More wind and solar do nothing to reduce emissions: cancel the contracts!

October 3, 2016

Cancel these contracts too, Minister Thibeault


Ontario’s ratepayers have heard for years the reason we are increasing our renewable energy supply in the form of industrial wind turbines (IWTs), solar panels and biomass is because we need to reduce our CO2 emissions.  It now appears that we have reached the point of no return as the 2nd Quarter Ontario Energy Report is now out and on page 8 is a chart that suggests we have flat-lined!

The chart shows our CO2 emissions for 2014 and 2015 were 7 mega-tonnes and for the first 6 months of 2016 are 3 mega-tonnes (probably heading for another 7).  It now appears more wind or solar added to the Ontario electricity grid will do nothing to further reduce our emissions.  That begs the question: why do we continue to add unreliable and intermittent power coming from those two sources as the only thing they now do is increase the price of electricity.

According to Environment Canada Ontario’s CO 2 emissions in 2014 were 170.2 mega-tonnes and the Ontario Energy Report (page 8) claims the “electricity sector” in the Province was responsible for only 7 of those mega-tonnes in 2014 therefore representing only 4.1% of total emissions.

The recent Throne Speech of September 12, 2016 included the following:

“Over the course of the past decade, Ontario electricity ratepayers have helped cover the costs associated with removing dirty coal-fired generation from our electricity system. And while these investments have resulted in increased costs associated with generation, they have also created savings of more than $4 billion a year in health and other costs associated with smog and pollution from coal-fired generation.”

Now if I was extrapolating the above claim by the Ontario government I would wonder: if 4.1% of those emissions cost the Health Ministry $4 billion annually, how much do the remaining 166.1 mega-tonnes cost? Based on the above claim the 7 mega-tonnes are supposedly costing taxpayers about $565 million per mega-tonne annually. That means the full cost of the CO2 emissions of the 166.1 mega-tonnes would be north of $95 billion and almost 71% of all of the 2016/17 planned budget expenditures.

If that is true, perhaps it’s time the government focused their CO2 reduction efforts on the segment producing the 166.1 mega-tonnes rather than the electricity ratepayers.  If that were to happen Minister Thibeault would be in a position to do some cancelling (not suspending) of renewable energy projects aimed at continuing the efforts to further reduce future rate increases.

We would recommend Minister Thibeault immediately cancel the LRP I contracts which have not been finalized which would affect 300 MW of industrial wind, and cancel all the projects listed on the IESO chart [below] which show just over 1,000 MW of contracted industrial wind projects not in compliance with their contracted operational dates.

Those cancellations would reduce future rate increases per average household by $8.00 per month or almost $100.00 over a year saving ratepayers well over $400 million annually and $8 billion over the 20 years of the contracts.

Now that would give you some firm bragging rights.

Parker Gallant



3 thoughts on “More wind and solar do nothing to reduce emissions: cancel the contracts!”

  1. Great analysis. We have access to very clean and cost effective electricity in nuclear power
    Let’s use it and reduce a large burden on Ontarians


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