(April 30, 2011) In the final week of the Federal Election if you live in Ontario you might be confused based on the daily press releases emanating from Queen’s Park. Those releases would lead you to believe that the incumbent Ontario Liberals are in the final week of the Provincial Election.
By Parker Gallant
One of those press releases on April 27th announced a new $50 million fund had been established to develop all things related to a “Smart Grid”. This fund will dole out taxpayers money to private for profit and not-for-profit entities that will do such things as develop; “A smart grid will also ensure consumers have reliable, clean power by letting utility companies pinpoint and automatically fix power outages.”
This appears to be an admission by the Liberals that the only capability those 4.3 million installed “smart meters” have, is to bill ratepayers for time-of-use (TOU). Ontario has spent somewhere in the area of $2-billion dollars on smart meters and that is all we got! Now the Liberals are going to hand out more taxpayer money in the hope that someone out there will be able to develop software that will do more then simply create a billing program. But it doesn’t stop at $50 million because we are already committed to spend money in the development of the smart grid. George Smitherman, when Minister of Energy allocated $50 million for the same thing and that initial $50 million is now almost-$100 million.
Smitherman initiated spending on the smart grid, which includes Hydro One working on their version in Owen Sound – cost $86 million, Toronto Hydro (phase one) -about $7 million and Orangeville Hydro-$4 million (mentioned in my article). The Ministry also recently granted GE $7.9-million for research on smart grid initiatives.
Collectively this $50-million fund announcement brings expenditures to $155-million on smart grid initiatives. It sure looks like the Provincial Liberals are focused on creating a twin for the e-health debacle!
Parker Gallant is a director of Energy Probe.