By Letter to the Editor on January 16, 2019.
For the last decade or more the Canadian public has been conditioned to believe that man-made CO2 added to the atmosphere will have an apocalyptic effect on our future climate.
Following up, and equally well sold, is the ostensible need for “renewable” electrical power generation to replace dependable and affordable fossil fuel based generation. If you follow the money, as they say, it is easy to understand how this happens. Three rich and powerful players collaborate to control the narrative about climate and renewable energy.
First of all, radical environmental outfits (e.g. Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Suzuki Foundation, etc.) that are heavily funded partially by American billionaires and foundations continue to successfully attack our Canadian oil, gas and coal industries. Wind and solar power industrialists are also financing this indoctrination effort for obvious reasons. If governments can be convinced to mandate conversion from gas and coal to renewables their resulting windfall will be in the billions of dollars in Canada alone. And finally, “green” government leaders with their hands in taxpayer pockets, have unlimited wealth and power to do the bidding of the other two perpetrators of this slight of hand. The Canadian power consumer doesn’t stand a chance, any resistance to this green tsunami is being outgunned and silenced!
Our provincial NDP government is clearly attempting to ram as much solar and wind as possible onto our electrical grid before likely losing this spring’s election. They are doing this using an auction format to give the process the appearance of competitiveness. After each auction, Notley and others gleefully announce that the successful green bidder’s kilowatt hour prices are becoming very close to what existing conventional generators are paid. That exaggeration wouldn’t be true even if the power quality provided by these new intermittent and unreliable sources was remotely similar to that from existing sources. The many hidden costs surrounding green energy are rarely discussed.
A few details must be understood to fairly compare solar/wind power to what is called “base-load” generation (coal, gas, hydro, nuclear). Base-load power is constantly and reliably available to customers 24/7. Solar and wind generators, by comparison, can’t be relied upon to provide any needed power at a point in time. Every night solar production dies completely as well as supplying minimal output in Alberta’s winters or on cloudy days. An average of 15 per cent of name-plate capacity is typical of annual solar output in Alberta. Wind power is similarly unreliable and averages 25 per cent of its designed output throughout the year. But both require an overbuilt transmission and infrastructure capacity to occasionally handle 100 per cent of their maximum output. As a result, green power transmission assets are severely under-utilized through the course of the year. This represents huge, wasteful fixed costs charged to our energy bills.
And one last critical point is that as new expensive wind and solar generators are built, not 1 kW of existing generation can be retired because it has to be there as a backstop for the random, frequent times when green energy produces next to nothing. This, effectively, is a politically motivated duplication of electrical generation assets that will cost all of us dearly!
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