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Blowing our tax dollars on windmills

Michel Kelly-Gagnon — June 28, 2013

Who doesn’t love windmills?

The very word conjures up nostalgic images of solitary brick or wooden towers with vanes set against picturesque fields. Of course, wind farms nowadays are filled with row upon row of tall, steel tube towers, but even these wind turbines have a sparse, modern beauty to them.

The thing is, wind power is also expensive. In Quebec, it’s about 2.5 times more expensive to produce than hydroelectricity from large dams in the James Bay area (roughly 14¢ versus 5.5¢ per kWh), which account for most of the electricity produced by Hydro-Quebec.

Moreover, the province has more energy than it needs, which is why the government cancelled six small hydroelectric projects earlier this year. If that’s the case, why are Quebec taxpayers still indirectly subsidizing the wind power industry to the tune of $695 million a year? And why is the government announcing new supply contracts for wind power?

The government claims it is “investing in the future.” But it is surely no coincidence that most of the jobs created by these subsidies are concentrated in one region, the Gaspe Peninsula, where there is high unemployment. Politicians know how to use high-flown language to buy votes.

Ontario has invested more than any other province in wind power, with just over 2,000 MW of installed capacity, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association. (Quebec is second with some 1,700 MW, followed by Alberta with 1,100 MW.) But Ontario, like Quebec, also has more energy than it needs.  Continue reading, here….

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One Comment on “Blowing our tax dollars on windmills”

  1. gds44 June 28, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    Reblogged this on Gds44's Blog.

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