due to be decommissioned, and half of Britain’s coal-fired power stations are due to be retired because of the EU’s Large Combustion Power Directive (concerned with controlling emissions of, for example, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides). Under these circumstances, there is a very real risk that there will not be adequate conventional back-up capacity despite the Government’s welcome acceptance of the need for nuclear power (there will inevitably be delays in construction) and the operation of new gas-fired capacity (which, incidentally, makes Britain unduly dependent on imports, as our own supplies are dwindling fast).

The prospect of power cuts is, therefore, all too real. Brutally, the lights could go out, and business and the public services, now so dependent on computers, would suffer. The folly of putting so many eggs in the basket of wind power is the height of irresponsibility.

The EU’s Renewables Directive: Disproportionate Burden

The Government’s ‘dash for wind’ in order to develop a “low-carbon economy” is, of course, part of its climate-change policy of cutting carbon emissions in order to “combat global warming”. Any expansion of nuclear power would also curtail carbon emissions, and, indeed, if one believes that a low-carbon economy is a good idea (perhaps for security reasons as well as ‘saving the planet’), one might ask why not allocate far more resources to nuclear power and far fewer to renewables.

Alas, this would not be permitted under the EU’s 2008 Renewables Directive.(1) Under this Directive, the UK has agreed to meet 15% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. Whilst renewables include biomass, solar power, wind, wave/tide, and hydroelectricity, nuclear power is excluded. Insofar as the Renewables Directive is part of the EU’s policy of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2020 compared with 1990, this is perverse to say the least.

Whilst the UK has a 15% renewables target for 2020, just 1.5% of energy consumption was met by permissible renewables in 2006.(2) The UK has committed itself, therefore, to increase its renewables share ten-fold by 2020. With the possible exceptions of Malta and Luxembourg, the UK is faced with by far the greatest challenge in reaching its 2020 target. In addition, the unit costs in the UK are relatively high because Britain lacks access to cheap biomass resources in the electricity and heat sectors, and is placing greater reliance on high cost, expensive electricity technologies, such as wind (mainly) and wave/tidal. By contrast several EU countries are well-placed, including Austria, Finland, and Sweden, as are many of the central and eastern European countries.

It is, therefore, unsurprising that the UK is likely to carry a disproportionate burden of the costs of meeting the EU’s 2020 renewables target. According to a study by Pöyry Energy Consulting, the UK could carry around 20-25% of the total EU costs.(3) Pöyry has estimated that the annual cost in 2020 could be around £150 to £200 per UK household, and the lifetime costs up to 2020 would be £1,800, even as high as £2,800, per UK household. These are significant sums, and they are likely to be under-estimates.

Given my earlier comment that the Government’s plans for 7,000 wind turbines will not be achieved by 2020, there is no chance that we will meet the renewables target. (And, in any case, 7,000 turbines, even if built, are apparently inadequate for Britain to meet the 15% target.) The Government is living in fantasy-land – but it seems hell-bent on pursuing an energy policy which will be costly, will dangerously distort energy policy, and will leave the country vulnerable to black-outs.

The Economic Effects

Even if the lights stay on, it is clear that the Government’s current strategy will lead to higher and less competitive energy prices in Britain, other things being equal. For households, especially low income and pensioner households, this will bite into general living standards. Businesses, especially energy intensive industries, will continue to lose competitiveness and will migrate overseas to, say, India or China. The Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG) estimates that various ‘green measures’ (the Renewables Obligation, the Climate Change Levy, and the costs of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme) already account for a quarter of total energy costs for their members. The situation will surely deteriorate. Britain’s chemicals, cement, and steel industries, to name but three, are likely to shrink, jobs will be lost, and the balance of payments will deteriorate.