Is the $57B Energy Evolution plan dead?


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Mayoral candidates pronounce the current climate action plan “unviable” and “wishful thinking” while proposing new ones

September 30, 2022

Ottawa’s municipal election campaign is shining much needed light on the city’s $57B climate action plan, named “Energy Evolution.”

It might even be dead.

We certainly hope so.

Work on the plan was started in the middle of the last decade including a series of “Pathway” studies released in 2017, and culminating in the Energy Evolution document passed by the city’s environmental protection committee and then Council in October of  2020. One Pathway study focused on wind power and acknowledged that Ottawa was a “low” wind resource area (translation: not enough wind to run turbines), the problem could be solved by offering developers more money to come here anyway. The result would be higher electricity bills, but not more reliable power.

While the city claims it conducted public engagement for the plan, it appears that a select group of “stakeholders” was contacted for their applause, and the plan was presented to Council within six months of official declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A casual inquiry of Ottawa citizens will reveal that few people know about the plan and its very hefty price tag, which relies heavily on support from all three levels of government. (To compare, Toronto has a climate plan, too. TransformTO has a budget of $6 million a year.)

A report in today’s Ottawa Citizen says a mayoral debate focused on the environment held September 29th saw candidates presenting their own plans for climate action. Former mayor and now candidate for a repeat gig Bob Chiarelli said the current plan, (i.e., Energy Evolution) is “unviable” and based on “wishful thinking.”

He doesn’t say it is out and out crazy but he could have. The electricity portion of the document was written for the city by activist group Pollution Probe, and recommends that Ottawa turn up its nose at the provincial power grid, and create its own power supply. How? By using wind and solar power.

That is not only nuts it’s impossible. Both are unreliable, weather-dependent sources of power that even with the notion of battery storage, cannot possibly power a city of 1.1 million people.

The plan features a raft of other completely unworkable ideas. A half a million heat pumps is prescribed: interesting, but also impossible across the board. The units are large and do create noise; water source heat pumps need a lot of property to install the equipment.

On propane? No problem: switch to a wood pellet heating system. Because burning wood is better than burning propane, right?

There’s more, but we refer you to our earlier post on how the Energy Evolution plan will hit you, hard.

Candidate and former broadcaster Mark Sutcliffe had a few comments about a climate plan. He said he wouldn’t spend $250 million on bike lanes, which was a jab at fellow candidate Catherine McKenney. Sutcliffe talks about planting trees and other measures, but doesn’t say anything about power.

Catherine McKenney never mentions Energy Evolution but they (McKenney prefers the pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them’) were a councillor when Ottawa City Council passed the climate action plan, and is a member of the environmental protection committee to boot, which not only passed the plan before sending on to Council but was presumably the standing committee that had some oversight on the project. McKenney has made statements about renewable energy, but has also said they want to turn the Greenbelt into an urban national park.

That conflicts with Ottawa’s Official Plan which in Section 4.11 states that renewable energy facilities may be located in the Greenbelt as a principal use. The councillor may be thinking that means a few solar panels to power signs or lights, not 600-foot grid-scale wind turbines which would be an industrial use of the land.

Lots of views to choose from but it appears Energy Evolution might get a review under a new Mayor and Council, if not shelved altogether.

We’re betting few candidates are aware that Energy Evolution was used as “evidence” when the City opposed a customer pipeline replacement by Enbridge along St Laurent Blvd to serve Ottawa natural gas customers.

At an all-candidates meeting in North Gower, for Ward 21, all three of the candidates appearing that evening pledged to demand a review of Energy Evolution.

Haven’t read Energy Evolution yet? Here it is: energy-transition-report-1

Ward 21 council candidates pledge review of Ottawa Energy Evolution plan


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Roads, wind turbines, and City Hall arrogance: themes at North Gower all-candidates’ meeting

September 21, 2022

Planning staff and others at the City of Ottawa may have sensed their ears burning Monday evening.

That’s because participants at an all-candidates meeting in North Gower held September 19 complained bitterly about the lack of real “engagement” or “consultation” from staff regarding major initiatives, whether it the new Official Plan, individual zoning amendment cases, or huge expensive initiatives like the $57B Energy Evolution plan.

The meeting, sponsored by the North Gower Community Association, was attended by candidates David Brown, Leigh-Andrea Brunet and Kevin Setia. Candidate Patty Searl was ill and unable to attend, and Michael Nowack was working, he told the organizers.

Comments were made about how hard it was to get information about city projects and plans, and to feel like comments were being taken seriously, residents said.

Staff put out their reports with their decisions on what actions will be taken, said one North Gower resident. By the time the process gets to “engagement,” it feels like the decisions have already been made, she said.

Mentioned was the city’s “engagement” on garbage collection, the Official Plan, and other policies in development.

City doesn’t “get” rural issues

Citizens spoke about some of the issues being reported in media about what’s important in the 2022 municipal election campaign, and said that the urban-rural divide was clear. The city quite simply doesn’t “get” rural issues.

Transit is a key topic now, as the city is pushing for better use of the multi-billion-dollar transit system and LRT. But Ottawa’s transit system is out of reach for rural residents, some said.

“I’d love to take transit,” said one resident. “But where do I get it? Where do I drive to from North Gower to get a bus or the LRT or whatever? And, I live on a farm and drive a truck—will there be a parking space I can fit into when I get there?”

Leigh-Andrea Brunet said that the mega-warehouse site, which was the subject of a citizen appeal, would have been a good place for a park and ride, where buses could pick up residents needing to go into the city. David Brown commented that work would have to be done on assessing the cost of rural bus routes but that the City-owned client services centre would be a good location for passenger pickup in North Gower.

Comments were made about one mayoral candidate’s proposal to spend $250 million on bike lanes while in rural areas, roads are literally falling apart.

Concern was expressed by several residents over the tone of the current Council, and how there seemed to be “gangs” of councillors as one person put it.

Kevin Setia said his goal would be to work collaboratively with all other councillors.

NO to expensive, unreliable wind turbines

As the questions asked covered various City initiatives and programs promoted by the current Council, the Energy Evolution plan came up repeatedly, particularly the part that calls for powering the city with wind and solar and would require more than 700 industrial-scale wind turbines, to be installed in Ottawa’s rural areas.

Residents recalled the Green Energy Act era in Ontario, which resulted in a loss of more than $30 billion to ratepayers and taxpayers because of expensive, above-market contracts, and asked why Ottawa hasn’t learned from that.

Every candidate agreed that wind power was expensive and unreliable and not appropriate for Ottawa.

In conclusion, all three said they pledged to demand a review of the Energy Evolution plan if elected.

Election day is October 24, 2022 with advance polls in Ottawa available after September 24.

Further all-candidates meetings include Richmond, October 5; Manotick Village Community Association September 28th 7 PM at the Community Centre/arena; West Carleton-March the OFA  will host a meeting Oct. 5 at the Kinburn Community Centre 7 PM; and the Huntley Community Association (HCA) will host an all-candidates debate for Ward 5 council candidates on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 7 PM at the Carp Agricultural Hall.

To contact us, or to be added to our email list, email


“Equality”: just a campaign buzzword?


Are Ottawa’s rural residents just collateral damage for City Hall’s $57B climate action plan?

Children living next to huge noisy wind turbines in Ontario: where is “equality” with city residents?

September 14, 2022

With the municipal election campaign now in gear, candidates for council and the mayor’s chair are talking about ideas and platforms.

From the mayoral candidates in particular, we hear talk about “affordability” and “equality” and “accessibility.”

(How can we have “affordable housing” when Ottawa’s $57B Energy Evolution plan proposes actions, like installing 700 wind turbines, that will raise electricity bills significantly?)

The notion of “equality” is intriguing because in the rural areas, the sentiment is that rural voices don’t get heard much at City Hall. That was cited as an issue in the Rogers TV candidate debate held for Ward 21 Rideau-Jock.

So, when it comes to the city’s $57B Energy Evolution climate action plan, is there “equality” for rural residents?


When city staff revealed the plans for wind turbines (they didn’t say how many then, but we know now they think around 710 will be needed) in June 2021 during a discussion for rural residents about the new Official Plan, there was immediate pushback from those participating in the sparsely attended, poorly publicized online event.

When residents objected to having industrial-scale wind turbines, then Manager of Planning Policy Alain MIguelez said, in effect, the city wants renewables to provide power and “That power has to come from somewhere.”

Meaning you, you rural folk.

More recently, in a meeting of the Environmental Protection Committee, councillor (and chair) Scott Moffatt said he heard a lot of negative reaction to the prospect of wind turbines.

In response, city climate manager Andrea Flowers confirmed that the city “explicitly” said it wants wind and solar and that resident concerns would be met by zoning bylaws and “technology.”

The reality is that rural residents are already being regarded as collateral damage in the city’s plan to run a metropolis of more than 1.1 million people on “predominately” wind and solar power.

City climate manager Mike Fletcher spoke of Ottawa’s rural communities as “vast areas” for wind power development in a letter to the Ontario Energy Board … as if no one lives there.

Both forms of power generation are extremely land-intensive, gobbling up acres of valuable land for wind turbines, their access roads and associated infrastructure such as transformer substations, power cabling and more.

Wind turbines in particular add noise pollution to the environment, are a risk to wildlife especially

bats which are crucial to the ecosystem and agriculture, and, in areas of vulnerable aquifers wind turbines with their monstrous foundations also pose a risk to the water supply.

But to the Non Government Organizations (NGOs) advising the City of Ottawa (Pollution Probe actually wrote the electricity section of Energy Evolution), rural residents are simply inhabitants of a giant resource plantation.

Equality? For rural residents? Not in Ottawa.

A question for municipal election candidates during this campaign: what about “equality” for rural citizens? Where do you stand on protecting the environment and quality of life in Ottawa’s rural communities?

Conversation on Energy Evolution, wind turbines widens in Ottawa election campaign


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Residents unaware of climate action plan proposals and $57B price tag

Questions were asked at a recent candidates’ debate focused on climate

August 29, 2022

Interest in Ottawa’s $57B Energy Evolution climate action plan is picking up.

And as we suspected, most Ottawa citizens don’t know a thing about it, despite Ottawa’s pledge of “engagement.”

The Energy Evolution plan was approved by Council in October of 2020, mere months into the pandemic, when people had a lot on their minds.

Now, during the campaign for election of a new Mayor and council seats, questions are coming up.

At a recent mayor candidate debate for example (not attended by front-runners Bob Chiarelli or Mark Sutcliffe) Catherine McKenney was asked about the Energy Evolution plan and specifically about the call for 710 industrial-scale wind turbines. “Taller than the Peace Tower,” the questioner said (Not true: they are more like a 60-storey office tower).

Energy Evolution is full of “bold ideas” McKenney responded, but added that they could not recall that wind power had precedence over anything else. Emissions-reduction and solar energy was the focus, McKenney said.

Here’s the problem: McKenny sits on the city’s environmental protection committee and would have heard climate manager Andrea Flowers say this in a meeting in May in answer to a question from Councillor Scott Moffatt:

“What we put forward as part of this motion as a broader picture is if there are sufficient resources we would look at a Distributed Energy Resource for city-owned facilities and land. We have explicitly said that would include renewable energy generation both wind and solar as we have specified in Energy Evolution.”

So, yes, wind, lots of wind, and McKenney should know it.

The question and McKenney’s answer may be viewed here.

A candidate for Council running in the Knoxdale-Merivale ward has taken aim at the Energy Evolution plan (did we mention the $57B?) and spoken out against it in his campaign.

Joseph Ben-Ami is telling taxpayers that they are going to be shocked at the price tag on the Energy Evolution plan, and at the things proposed in it such as banning natural gas appliances, and installing wind turbines. A video of his campaign statement is here.

Ward 21 candidate David Brown has also spoken out against the Energy Evolution plan, and the proposal for wind turbines. In an article published in The Manotick Messenger, Brown pointed out that wind power is consistently unreliable and asks why Ottawa is planning to build hundreds of under-performing, noise polluting wind turbines.

“They certainly won’t be built downtown,” Brown adds. They will be built in Ottawa’s rural communities, causing “irrevocable damage to farmland, wildlife and residents” while causing “energy poverty” for many people, especially those with low or fixed incomes.

Fellow Ward 21 candidate Leigh-Andrea Brunet has also spoken on the urban-rural divide in Ottawa and cautioned that Ottawa needs to be careful to develop policies that promote equality, not division.

There are many weeks to go in the campaign and lots of opportunities to ask questions of candidates.

All-candidates’ meetings are being scheduled: the North Gower Community Association is sponsoring one on September 19th for Ward 21, 7 PM at Alfred Taylor Centre; Manotick Village Community Association is also Ward 21, also plans an event, date TBA.

We are unaware of any meetings scheduled in West Carleton. Please let us know of any events scheduled.

We want transparency on new power projects: Ottawa Wind Concerns to City of Ottawa


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A previous wind power project was presented as a ‘done deal.’ That’s not happening again, says Ottawa community group.

City documents show that wind and solar power projects and battery storage are due for completion by 2025. Where are they? Rural residents want to know.

August 1, 2022

Community group Ottawa Wind Concerns has asked its followers to contact the City of Ottawa to request transparency on several renewable energy projects.

In an email today, the group asked citizens to demand transparency from the city, with the following request:

“On page 45 of the Energy Evolution action plan is the statement that a project is to be undertaken in the electricity sector between 2020 and 2025, which requires specifically the installation of:

150 megawatts of solar power generation

20 megawatts of wind

20 megawatts of hydro and

20 megawatts of electricity storage.

Given that these are substantial projects for the City and will require procurement of land as well as environmental studies in order to obtain approvals, we are asking the City of Ottawa to release information NOW on where these projects will be located, who will be the operators of the facilities, what contract terms are for setbacks from homes, noise limits, decommissioning, and fire and aviation safety requirements as well as what cost-benefit analysis is being done to confirm the climate change benefits of these projects.

In short, we are asking for opportunities for full public engagement with regard to these power generation projects.

As the deliverable date for these projects is less than three years away, we ask that public disclosure and engagement begin as soon as possible.”

The power projects are significant, says Ottawa Wind Concerns Chair Jane Wilson: “For wind power, the 20 megawatt requirement could mean seven or more industrial-scale wind turbines,” she says. “That will be a significant impact on a community and on the people who will be forced to live nearby. The power generators do create noise pollution and have other potential impacts on the environment such as the risk to wildlife, and the loss of important woodlands and other features.”

Wilson says there is no news on the 2025 power projects, but residents want to know they will be notified and included.

“The last time this happened,” says Wilson, “the project was presented as a ‘done deal’. That cannot happen again.”

A 20-megawatt wind power project was proposed for North Gower in 2008 but ended when the proponent, a small firm out of Germany, failed to meet requirements of Ontario’s Large Renewable Power procurement effort in 2014. The turbines were to be 600 feet tall and would have been near hundreds of homes and the village school. Almost every citizen in the area signed and petition which was presented at City Hall.

The local chapter of Ontario Landowners has also asked members to contact the City of Ottawa to demand transparency.


Ottawa Wind Concerns is an incorporated, not-for-profit group, with a membership list of several hundred residents of rural Ottawa communities and other stakeholders. We are a community group member of the Wind Concerns Ontario coalition.Our goal: a safe environment…for everyone

Wind power and energy security today


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Another reason why Ottawa’s Energy Evolution and the plan for 3,200 megawatts of wind to power Ottawa (intermittently) isn’t a good idea. Opinion by Ottawa energy economist Robert Lyman


Putting 700 wind turbines throughout Ottawa’s rural communities will foster energy security, according to Ottawa’s climate change action plan. How is that possible when all the raw materials come from somewhere else? [Photo: D. Larsen for Wind Concerns Ontario]


August 1, 2022

The crisis in global energy markets following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seized public attention in western countries largely because of its indirect effect on the prices of oil and natural gas, two energy sources of central importance to the world’s economy. In a somewhat perverse way, the crisis may also serve as a valuable reminder of the importance of energy security, a consideration that many governments, in their pursuit of “climate” objectives, have demoted to the second or third rank.

There is another dimension of energy security that does not relate to the threat of oil and gas shortages and price increases but instead to the insecure sources of the materials needed to produce wind, solar and battery equipment. All of these require large imports of critical components or inputs from China.

How big is this problem?

In 2019, China accounted for 68% of global polysilicon production, 96% of global photovoltaic (PV) wafers production, 76% of PV cell production and 71% of PV module production.

The Global Wind Blade Supply Chain Update for 2020 ranks China as the largest producing country for wind turbines. Chinese firms are responsible for more than 50% of global wind blade production capacity. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, China is now the leading exporter of wind-powered generating nets, accounting for about 10% of the market outside of China.

China is also among the leading suppliers of many minerals critical to the manufacture of wind turbines and solar PV. Table 1 indicates China’s share of global supply of critical mineral inputs.

Table 1

MineralChina Share of Global Supply

Aluminum 56%

Cadmium 33%


Gallium 97%

Indium 39%

Molybdenum 45%

Rare Earths 63%

Selenium 33%

Silicon 64%

Tellurium 62%

Tin 27%

Titanium 28%

Tungsten 82%

Vanadium 55%

Zinc 33%

Source: World Bank

Dependence on China for the materials needed for wind, solar and batteries is not the only energy security consideration that should be raised with respect to renewable energy. A far more significant risk concerns the inability of intermittent electricity supply sources to meet electricity demand at all times and in all seasons, especially if left dependent on costly and unproven bulk electricity storage systems.

There is an important geopolitical dimension. China and the West are now locked into an important competition to determine which countries, and which economic systems, will lead the world over the next century. China has shown itself willing to use every policy tool, including widespread industrial espionage and funding of groups that create disharmony and division in western societies, to advance its agenda.

In these circumstances, relying on energy sources dependent on Chinese supplies seems like a very high-risk approach.

Robert Lyman,



Community group concerned about $57-billion Energy Evolution plan: Manotick Messenger


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Ottawa’s climate action plan calls for more than 700 wind turbines, even though wind power is intermittent and out of phase with demand. Do people know about the $57B plan? [Photo D. Larsen for Wind Concerns Ontario]

July 29, 2022

Ottawa Wind Concerns is quoted in a news story in the Manotick Messenger, published today.

Ottawa City Council approved the Energy Evolution climate change action plan in the early weeks of the pandemic in 2020 says Ottawa Wind Concerns Chair Jane Wilson, with an estimated cost to taxpayers of $57 billion.

But most people don’t know anything about it.

The plan stipulates that electricity will become the “primary fuel for all building types” in Ottawa, and that the plan calls for more than half a million heat pumps to be installed.

In order to achieve electrification of everything from home heating, to building HVAC systems to transportation, Energy Evolution says that the city of 1.1 million will rely on wind and solar power. The plan calls for 3,200 megawatts of new wind power in Ottawa, which translates to 710 industrial-scale wind turbines, of 4.5 megawatt capacity.

There are no cost-benefit studies to show this will work, Wilson says, and neither is there any evidence that the city’s dramatic measures will really have any impact on climate change.

“What’s needed as we move into October’s municipal election campaign are questions to all candidates about the city’s action plan and whether candidates are aware of and support the proposals,” Wilson said.

Read the news story here, on page 17.

Ottawa’s Energy Evolution plan will hit you hard—here’s how


The city’s climate change action plan has no cost-benefit analysis, but plenty of costs (and prohibitions) for citizens

If Ottawa goes for variable renewable energy such as wind turbines, electricity bills may double [Shutterstock photo]

July 26, 2022

You can be forgiven if you never heard of Ottawa’s Energy Evolution climate change action plan. It got passed by the city’s environmental protection committee after a few presentations to select groups* and a couple of questions on “Engage Ottawa”.

That happened in August 2020 and approval by council in October.

You probably had other things on your mind.

Like the pandemic. And whether kids were going back to school, or you were going back to work. Whether there would be a Thanksgiving, or Christmas.

That’s when Ottawa City staff decided to put this in motion, a $57-billion plan to make a “better future” for the City, after declaring a climate emergency.

The goals are to achieve a 100-percent reduction in emissions by 2050, and 43 percent by 2025. Here’s how:

All fossil fuels have to be phased out

Heating and transportation systems have to be fully electrified

Waste heat utilization and renewable natural gas

Sufficient renewable electricity (mostly wind** and solar) to meet demand and offset emissions on the provincial grid***

Price tag? Billions. Who pays? YOU

At the time this was presented to council, two Councillors had comments. Carol Anne Meehan said the $57B budget was equal to the budget for 14 cities. “How are we going to pay for this?” she asked.

Councillor Allan Hubley said, “We’re spending $57 billion? This is news.”

“This is NEWS”????

With all the “engagement” staff is supposed to have done, some councillors were not fully aware of the price tag.

People are also unaware of the prescriptions in Energy Evolution, some of which are pretty drastic.

Bye-bye gas stove. And fireplace. Hello higher bills

Ottawa energy economist Robert Lyman has put together a list of some of the actions that lie ahead in the name of climate change.

Did you know that Ottawa plans to spend $57 billion by 2050, or $57,000 per person now residing in the city, on its climate plan?


Did you know that Ottawa wants to install 36 square kilometres of photovoltaic panels on roofs?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to spend $4 billion on industrial-scale wind turbines within the city limits by 2050? And that they hope to “profit” by $4B (not Ontario’s experience, and probably via your electricity bill)?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to eliminate the secure backup electricity generating plants that now use natural gas and replace them with untested storage systems that could cost $383 million?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to ban sales of natural gas furnaces, fireplaces and appliances (even stoves that restaurants use)?

Did you know that Ottawa’s plans will double or triple the cost of electricity over the few years?


Did you know that Ottawa plans to eliminate parking in the downtown core and in the Byward Market within eight years?

Did you know Ottawa wants to charge you $20 just to drive downtown? For a doctor’s appointment or to dine out?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to restrict new car purchases so that 90% are electric vehicles by 2030, regardless of cost?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to regulate all commercial vehicles (heavy trucks, delivery vans, taxis, car and truck rental, etc.) so that at least 40% of them are all-electric within eight years?

Did you know that Ottawa will spend almost $1 billion on all-electric buses over the next five years, even though no studies have been done of how well they operate in winter conditions?

Did you know that Ottawa expects the percentage of residents here commuting by walking or cycling in 2030 to be higher than in Victoria, British Columbia, even in winter?


Did you know that Ottawa intends to reduce requirements of residential developers to provide parking spaces for the houses and apartments they build?

Did you know that Ottawa is considering introducing an Ottawa vehicle registration fee of $118 per vehicle per year, on top of what the province charges?

Did you know that Ottawa is considering increasing the tax on all private parking lots by 24%?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to require most houses to be retrofitted, even though the cost could be $150,000 per unit?

Did you know that Ottawa is considering increasing development charges by $234 million per year to pay for its climate measures?

Did you know that Ottawa is considering introducing a new Land Transfer Tax raising $130 million per year to pay for its climate measures?

After all this is done, Mr Lyman says, actions by the City of Ottawa would only reduce annual global emissions by 0.014%, an amount too small to be measured, and have zero impact on global temperatures or weather patterns.

Former head of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business Catherine Swift recently described Energy Evolution as a “fantasy strategy.” That may be but the fact is work is being done on it NOW, and money—your money—is being spent.

The municipal election is coming. Ask candidates now if they know about Energy Evolution and whether they support it. As a tax-paying citizen, you deserve an answer.

Ottawa Wind Concerns is an incorporated, not-for-profit group, with a membership list of several hundred residents of rural Ottawa communities and other stakeholders. We are a community group member of the Wind Concerns Ontario coalition.Our goal: a safe environment…for everyone


*Check the list of “partners” on pages ix-x. Many are organizations that stand to profit from Energy Evolution demands. The list includes the Canadian Renewable Energy Association or CanREA, formerly the Canadian Wind Energy Association or CanWEA—their goal is to advance the interests of wind and solar power developers, not fix the environment.

**Several councillors denied this, despite staff being very clear.

***This is a peevish political statement as well as being inaccurate. Ontario’s power grid is more than 90-percent emissions-free. Also, more intermittent wind power means MORE natural gas as backup. If you actually want electricity, that is.

Read the Energy Evolution document here.

Ottawa Energy Evolution a “fantasy”: former CFIB head


Plan to be funded by increases in taxes and tolls which will affect business and all residents, says Catherine Swift

Ottawa’s climate action plan will lead to huge costs and tax increases. [Photo: Wind Concerns Ontario]

Ottawa’s climate change action plan will lead the city to huge costs for business and citizens says Catherine Swift, former CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and current president of the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Business. Her opinions appear in The Niagara Independent.

An excerpt:

“…more and more experts are stating what some have always believed to be obvious – that the transition to net-zero by 2050 is not only terribly ambitious, but impossible with current technology.  Despite this overdue acknowledgement of the many difficulties and hardships imposed by governments’ attempting to achieve net-zero, some jurisdictions are still proceeding to make decisions on the future of their energy security based on beliefs that these extreme environmental goals are still attainable. 

A recent example was the City of Ottawa, which late last month decided to intervene in what should have been a fairly routine proceeding at the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). Enbridge had applied to the OEB to replace an old and deteriorating natural gas pipeline that had served Ottawa for 65 years with a new, reliable, updated version. The current older pipeline is actually at some risk of failing in the near future. This situation was pointed out in an article in The Epoch Times by Patricia Adams and Lawrence Solomon of Energy Probe entitled “Ottawa is Committing Suicide”. 

Enbridge was likely shocked to find that an application it considered a no-brainer ended up being rejected as Ottawa city planners and other environmental organizations intervening in the hearing prevailed such that the OEB rejected Enbridge’s application for the St. Laurent pipeline replacement. Enbridge estimates that it has about three years to deal with the aging pipeline before some type of catastrophic event occurs.  

Currently, Ottawa depends on natural gas for roughly half of its household and business energy needs.  Adding to the irony is that about 15 years ago, natural gas was touted by environmental advocates as a wonderfully “green” replacement for coal as it accounted for about half the emissions of the more polluting fuel. Now that coal has been phased out in Ontario, natural gas is next on the chopping block. 

Instead of refurbishing the pipeline, Ottawa continues to believe in a fantasy strategy it calls its Energy Evolution plan, which is geared toward moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and achieving the Holy Grail of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Cost is clearly no object to Ottawa government officials, as while the new gas pipeline would have cost $124 million, the city foresees its Energy Evolution plan weighing in at a whopping $52 billion for extensive solar and wind infrastructure.  Ottawa officials expect increases in a variety of taxes, road tolls, etc. will cover off this massive cost and not create any particular problems for Ottawa residents and businesses in the process.  

Unfortunately, Ottawa is not alone in these pipe dreams. Fully 32 Ontario municipalities have bought in to the notion that they will be able to phase out natural gas in the coming decades while doing no credible planning on exactly how reliable, relatively affordable gas can be replaced by unreliable and costly renewables. Elsewhere in Canada, other municipalities are following suit. Calgary has recently one-upped Ottawa with a net-zero by 2050 plan estimated to cost fully $87 billion, with city taxpayers, businesses and other levels of government expected to ante up.  

As the years go by and every single climate goal and emissions target is consistently missed by a mile, it is worth asking what it will take before governments realize the completely unrealistic nature of the net-zero objective and the pain it continues to inflict on Canadians by pretending these goals are achievable despite all evidence to the contrary.  

Ottawa is a very cold place in the winter, so perhaps some freezing in the dark, more energy poverty and the breakdown of an essential pipeline will be needed to finally call net-zero for what it is – impossible.”

Actually, the authors of Energy Evolution think that the costs will be covered by funding from all three levels of government—forgetting of course that there is only one taxpayer—and even go so far as to thinking they can make money by installing wind power projects. The plan claims a $4B investment in wind will pay off double, and reap $9B.

That didn’t happen when the Ontario government launched its wind power disaster (not mentioned or reviewed in Energy Evolution). What did happen was a doubling of electricity bills and the debut of a new term, “energy poverty.”

Heat or eat!

Candidates in the coming municipal election should be asked whether they are aware of the Energy Evolution plan, and whether they support it.

Wind power: a no-show in summer (winter too)


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How does Ottawa’s Climate team expect to run Ontario’s second largest city on power that’s just not there?

Industrialization of Ottawa rural areas planned: for what? [Photo: D. Larsen for Wind Concerns Ontario]

July 15, 2022

At 5 p.m. today, the province-wide demand for power was just over 19,000 megawatts on a warm summer afternoon.

The closest wind power plant to Ottawa is at Crysler (Finch, Berwick). At that hour, the 100-megawatt facility was generating just 7 megawatts of power. Next closest is Amherst Island’s Windlectric project, also producing just 7 megawatts of power.

Wind in total that hour was producing 395 megawatts of power.

Ottawa city staff on the climate team have made it clear they think Ontario’s second largest city can run on “predominately wind and solar.” On May 17th, section manager Andrea Flowers told the environmental protection committee that “we have explicitly said that [the energy resource for the city] would include renewable energy generation both wind and solar”.

Commentator and former international banker Parker Gallant has made much of Ontario’s unavailable wind power supply in recent days. He says, if you completely shut down Ontario’s wind power fleet, you wouldn’t notice a thing. Why?

It’s not there.

Here’s what he had to say about one day’s performance earlier this week:

“Yesterday, July 13, 2022, was one of those; not so hot summer days in most of Ontario so according to IESO (Independent Electricity System of Ontario) peak demand at hour 16 only reached 18,135 MW during a five (5) minute interval.  At that hour those IWT (industrial wind turbines) with a capacity of 4,900 MW were contributing 108 MW or 2.2% of their capacity and 0.6% of demand. Had they been absent they wouldn’t have been missed!”

Gallant also wrote an article for The Financial Post this week in which he described wind as a “fickle energy friend.” In a day not unlike today, July 13th saw wind producing a few hundred megawatts of power while demand was more than 19,000 megawatts.

Who did show up for work that afternoon? Gallant answers the question:

“What sources did the work at this peak-demand hour? Here’s the breakdown:

  • Nuclear                9,529 MW
  • Hydro                   5,222 MW
  • Natural Gas         4,336 MW
  • IWT                          332 MW
  • Solar                        207 MW
  • Biofuel                     115 MW”

Ottawa’s Energy Evolution document, the “action plan” for the Climate Change Master Plan and the first step in implementation, actually calls for Ottawa to get its own 3,200 megawatts of wind power, which they translate into 710 wind wind turbines ( Energy Evolution, page 45).

The model states that those are the MINIMUM required for the city to get to “Net Zero” and electrify everything — a worthy goal, but not going to happen with wind power. No cost-benefit analysis was included.

Ottawa voters need to ask election candidates a few pointed questions leading up to the October municipal election.

Are you aware of the Energy Evolution plan?

Have you read it?

Do you support more than 700 wind turbines in Ottawa’s rural communities, effectively turning them into industrial power plants?

Oh, did we mention the Energy Evolution is priced out at $57 billion?????

Time to ask questions.

Ottawa Wind Concerns is an incorporated, not-for-profit group, with a membership list of several hundred residents of rural Ottawa communities and other stakeholders. We are a community group member of the Wind Concerns Ontario coalition.Our goal: a safe environment…for everyone