Wind energy a great deal for Ontario, insists CanWEA
May 3, 2013 | By Anthony Capkun
May 3, 2013 – The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) insists that, contrary to a Fraser Institute report entitled “Environmental and Economic Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act”, wind energy has helped deliver hundreds of millions of dollars to rural Ontario communities… with little additional cost passed on to ratepayers.
An analysis of consumer rate impacts by Power Advisory found that wind energy accounted for only about 5% of the increase to the total customer bill between 2009 and 2012, says CanWEA.
“The Fraser Institute report takes a simplistic approach in examining the benefits of Ontario’s Green Energy Act and the state of the province’s electricity system,” reads CanWEA’s statement. “The report relies excessively on the widely criticized 2011 Annual Report by the Auditor General of Ontario and also fails to take into consideration the fundamental fact that there is dramatic need to invest in new electricity generation and infrastructure after decades of underinvestment.”
In the last few years, says CanWEA, wind generation has contributed an increasing proportion of the total supply of electricity in Ontario. The province currently has over 2000MW of installed wind energy capacity, says the association, adding that every 1000MW of new wind energy drives $2.5 billion in investments and creates 10,500 person-years of employment.
“While electricity prices have been increasing across North America as jurisdictions upgrade ancient electricity systems, wind energy has proven that it can deliver major benefits at a minimal cost to ratepayers here in Ontario,” said Chris Forrest, CanWEA vice-president. “Wind energy is cost-competitive with virtually every potential new source of generation available in Ontario [… and] will continue to be a cost-effective choice as we build a clean and reliable electricity system in Ontario that we can all be proud of.”
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