Should Canada bet the farm on wind farms?

The CBC show “The 180” today broadcast a debate between the president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, Robert Hornung, and myself on the future of wind power.

The debate is podcast here:

The wind power segment starts at 25:00 and ends at 37:15.

Mr. Hornung’s main pointed included these anti-logical gems:

– after acknowledging that new gas-fired power is cheaper than new wind power, Mr. Hornung goes on to claim that customers are not paying a premium for wind power,

– when asked to substantiate his opinion that wind power will grow rapidly over the long term, he points to recent rapid growth rates, propped up by vast subsidies, as proof of future expansion,

– he claims that new technology has made wind power reliable, and

– he argues that falling electricity demand is a factor preventing wind power from achieving the targets for fuel mix penetration that CanWEA has been pushing.

The host, Jim Brown, closes by inviting feedback on whether “Should Canada bet the farm on wind farms?” You can respond on Twitter @CBC180, or email at [email protected], or comment through their site at

There is a lively discussion going on here:


  1. Arstechnica, Jan.31, 2014
    “In fact, wind turbines seem to attract more than their fair-share of lightning damage as compared to buildings and towers of a similar height.”

    Wiley Online Library
    Journal Of Geophysical Research
    Abstract of:
    “Lightning discharge produced by wind turbines”

  2. Wind power is useless junk. Ontario has wasted billions constructing wind farms that run less than a third of the time, unless their curtailed off by the IESO because we actually have too much generation, in which case they run much less. Forget about massive subsidies, we are now paying wind farms not to generate. Under some recent agreements negotiated by the OPA wind farms that are dispatched down or off still get the full PPA price. There’s one wind farm in northwestern Ontario north of Thunder Bay that really never runs much at all because of local congestion conditions and is dispatched off by the IESO, yet it still gets the full PPA price from the OPA. This is absolute madness. Of course, according to CANWEA we aren’t paying a premium for wind, oh no, not at all.

    The Liberals are committed to green junk energy because it polls well. Bob Chiarelli claims this week that he’s taking action to protect propane consumers in Ontario. Why doesn’t he act to protect electricity consumers in the same way? You know why, because his government’s been launching their economic agenda on the backs of the rate payers – there is no parliamentary scrutiny on how rate payer dollars are spent like there is when taxpayer dollars are spent. Nobody looks out for rate payers – the OPA is just an extension of the Liberal government and its “independent” board of directors is loaded with Liberal hacks and OEB spends most of its time with its head down not wanting to get too involved. The result of this lack of oversight on the behalf of rate payers is more useless junk wind energy that we export for a fraction of the cost to generate to our industrial competitors in neighbouring jurisdictions.

    • I could not have said it better myself! The liberals have continued to sink our province deeper and deeper into debt thanks partly to this terribly inefficient means of producing “green energy”. We must do all in our power to sink them into oblivion in the next provincial election.

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