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NWC EDITORIAL
It's time to end the expensive wind turbine charade
and protect farmland from inefficient solar 'farms'

It's time for Ontario to pull the plug on the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program and rid the province of wind turbines and solar farms which are killing wildlife, eating up farmland, destroying the province's economy, making our electricity prices the highest in North America and hurting every strata of society except the select few, largely foreign-based financiers the province has chosen to reap guaranteed profits for the next two decades.

Wind turbines and solar wouldn't exist without massive government subsidy which is then billed to every power user in the province, making Ontario power the least efficiently produced and most expensive overall. The power is intermittent and unpredictable. This means it is only clumsily scalable to need; it either under or over-produces - the over-production costs $$ billions because it has to be paid for (it's then dumped for a pittance - and a big loss every month - to neighbouring states and provinces which know how to scale).

Ontario Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk yesterday said in her annual report that Ontario power consumers residential, commercial and industrial will pay an unnecessary $50 billion between 2006 and 2015 to bridge the gap between guaranteed prices paid to wind and solar producers and the market value of the power. Finally, the media is starting to get it. When will governments get it?

Intermittent, unreliable power yet guaranteed payment

Solar produces only when the sun is out and isn't blocked by clouds, and snow, rain, sleet, etc. It produces far less when power is needed in winter's cold even when the sun shines, yet government contracts make guaranteed payments to the owners. Hence solar farms, already destroying thousands of acres of formerly productive farmland, contrary to stated intent and legislation, are inefficient in the extreme, simply on the productivity level.

But solar also requires rare earth minerals and expensive, complex processes to manufacture, making them expensive to produce, too. They're not 'green' by any legitimate definition. Indeed, to make them seem more competitive, the stated goals of some governments has been to force up the price of power. Using wind and solar does just that, because in addition to paying for them, the province has to pay for a full cadre of quick-firing thermal plants as back-up - wind turbines can go many hours, even days without producing a watt of power (but the owners are paid anyway) while solar is hit-and-miss due to the vagaries of Ontario weather (and earth's wobble).

Huge wind turbines designed for offshore use in the North Sea now desecrate the Ontario countryside. Worse, they kill tens of thousands of birds daily, and in some locations where they are located in natural north-south flyways, they chew up full flocks of migrating geese and other birds in horrific bloodbaths. Powerful blade pulses implode the lungs of bats which means the insects bats and birds feed on are proliferating. For crop farmers that means more insecticides.

This was stupidity at its political worst, putting all of the province's eggs in a basket sold to the Liberal Party by charlatans of the first order. McGuinty and his adviser Butts are gone from Queen's Park (although Butts is now advising Ottawa Liberals).

The Liberals can pull the plug, pay off the parties and lower the price of power at less than the cost of over-production for the next year. If they do so now, they can still show political leadership. Perhaps their 'leadership' needs to be pushed by those being gouged.

After all, they're supposed to serve us, not the other way around.

-30-

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