Energy

Canada Has 75 Local Governments ‘Unwilling To Host’ Wind Farms

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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The Canadian province of Ontario is facing a revolt from 75 local governments, which passed a resolution Monday banning the construction of new wind turbines without local consent.

The City of Ottawa and at least 74 other municipalities sent a resolution to the corporation that operates the province’s power grid, demanding that it “make formal municipal support a mandatory requirement in Ontario’s next round of procurement for renewable energy projects.”

The current approval process for wind turbines is “unfair” and “incredibly frustrating,” according to local government officials who spoke to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Ontario has a surplus of power generation capacity and is paying twice as much for wind power as other provinces.

Even in comparatively progressive places like Vermont or Great Britain, wind farms tend to be aggressively opposed by local residents as they are extremely ugly, disruptive and not useful.

Globally, less than 30 percent of total wind power capacity is actually utilized due to its intermittent and irregular nature — it either produces too much or too little power. This damages a power grid that can’t function unless demand for electricity exactly matches supply. With conventional power plants, like nuclear or natural gas, having demand match supply isn’t difficult because operators can easily adjust output far in advance of predicted demand for electricity. Solar and wind power, however, cannot easily adjust output because especially cloudy or windless day can’t be predicted in advanced.

Wind and solar energies have damaged Germany and California‘s power grids. Germany was actually forced to pay wind farms $548 million last year to switch off in order to prevent damage to the country’s electric grid. The country has also literally paid consumers to take excess power to minimize the damage from over-utilizing wind and solar.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is currently investigating how green energy undermines the reliability of the electrical grid. FERC believe there is a “significant risk” of electricity in the United States becoming unreliable because “wind and solar don’t offer the services the shuttered coal plants provided.” Environmental regulations could make operating conventional coal or natural gas power plants unprofitable, which could compromise the reliability of the American power grid.

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