Re: Big wind, new rules; Energy: Province rewrites rules for next round of wind farms, July 11, Sarnia Observer.
John Miner’s article on clean energy in Ontario got some facts right, but also some facts wrong.
The author rightly points out that Ontario has changed the rules for how wind and solar installation are sited to include the view of municipalities. He is also correct that the price being paid per kilowatt hour for both is dropping rapidly. This is expected as manufacturers scale up production and therefore costs drop. In many areas, solar energy in particular is becoming competitive with many conventional sources of electricity.
However, electricity prices have not been driven drastically upward by renewable energy installations. This is not possible given the small amount of clean energy currently on the grid and this has been verified by independent studies. Rather, rising electricity prices also include the costs of needed investments in new transmission lines, upgrades to hydro power stations, and new gas plants.
The upside of course is that Ontario has thousands of new manufacturing and installation jobs in renewable energy and was able to close its coal-fired electricity plants. Ontario now has clean, healthier, smog-free air, lower carbon pollution and a new industrial sector.
All in all a pretty good investment.
TIM GRAY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE