A Free-Market Energy Blog

Wind's Political Trouble in Ontario (Secretive Samsung deal, power rates at issue)

By Sherri Lange -- May 11, 2011

[Editor note: This press release from Toronto Wind Action and Great Lakes Wind Truth (Canada) was released yesterday. Press reaction and key facts are presented at the end. Also see Ms. Lange’s previous post, Ontario Update: Offshore Wind Moratorium Decision Hangs Tough, Onshore BAU Targeted (April 8).]

“After being challenged by the Ontario Liberals for the past six months to “show us your plan,” Tim Hudak, leader of the Ontario Conservative party, did just that on Tuesday. In a speech that outlined what could well become the defining issue of the coming Ontario election, Mr. Hudak promised to take down the key elements of Premier Dalton McGuinty’s green energy program.”

– Parker Gallant, “Ontario’s Power Trip: The End of FIT,” Financial Times, May 10, 2011.

Ontario received an early Christmas present yesterday with the  announcement by Progressive Conservative Opposition Leader Tim Hudak that if elected, his government will cancel the $7 billion  Samsung deal (Canadian) and revisit hydro deals. Such would negate the FIT (Feed In Tariff) programs that fill the coffers of developers at the expense of power users, large and small.

Hudak is electable, and his green-reform initiative follows on the heels of the strong victory by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose Tory Party now has full control of the House of Commons. Ontario’s rebellion against Big Wind should hearten the sister grassroots rebellion in the United States–and scare the super-lobby American Wind Energy Association.

The Samsung deal, in particular, was privately honed and constructed to give Korean business opportunities a fine edge in getting power to the grid, as well as more business incentives in construction for solar and wind turbines.

It is time to return to fair power rates for Ontario. “This (Samsung) deal is a rip-off…we’ve got to cut our losses,” Hudak said today. Quoting “odious deal,” Hudak implied that when new governments must govern with previously deadly or economically unfair deals, it obviously cannot be shackled and have government business paralyzed with that unfairness. It was clear that Hudak, if elected Premier, would not be tied and bound by the widely despised secret Samsung deal, spawned by former Minister of Energy George Smitherman.

Sherri Lange, Founding Director of Toronto Wind Action and Executive Director, Canada, Great Lakes Wind Truth, praised the announcement. For years, her grass roots groups and others have been educating government leaders, calling for and obtaining moratorium votes, such as the boat turning Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Moratorium for offshore wind turbines. “From a “talk to the hand” kind of arrogance at Queens Park to finally getting a substantial reversal of turbine woes in the province from Mr. Hudak, feels like a breath of air,” Lange said today. “There are seven families we know of who have had to abandon or leave their homes due to ill health. There are likely many more who have not self-reported and who are living in cottages or family homes.

There are over 100 more people who have reported serious health concerns. This expansion of business in the province (and if that business is economically viable is highly questionable), over human health and environmental concerns is not acceptable.”

More to Do

Lange also expressed the hope that Mr. Hudak will expand on his energy platform in the days to come. She hoped today that victims of wind will have compensation for suffering and be allowed to have full restitution. She expressed the hopes of many Ontarians that the Green Energy Act will be repealed, and that the legislation (GEA) that can modify or supersede other Provincial laws designed to protect nature and habitats, such as the Endangered Species Act and the Conservation Authorities Act, will be declared unreasonable and cast into the history books as an ugly footnote.

Lange cited a request from the EBR (Environmental Review) 011-3181 of today’s date, May 10th, 2011, that asks (actually listed as an “information item”) for a permit to be granted, or having been granted, “to allow Gilead Power Corporation to kill, harm and harass Blanding’s Turtle and Whip-poor-will as well as damage and destroy the habitat of Whip-poor-will for the purpose of the development and operation of Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park in the Township of South Marysburgh, Prince Edward County .”

This kind of cynical and self-serving override to existing and carefully protective legislation, Lange said, does not reflect anything “Green” at all, and only creates more reason to question the legislation introduced by the Liberals which provides in her view “some very serious errors in fiscal, social, community, and environmental planning in the province. It shows a leadership that is completely out of touch with the basic value system of the people of Ontario.”

Growing Wind Opposition

Today’s announcement puts the Opposition Party in a philosophical line with the 70 plus communities and agencies, cities and towns that have called for Moratoriums on wind power in the province. The first step towards energy sanity is to examine the chaos that has been produced by legislation (Green Energy Act) that has virtually sidelined democracy in the province. “The virus of bad decisions and broken communities has spread to families, communities and an incredibly dangerous economic future,” Lange said. She cited that Spain’s Green revolution has led to record unemployment, and job loses that are reportedly 2.2 or even 5.4 jobs lost for each so called green job created.

Lange also pointed out that on top of the incredible personal losses of incomes and homes and personal peace of mind that arrived with turbine construction in the province, the 700 plus turbines and the now vaulting ambition for 5000 more in places of respite, agriculture, beauty, recreation, we have the “angst of families and groups who have a few family or community members who have chosen to participate in the FITs and incentives and this has created remarkable breakdowns in relationships and community health. We have First Nations peoples in consternation with their own networks, and some who resist the urge and cherish the natural relationships with water, air, wildlife.

Part of Larger Rethink

“We have Ontario in a ‘fit’ of madness with itself.” But even stronger than the breakdowns are the grassroots community actions that have propelled out of the misconceptions and continued to educate and extend their turbine communications truly globally.

Lange pointed to the strength of the Six Nations recently in turning down a wind project for Haldimand and Fifth Line, Six Nations, when Chief Bill Montour indicated that the 140 MW wind and 120 MW solar deal broke down because of the perceived secrecy of the Samsung group, which is not used to being so open with public interests. Lange quoted Councillor Helen Miller who was also engaged in the negotiations, “We were going to be partners, but they were throwing us crumbs.”

Ontario’s Bottom Offers Upside

Lange went on to describe that Ontario’s energy waste is of such a scale that “ordinary Ontarians have no understanding of the numbers.” Lange indicated that Ontario’s ratepayers were outraged again this weekend before last when they provided $4,171,090 to subsidize the excess production of electricity from wind.  She added:

There has been a litany of turbine criticisms even this past two weeks, from costly gear box repairs (and an internationally unlocateable ball bearing), at the symbolic CNE turbine, which cost $800,000 to build and which has not been seen as anything but a vapid and expensive experiment in turbine pop psychology, to a National Post article that “Ontarians will pay dearly for McGuinty’s energy fantasy.

Lange said this announcement is fresh and new because we have been “waiting for the bad dream to be over. Perhaps this is the start of a return to older values when dollar for dollar people can understand the democratic principles they reside under, they can appreciate where their energy dollars are going, and they feel they have a personal and economic future that is not flopping in the wind.”


Sherri Lange is the founding director of Toronto Wind Action; executive director of Great Lakes Wind Truth (Canada); and member, Save the Eagles International. She can be reached at kodaisl@rogers.com.



“Even Dalton McGuinty says the largest contributing factor to rising hydro bills over the next several years will be his FIT and Samsung projects. Instead of engaging in social engineering and expensive experiments, I will integrate renewable energy sources at prices families can afford.”

–Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader

“I believe that competition, transparency and affordability are the best means of delivering value to families who pay the bills, and to the industry itself that deserves a predictable and open partner at Queen’s Park.”

–Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader

“Tim Hudak’s announcement will go a long way to depoliticizing the energy sector in Ontario and save ratepayers billions in future billings.”

–Parker Gallant, National Post columnist


  • Those who have invested in the FIT projects under the current rules can count on an Ontario PC government to honour those contracts.
  • Dalton McGuinty signed the sole-sourced $7-billion Samsung deal in January 2010. He still refuses to tell Ontario families, or even key decision makers in the energy sector, what he committed Ontario to. To date, the Samsung deal has not produced a single megawatt of electricity.
  • Subsidies in Dalton McGuinty’s FIT program pay as much as 80 cents per kilowatt-hour, about 20 times the going rate for power. Much like the secret Samsung deal, there was never any transparency in how these FIT prices were set in the first place.


  1. Jane Wilson  

    Factor in the property value losses to rural homeowners throughout the province and you begin to appreciate the true nature of this “boondoggle.”


  2. biggreenlie  

    Dalton McGuinty will be thrown out of office this coming October along with the rest of his cabinet and followers. There is no doubt this “leader” has been the worst thing to happen to our lovely Province since the last leader Mike Harris nearly ruined it!
    The Liberal Party will be basically destroyed and the Conservative Government will cover Ontario at the Provincial level and will look the same as the whole of Canada two weeks ago when the Canadian people destroyed the Federal Liberal Party! When people ask why this has happened the one word to explain it will be “McGuinty!”


  3. Ran Kohn  

    Sherry Lange reported: “There are seven families we know of who have had to abandon or leave their homes due to ill health. There are likely many more who have not self-reported and who are living in cottages or family homes. There are over 100 more people who have reported serious health concerns.” From wind turbines? OK. I guess the 20% of power produced from coal is causing no problems what so ever.
    I actually do not know the particulars of the Samsung deal but when someone reports ill health from wind I have to draw the line. It is possible that the turbines are placed in the wrong place and that the “whirring” noise would disturb the peace and quiet of the community. I can accept that but not in the context of coal. I wonder if their coal comes from mountain top removal.
    I looked online and it’s clear that the province of Ontario has basically utilized its hydro power. However, the province has abundant wind resources why not use them? Building more dams would also dislocate both people and wildlife (certainly more than the 7 families).
    If this is about the economics fix the deal! I wonder what kind of subsidies the Canadian government has for gas, coal and nuclear. Things can’t be all that different in Canada. This piece is a rather disappointing anti-intellectual and shrill response


  4. Jon Boone  

    Ran Kohn:
    The anti-intellectualism is mainly in your corner, starting from the unexamined position that wind has electricity value when in fact it has none, since it can produce no modern power or firm capacity. Why not use, given the good wind resources in many areas of the continent, gliders to transport millions of people and megatons of cargo?

    That such a dysfunctional source of archaic power as wind has cascading social/economic and environmental problems associated with it, a few of which are described in this article (health problems from turbine noise, destruction of heritage views, increased mortality risk for vulnerable species of wildlife) adds a grizzly sense of bathos to this dystopean tale.


  5. Sherri Lange  

    Thanks Jon Boone. Ontario is in quite the mess. Subsidies for wind (and solar, another story) are completely making developers rich, and out of line with what is produced. It is our understanding that for the approximately 200,000 turbines worldwide, we receive between 1-2 % of the worlds power. Some say that is elevated since turbines actually may suck more power than they produce. There are so many coal myths to explode. There has never been a coal fired plant worldwide that has shut down due to more wind turbines. Denmark, land of 6400 turbines or so, now uses 50% MORE coal than 25 years ago. Trouble is, you always need back up, gas, nuclear or coal, baseload power. The current Premier touts that so many people in Ontario are dying of coal pollutants but Ontario consistently has good to excellent air quality, and most of the bad air days if not all, come from the Ohio valley. Dr Ross McKitrick of the U of Guelph has dismantled the coal and wind mix myth succinctly. Dr McKitrick says, “If so many people are dying where are the bodies?” I.E., the computer modeling used in Ontario is very skewed and does not reflect actual deaths! He suspects that smoking related deaths and second hand smoke asthma are more likely culprits along with the obvious pollutants from transportation. But the Premier who wishes to foist another 5000, yes 5000 wind turbines on wetlands, prime agricultural land, land where the famous Group of Seven painted on and near Lake Superior, important bird areas, well, just about everywhere you can imagine, has to have “reasons” or myths in order to convince some that these turbines are actually necessary and for the public good. In fact, why would we spend MILLIONS on subsidies to produce virtually no meaningful power, and to ruin lives, landscapes and wildlife? In Ontario, we are awake full throttle, and not buying any of the “cleaner air” and “green” mantra…this concept has been tried in Europe, and look at the economies. BTW Ontario only has basically Nanticoke and Lambton coal plants now. These are scrubbed mostly and quite well, actually. The only reason they stopped putting the complete scrubber system is because they were shifting to wind power. We are obviously not supporting dirty coal, it’s just that we have to look squarely in the face of energy truth, and that includes looking at heat recapture, geo thermal, and a host of other emerging technologies that do not have such environmental and human costs.

    The costs, human, animal (eight million birds and 16 million bats killed annually, not counting the wires and pylon deaths), loss of habitat, loss of business and industry as the power rates rise, business vacates, are just too huge to fathom. All of this for the pocket book of the developers. Nothing more. It is a scam. I like Malcolm Rider’s quote at the end of Dr Etherington’s book, The Wind Turbine Scam:

    “The Highlands are being humiliated by wind developers who insist they are saving the environment. They lie; they are here to make a profit. Wind farms produce very little and intermittent electricity. Most of the time they do not work. How can the blade of a bulldozer ripping up 6,000 years of beautifully preserved archeology be saving the environment? How can the turbine blades smashing a golden eagle to bits be saving the environment? How can the government of Scotland destroy such a prize? And use public money to do it?”


  6. Sherri Lange  


    Here’s a witty response to Mr. Achim Steiner’s ( Head of UN Environmental Programs) recent Toronto visit, reminding Toronto and Canada about dangers of our current political leanings: the Federal election result was obviously of some concern to Mr. Steiner. And on the heels of his visit, came the Provincial Opposition Leader, Tim Hudak’s announcement to kill the Samsung deal.

    Here’s a quote:

    “Mr. Steiner has become a prominent source of green alarmism and a leading shill for rent-seeking green energy companies, who were already in mourning at Mr. Harper’s victory.

    According to the Globe, Mr. Steiner suggested that those who complained about green energy’s enormous costs were using a “simplistic argument” to undermine “a crucial policy in boosting Ontario’s economy.” The Globe did not report whether his nose started to lengthen when he claimed that the green shift was going smoothly “and in a less costly manner” in places such as Germany.

    We are apparently to ignore that solar-powered electricity costs up to 20 times as much as the conventional type. Just concentrate on the fantasy that there is no trade-off between growth and greenery. Meanwhile, think of Canada’s reputation as an environmental “leader.” (For those not familiar with greenspeak, “leadership” means doling out subsidies. Mr. Harper’s culpable lack of green leadership has been much bemoaned in the wake of his victory.)

    At the Star, Mr. Steiner reportedly expressed amazement that anybody might object to having their views blighted and their electricity bills padded by wind turbines. What about the oil sands? But then the oil sands are a bit difficult to spot from the Scarborough Bluffs.

    Who is Achim Steiner anyway? You might think it’s a bit extreme to compare a UN agency to an organization set up to overthrow the “international bourgeoisie” and abolish the nation state. But not if you know anything about UNEP.

    UNEP was set up by Canada’s own Maurice Strong — perhaps the leading figure in trying to save socialism from the dustbin of history by painting both socialism and the dustbin green. He created it after his first great UN environmental doomfest in Stockholm in 1972. Its importance was indicated by the man Mr. Strong selected to be its first head: himself.

    In 1990, in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Jan Tinbergen, who had been the first Nobel laureate in economics and was unashamed to admit that he had entered economics “to find a scientific base for a socialist order,” specifically cited UNEP as an organization that would keep the socialist dream alive.”

    …it’s a great read!


  7. nofreewind  

    This fear of pollution from coal is ridiculous. Take a look at the EPA Air Quality Site. I live in Penna where we get a large percentage of our electricity from coal plants. And we are downwind of big coal states, IL, IN & OH. Air pollution is well below the national standards set by the EPA. The only places where you find bad air are in the big cities of Pittsburgh and Phila, yet there are NO COAL plants right in these cities.
    What we should be doing is instead of wasting our money on wasteful and environmentally polluting wind and solar, we should be investing to upgrade our coal plants and make them cleaner yet. This fear of pollution from coal plants is unfounded, esp with modern technology. Also, did a greenie ever consider why wind energy is at least twice as expensive as conventional (ie real) energy – maybe because there is a tremendous amount of energy that goes into making these monstrosities per kWhr of energy they produce. But that concept is completely beyond these people. Sustainable – as long as we sustain the thought of use the energy now, and place the burden on our children to pay for it and deal with the costs later.


  8. Sherri Lange  

    There is so much on the web circulating about health problems and turbines. But for the unconverted, and BTW I do not personally live near a turbine or even near any currently proposed factories, here is an interesting take on health. I do have friends who have left homes. I believe them! I have also attended the First International Symposium on Turbines and Health in Picton last year, and if anyone had ANY doubts…read this! Also check out Dr Nina Pierpont.




  9. Ran Kohn  

    With all due respect there are some misconceptions. Just because you don’t see pollution doesn’t mean there is no pollution. A new report out of Harvard Medical School which has been discussed and dismissed on this site as exaggerating the cost of coal. That paper puts the price of the externalities due to coal at $500 billion annually to the American people. This site claimed that some externalities are exaggerated and others could be seen as benefits. My response then and now is there is a cost to mountain top removal and when that happens in Pennsylvania Mr. Noreewind will be able to witness it firsthand. Mountain top removal is not only not pretty it’s totally destructive to the mountain when done the land cannot even be rehabilitated for other uses. To say this is not a cost to society is folly. This is but one cost.
    Wait till you see what happens to Canada when America’s appetite for shale oil and gas starts to heat up—may I suggest you vist western Canada now and by the way go take a look at some shale mines while you are it before you sign up for more of this stuff.
    Elsewhere there are actually people who think that coal has no serious effects (Sherry Lange) quoted some researcher who claimed that cigarettes are the problem. Really? Yes, cigarettes cause problems but so does coal.
    Actually the interesting thing is the notion that wind is no good because it can’t be relied upon at all times (Boone and Lange). This “archaic” fuel source can be stored in batteries (not the little Lithium ones). In fact in the future both solar and wind generated power will be stored for later use. By far the most archaic source of power between solar, wind and coal is coal.
    I do not take a conspiratorial view on energy economics but if you were to really look underneath the financials of energy economics you will find that the entrenched energy suppliers of coal, oil, gas etc. have over time accumulated fair number of government incentives that are now codified into law that gives them tremendous advantages over any new technology.


  10. Jon Boone  

    Mr. Kohn:
    Battery storage is the holy grail for energy diffuse intermittent and highly variable sources like wind. If (a very big if) it is perfected for use at industrial scale, let’s discuss proper siting for gigantic wind projects. Until then, let’s not pretend they are anything other than pretentious, highly dysfunctional sources of power that have enormous negative environmental and civic consequences, as Sherri Lange, and others, document.

    Apropos your comments about mountaintop extraction techniques for coal (and I agree they should be prohibited) and other negative environmental effects from that fuel source, here’s the kicker: all other things being equal (that is, steady-state demand and no change in the conventional power mix), the more wind penetration, the greater use of coal. Despite over 40GW of wind in North America, no coal plants have closed because of all that wind–and more are in the offing.

    Note the abundance of energy corporations sufficed in coal generation that are now heavily invested in wind: FPL(NextEra), ExxonMobile, General Electric, BP, Exelon, Duke Energy, AES, Chevron, Shell, Weyerhaeuser, and Siemens. And there’s Goldman Sachs. Where is the evidence this lovely constellation of rent seekers believes wind will reduce coal, oil, or natural gas marketshare?

    Without battery storage at utility scale, wind can only be an additive energy supplement, never an alternate source of power. But it is a supplement that requires substantial supplementation in ways that subvert wind’s raison d’tre. Building thousands of wind galoots would not close any conventional generating plants, or reduce consumption of fossil fuels–or reduce in meaningful ways CO2 emissions in the production of electricity. Frankly, even if such battery storage is invented, using it to firm up wind would be ridiculous–and Rube Goldbergesque, given its potential to work with real power producers.


  11. Jon Boone  

    And one more thing: wind can never be relied upon AT ANY TIME. It is when the wind blows that the problems with wind begin–destabilizing the grid from the supply side, of all things….


  12. Craig  

    I refer to the following every day, http://www.sygration.com/gendata/today.html I rarely see even 10% of our power come from coal, right now 4 mw from coal out of 17,000 total. This is quite common, also we often pay to get rid of excess on windy nights.


  13. Tom Stacy  

    Sherri Lange says: “..most of the bad air days if not all, come from the Ohio valley.”

    Sorry about that, Sherri – my bad. I’ll tell you what – how about we’ll erect a few hundred IWTs here in Ohio over the next year to fix the problem for y’all? After all, our four Bowling Green Ohio turbines (Vestas 1.8 MW) boast an annual capacity factor of 22%. Combine this with some pumped hydro storage using a hybrid pumping/generating system on a common shaft, and we can produce reliable base load wind/hydro for much less than the FIT price structure you ‘enjoy.’ And don’t forget that Quebec is banking on the export market to the US of their new hydro capacity for balancing ISONE and NYISO wind. Seems we’re all in this together, ‘cept the state wind mandates graciously ignore the cost of imported balancing resources.

    We should think about a North American platform slogan that declares “Since we are all in this together, let’s unite to get OUT OF IT together.”


  14. Jon Boone  

    Amen, Tom Stacy. My suggestion for a banner for better energy policy: DISPATCH WIND, punningly playing off the idea that wind cannot be dispatched with the idea of literally putting a stake through its heart sooner than later.

    Sherri Lange’s article here calls attention to the need for a coordinated continental strategy: What must be reconciled is the pitch of “responsible windpower” with the yaw of wind as an energy scam of enormous proportion. So many are engulfed in the former that they don’t have a clue about the latter. Nowhere is this tension more striking than with opposition to Cape Wind, where tens of millions of dollars have been invested in getting that wind project placed “elsewhere”–but in all important respects paying obeisance to the idea that wind is a respectable character, as long as it’s put in someone else’s back yard.

    For years, I have been urging the troops across the continent to form a national organization to do as you are suggesting–providing at minimum expert tool kits for export to communities struggling with the wind mess while also mounting a media PR campaign. The main problem I’ve encountered is that so many are paying out of pocket with money and time they really don’t have in order to fend off the worst of wind in their neighborhoods that they’re too tapped out to engage in a more abstract fight. And this is what is not working, for the wind blitz picks them off one by one while pandering to people like Ran Kohn who believe nonsense like wind as an alternate energy source that will kill off coal extracted by mountaintop removal.

    And for those who think wind and hydro is a match made in renewable heaven, check out the latest from the BPA: http://tinyurl.com/3pl3fle.


  15. Eric Jelinski  

    Every text book about renewable energy talks about conservaton first and foremost. These books tell us the renewable energy becomes unaffordable when we we try to power our current life style. The solution is to conserve first and foremost and to cut back on consumption. This idea may have come from Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain institute from as early as the 1960’s, and Mr. Lovins gave us the idea of a NegaWatt. A Watt of energy saved was cheaper than to produce the next Watt of energy. Problem is that politicians don’t care about books as much as getting elected. If McGuinty and Co had read the books they’d know their approach would be a disaster especially when it is too much too fast and not listening to people.


  16. Sherri Lange  

    Tom, your comment that: “We should think about a North American platform slogan that declares “Since we are all in this together, let’s unite to get OUT OF IT together.” Absolutely. Bad air from Ohio, dead or avoiding endangered species, Ontario. We are absolutely all in this together. Ontario MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources) is seeking permits to “main, harm, harass and kill” the endangered species of the Whip-o-will and the Blanding Turtle, of which 20% of the world’s remaining population is at or near Ostrander’s Point, and points around the Lakes and St. Lawrence, and yes, you got it, where they (Gilead Power) want to build TURBINES in an IMPORTANT BIRD AREA. Today then, this announcement, that the Short Eared Owl is now avoiding Wolfe Island 86 turbines and the swath of dead zones therein created, so it won’t be too long before your birds and ours (Ah yes, they are one and the same) are no more.

    Yes, we need to work together, and yes there is exhaustion and there is also strength in working together. Since we have created and worked with GLWT (Great Lakes Wind Truth, US and Canada, I can honestly say we are energized and more able to fill in the gaps for each other. You Americans rock. This is the most talented and committed “group” I have been privileged to work with on this issue!

    For article on the demise of the Short Eared Owl: Wolfe Island, click here.



  17. Ran Kohn  

    Again, I see the health issues stem from noise. This is a problemthat can be dealth with by moving teh turbines away to a location that will nto impact people. I totally agree that the background notice should nto change in such a way thatlife patterns are alterd.
    On the other hand that does not mean that Wind power is useless. Most wind is lielyu to be located offshore where th eimpact is nill. As fro wind being available ony when tehre is wind, thatisa precisely the function of identifying wind as a resource. I live in New York and when a Noreaster pumps its way up teh coast there is a lot fo wind but that does not makeNew York a good soruce for Wind Power. In other words areas idendtified as a wind resource afre ineffect areas from which utilityscale electricity can be generated. As for storage technology. They are not fiction as is the case with Carbon sequestering. There are numerous technologies for storing both wind and solar. This is just a matter of investmetn dollars and factoring the total cost of power generation and not just one aspect –the burn rate.
    For example if we just factor in teh efficiency of nuclear power we get 3 to 5 US cents per KWH. But that excludes the cartignaway fo spent fuel, the storage, the potential hazards from accidents and more. When you add those factors in and you can’t becuase the nucelar industry is totally undrwritten by governmetn in the from of government rezxearch, government guaranteed loans and government funds for decommisioning plants. But if you wer ethe costs woudl eb signficaintlyhigher then wind and even solar even in Canada.
    For that matter Mountaintop removal is a fact of coal mining. It is very attractive to the coal industry–its cheaper than mining and noone makes them pay for what they leave behind. Again as you can see externalities, as such costs are called, arenever totaled up inteh cost of your and my electricity bill but we pay for them anyway.


  18. Jon Boone  

    Mr. Cohn:
    You’re not even wrong. Attempting to compare wind in the electricity sector, with, say, nuclear, is such a silly enterprise. To see how silly, simply transpose gliders for wind machines in the transportation sector, and the 747 for nuclear–and virtually any fool should be able to understand how deranged such a comparison would be if the goal was moving millions of tons of cargo across a planet. Or substitute sailing ships for commercial freighters. Or windmobiles for the family auto. Or wind-powered gas pumps, refrigerators, ranges, vacuum cleaners, computers, TVs, chain saws, etc. Let’s see how long the average consumer would put up with an appliance that never worked when or as desired.

    People don’t give a hang about energy, which is basically fuel. They want power: which comes from machines able to convert energy dense fuels to move them where and whenever they want–on their schedules, not on the whims of wind flutter. Wind cannot possibly give this to them–ever. Those who tout battery storage, claiming other technology must catch up with wind, have it completely backassward. It is wind that is the cart placed well before the horse of storage. Only if battery storage is perfected should anyone discuss–rationally and morally–using such an archaic source of energy as wind. But no one should hold their breath. Such a technology quest is more than a hundred years old–and Edison spent a fortune in a failed effort to create it.

    And as I stated earlier, using such battery storage to make wind whole would be a ridiculous misuse of such a technology–as is using natural gas for the same purpose.


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