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article imageOntario’s new Long-Term Energy Plan raises concerns Special

By Tim Sandle     Dec 2, 2013 in Environment
Ontario’s new Long Term Energy Plan was released today by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli. With a focus on wind power, not all environmentalists are happy.
As the Digital Journal reported, in September 2013 the Florida-based company NextEra Energy announced the completion of its 124.4 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Haldimand County, Ontario. The announcement led to several environmental campaigns being formed, including Ontario wind resistance, and ML wind action.
Despite the campaigns, wind power remains central to Ontario's longer-term energy plans, according to CTV. According to the Ontario Ministry of Energy: "Ontario's updated Long-Term Energy Plan, Achieving Balance, encourages conservation and lays out a plan for clean, reliable and affordable energy for Ontarians, where and when they need it."
To find out what the alternative take on the plans is, I spoke with Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson. Wind Concerns Ontario is a coalition of individuals and community groups concerned about the negative impacts on health, environment and the economy from industrial-scale wind power generation projects.
Criticizing the plans, Jane Wilson said: "Ontario never did a cost-benefit analysis for wind power, but now we know what the costs are." She went on to point out the economic flaws: "Very little power produced; power produced out of phase with demand; and few of the thousands of jobs promised. At the same time, the costs are skyrocketing electricity rates, plummeting property values, and absolute tyranny through industrialization of Ontario’s rural communities with huge wind power plants."
Wilson also noted that the Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli's response to criticism about electricity rates is to produce a new website that featured a tutorial on how consumers can better use electricity: “That was pure insult,” she said, “especially to rural residents forced to pay horrendous delivery charges for power, and who are already doing all they can to conserve while the government continues with policies that drive up costs. We need change, not blame.”
Instead, Wind Concerns Ontario policy argues for no new Feed In Tariff or subsidy contracts for wind, cancellation of the contracts where construction has not yet begun, and compensation for people who have lost value in their properties neighboring wind power projects, or whose health has been affected.
More about Energy, Wind power, Turbines, Electricity, Ontario
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