August 10, 2021

With the release of the latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) yesterday, which forecast more dire consequences from climate change, there may be more calls for wind power as a source of electricity.

The City of Ottawa’s “Energy Evolution” document calls for as much electrification as possible by 2050, and proposes the installation of as much as 3,200 megawatts of wind power (more than 700 wind turbines) to do that.

It won’t work.

Ontario has already gone through the experience of incorporating wind power into its power generation mix with disastrous results. Two Auditors General noted the lack of any cost-benefit analysis for the rush to wind power (Ottawa hasn’t proposed any such study either) and the enormous cost of wind power. To date, wind makes up less than 10 percent of Ontario’s power supply and its intermittency due to being dependent on weather means it often shows up when not needed.

Ontario has lost billions selling off surplus wind power we don’t need, and we regularly pay generators not to produce.

While people may call for the “clean” “green” expansion of wind power there are facts that must be acknowledged:

  • Wind power generation is intermittent and produced out of phase with demand
  • Wind power has a huge impact on the environment in terms of the harm to wildlife, the altered landscapes and the danger to wildlife as well as the introduction of harmful noise pollution to the environment
  • Wind turbines require a massive amount of land and represent “energy sprawl” in comparison with other forms of generation
  • Wind power projects are socially divisive as they must be forced on quiet rural communities, in effect industrializing them
  • Wind can’t “replace” anything. Coal was replaced in Ontario by nuclear and natural gas.
  • Wind power development cannot exist without subsidy and is very costly to electricity customers (i.e., everybody)

In short, wind doesn’t work.

So, while we are looking for ways to adapt to and perhaps mitigate climate change, or to take a more holistic approach, do everything we can to protect the environment, there are other alternatives.

Wind power is not the future: it is the product of a vigorous marketing program to which well-meaning people have fallen prey.

Let’s do better.


#energypoverty #winddoesntwork #energysprawl #environment #noise