From the Editor
Finally – someone in the media prints the truth about wind energy. Now, will the rest of the media follow suit and force this calamity into the open. Not only are consumers going to be adversely affected, so is industry. You could find yourself on the unemployment line when your industry moves out of the province seeking better electrical rates. Anyone that understands the electrical needs of Ont. knows that putting the scrubbers on the coal plants and building nuclear is the answer. You don’t need to fear Global Warming, you need to fear the unnecessary increase in your electric bills and the possible loss of your job. Wind Energy as proposed by the Ont. govt. is at best a mistake and at worst in can be viewed as a SCAM against the citizens of this province.
Please Wake up and Stand up.
You can do it if you try.
Erratic wind power brings huge costs
Tom Adams And FranCois Cadieux, Financial Post
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2007
For all its strengths, we now have enough information to conclude that wind power in Ontario is a disaster for consumers.
Ontario is poorly suited to host wind power.
Predicting wind output changes has proven difficult, but one pattern is clear:Winds tend to be calm when consumers need electricity most. Ontarians use the most electricity in summer — the weakest season for wind. In July and August of 2006 and 2007, Ontario was frequently becalmed and average monthly output fell within the lowly 13% to 19% range. Although winter is the strongest season, on the coldest days, when we use most power, wind output tends to be poorest. Over the typical day, wind output peaks around midnight and bottoms out around 8 a.m., contrary to our daily consumption pattern.
Diversifying the geographic location of wind farms has provided little output stability because, even when widely dispersed, output from individual farms tends to rise and fall in sync. Although limited data is available, the production pattern of New York’s largest wind farm appears to closely match the hourly output of Ontario’s overall wind production. New York’s farm even matches fairly closely the output of a similar farm at Sault St. Marie, 840 kilometres away.
Connecting wind power to the grid is also costly. The first of many high-voltage transmission investments mainly directed at wind is currently pegged at $635-million. Connecting large wind generators to low-voltage distribution networks will require costly re-engineering. Whether high voltage or low, grid connections must be vastly oversized relative to average wind output to support infrequent bursts of full production.
Without radical technological advances, wind power will only burden Ontario consumers. – Tom Adams is an independent energy advisor and Francois Cadieux is an engineering science student at the University of Toronto.