Ontario’s Green Energy Act: Case for Repeal

This essay, presented on Youtube, surveys the economic, administrative, and social impacts of Ontario’s Green Energy Act on the eve of the Act’s 2nd anniversary and concludes that the Act must be repealed. Fourth in a series of Youtube presentations on the Act, it was launched April 19, 2011 at the “Ontario Feed-In Tariff Supply Forum 2011,” an electricity sector trade conference catering primarily to renewable energy project developers.

Here is the link.


  1. Tom: Great synoposis of all that is wrong with the energy sector in this province. Let’s hope it goes viral and the politicans take up the cause!

  2. Well done Tom,

    I’m sure McGuinty and his Gang won’t like having their “masterpiece” of the Green Energy Act described like this but as nobody and I mean NOBODY in mainstream TV media ever ventures into this “arena of pain” for the citizens of Ontario, we need all the stories from people like yourself to educate the people on who is to blame for their unaffordable electricity!

    And we fight on

  3. Tom, I’m puzzled by what you say on the video about “wind output” and “coal requirements” at ~6:40 in: “Not surprisingly, as wind output rises and falls, coal requirements on the Ontario grid do not move in the opposite direction.”

    You’ve just said that the function of coal is as backup, to meet fluctuating demands (or to compensate for fluctuating supply). If/when coal is at the margin, how could it NOT move in the opposite direction from wind output, absent some other compensating changes in S&D??

  4. The data supports Mr. Adams claim – which doesn’t exclude other compensating changes in S&D.
    I can think of 3 possible reasons: it is balanced by hydro, and/or it is balanced by natural gas, and/or it it is simply exported.
    Look to April 7th – the first day in about 8 months where Ontario was a net importer of electricity, and a day when the capacity factor for wind averaged under 5%.
    Compare that day to March 17th – another Thursday with a similar demand profile but wind averaging above an 80% capacity factor. Wind production was 22.3GWh higher on the March Thursday, and exports were similarly higher – at a selling price of about $26000, and a purchase price of over $110000/GWh, it looks like we lost around $2 million on buying, and selling, wind production March 17th.

    Theoretically, it could be argued wind is balanced by coal in some distant jurisdiction – but that wouldn’t match the pitch of it replacing our coal-based production in Ontario.

  5. I suppose that if it were easy to hypnotize me or just convince me of something by repeating it many, many times then I might actually believe the provincial government and greenie mantra that RENEWABLES REPLACE (DIRTY) COAL. If coal and wind were inversely correlated then from a statistical standpoint I’d have pause for thought … but THEY’RE NOT so I don’t. (I therefore agree with Tom and Scott.)

  6. That’s helpful, Scott, though I think the answer is actually dominated by “other compensating changes in S&D”, including exports and imports, and gas-fired power filling in for coal to back up the sagging wind on April 7th.

    Also, both days are in the Spring, which is generally a period of unusually high supply (“Spring freshet” for hydro) and unusually low demand, so hardly typical for Winter or Summer, or even Fall. During those periods, I’d expect a tighter inverse relationship between coal+gas and wind+solar — and more consistent truth to your final thought, that imports really represent out-of-sight, “contracted-out” coal-burning.

    Does anybody know what’s primarily driving the short-term operational substitution of gas (and imports/exports) for coal as IESO’s “swing fuel”? E.g., is it mostly driven by OUR contractual obligations to buy gas-fired power, or by the government’s regulatory restrictions on OPG’s coal-burning pre-2014? Does the REAL incremental cost/value of the various forms of electricity have any significant role?

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