Ontario’s Energy Policy… Wastefully Foolish or Criminal?

Ontario itself is unique in that it has the greatest surplus of energy relative to all other provinces, evidenced dramatically on the hottest of summer days in June 2013 which saw  total demand rise to 22 679 megawatts (mW), which far undershot the total provincial energy capacity of 34 500 mW. This great excess of unused power has much to do with the fact that NAFTA’s policies caused the outsourcing of many productive industries that had once been the lifeblood of Ontario’s economy. Without such intensive demands upon power that industry requires, higher proportions of unused energy was built up.

Thumb- green protest

Anti-wind-turbine groups protesting in downtown Toronto in August 2013

According to the British Free Trade logic of “supply and demand”, this vast supply should result in an abnormally low cost to energy users in Ontario. This however is not the case. In fact, according to Adam White, President of the Association of Major Power Consumers of Ontario; :“Ontario has the highest delivered prices for industry in North America, so we need to have a reality check”. Where Quebec and Manitoban industrial consumers now pay roughly $40 per megawatt hour, industrial consumers in Ontario pay over $85/megawatt hour.

The reason for this absurdity has several facets which center around an understanding of the destruction of Canada’s physical powers of production which have occurred as an effect of NAFTA and the Greening of Ontario energy ever since Maurice Strong nearly ran Ontario Hydro into the ground. This involves the following criminal actions:

1) The costly and inefficient green energy programs which require billions in taxpayer subsidies,

2) The shutting off of non-green forms of energy such as coal and gas plants,

3) The nullification of commitments to use existing nuclear power or construct new nuclear stations,

4) Paying the United States to take excess Ontario power,

5) The charging of rates to American energy consumers far below the cost of production and

6) Paying nuclear and hydro producers to not produce electricity.

Under NAFTA arrangements, solar and wind companies contracted to carry out this immensely wasteful project now receive 13.5 cents/Kilowatt hour in taxpayer subsidies while the government sells its excess power to the American market for a price of 2.4 cents/kwHr. This means that Ontario now pays roughly $648 million for its green power, exported for $115 million at a net loss of $533 million PER YEAR. Since wind and solar are intrinsically unreliable, additionally massive costs must be incurred by keeping back up gas plants active.

A recent July 3, 2013 report by CTV’s Paul Bliss (1)    has pointed out that Bruce Power has been paid over $62 million this year alone to turn off its power or vent steam instead of producing electricity. $22 million was paid to the company to divert its steam instead of using it to move their turbines due to the excess power which must either be used or discarded. This process occurred over 84 times from 2012-2013!  Similar payoffs have also occurred to hydro power stations which were paid to spill excess water and avoid spinning turbines.