Wind Farms Face Nuclear Attack
John Miner — London Free Press — October 13, 2014
I’m green and you’re not.
The battle to be embraced as the best environmental choice for Ontario’s electricity supply is getting down and dirty.
Fed up with the wind farm sector enjoying what it considers an undeserved reputation as a pristine energy supplier, Canada’s nuclear industry has launched a public relations assault against wind.
“Wind power isn’t as clean as its supporters have claimed. It performs unreliably and needs backup from gas, which emits far more greenhouse gas than either wind or nuclear power,” said Dr. John Barrett, president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association, in an email to The Free Press.
The Canadian Nuclear Association hired Toronto-based Hatch Ltd., a global consulting an engineering firm, to compare wind farm and nuclear energy.
Hatch reviewed 246 studies, mostly from North America and Europe,.
Their 91- page report released last week concludes that wind energy over the life time of an installation produces slightly less green house gas than nuclear and both produce a lot less than gas-fired generating plants.
But Hatch says it is an entirely different picture when wind energy’s reliance on other generating sources is considered.
The engineering firm calculates wind turbines only generate 20% of their electrical capacity because of the times when the wind isn’t blowing.
When gas-fired generating stations are added into the equation to pick up the slack, nuclear produces much less green house gases, the Hatch study concludes.
Its analysis is for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced nuclear power emits 18.5 grams of greenhouse gases. Wind backed by natural gas produces more than 20 times more – 385 grams per kilowatt hour.
“We wanted a real-world, apples to apples comparison of how nuclear, wind and natural gas power plants generate greenhouse gases while producing electricity,” Barrett said.
The nuclear industry attack on wind might not be a welcome message for the Ontario Liberal government that has justified its multi-billion dollar investment in Southwestern Ontario wind farms on the basis it is providing green energy. Continue reading here…. Article also appears in Chatham Daily News