Green sell-out

(April 21, 2014) Before proceeding with a project to install solar cells on town buildings in Deep River, Renfrew County, Ontario — under the provincial Feed In Tariff (FIT) program — council and taxpayers alike would do well to read what Lawrence Solomon wrote in “North America slow to reverse renewables projects, but its turn will come.”

Published by North Renfrew Times on April 16, 2014

The April 2 issue of the NRT reported that Deep River council, those in charge of Canada’s primary nuclear research town, had decided to opt into Ontario’s Green Energy scam. Council apparently feels they should pick up what financial scraps they can by paying to have solar cells installed on town buildings under the provincial Feed In Tariff (FIT) program, forcing all the people of Ontario to pay Deep River 10 times what the electricity is worth. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, eh?

Citizens here should be appalled by this capitulation to a completely failed provincial political fiasco; namely the Green Energy Act and its economically destructive FIT program, which makes infeasible energy technologies profitable for the producers at the expense of the taxpaying public.

Before proceeding with this project everyone in Deep River, council and taxpayers alike would do well to read what Lawrence Solomon wrote in the Financial Post of April 4, entitled “North America slow to reverse renewables projects, but its turn will come.” Now Solomon, executive director of Energy Probe, is no friend of nuclear power but even he recognizes the economic hole that renewables, principally wind and solar, are driving North America into. Solomon writes: “Europe taught us to spare no expense in supporting wind and solar projects, the better to help the planet survive. Now Europe is teaching us how to tear down those same projects, the better to help rate payers, and politicians, survive. In recent years countries throughout Europe, realizing that renewables delivered none of their environmental promises, have been systematically cutting their losses by ditching their renewable commitments. Here’s Spain, unilaterally rewriting renewable energy contracts to save its treasury. And France, slashing by 20% the ‘guaranteed’ rate offered solar producers. And Belgium, where producers saw their revenues slashed by as much as 79%. And Italy and others, which clawed back through taxes the gross profits that renewables companies large and small were raking in at the expense of average citizens and the economy as a whole.”

With respect to Ontario Solomon writes, “no citizenry would more benefit from reversing the wind and solar gravy train than Ontario’s. Its developers have received up to 20 times the market rate of power, leading to a tripling of power rates and a gutting of the province’s industrial base, and helping to turn Ontario into a have-not province.” His numbers may be a bit high but the point is still valid.

Maybe Deep River will escape clawbacks by desperate governments in the future if its solar contract gets grandfathered when the end comes for the Green Energy Act, as it must, but would we really want to continue fleecing all the citizens of Ontario?

NRT editorials have said over the years that solar and wind are fine in appropriate situations, but the provincial grid is not and never will be appropriate. Becoming an accessory to the downfall of the province by buying in to the FIT program is not a moral decision.

About Lawrence Solomon

Lawrence Solomon is one of Canada's leading environmentalists. His book, The Conserver Solution (Doubleday) popularized the Conserver Society concept in the late 1970s and became the manual for those interested in incorporating environmental factors into economic life. An advisor to President Jimmy Carter's Task Force on the Global Environment (the Global 2000 Report) in the late 1970's, he has since been at the forefront of movements to reform foreign aid, stop nuclear power expansion and adopt toll roads. Mr. Solomon is a founder and managing director of Energy Probe Research Foundation and the executive director of its Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute divisions. He has been a columnist for The Globe and Mail, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the editor and publisher of the award-winning The Next City magazine, and the author or co-author of seven books, most recently The Deniers, a #1 environmental best-seller in both Canada and the U.S. .
This entry was posted in Alternative Energy, Energy Probe News, Renewables and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s