May, Green stand on renewables a death sentence

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May

Have you ever noticed that when proponents extol the virtues of wind and solar energy they speak about capacity rather than generation?

Just about every article you’ll read about renewable energy in Canada will paint a picture about how the country is adding wind capacity and thus becoming ever more green.

It’s telling.

Capacity is a wonderful concept. It is the amount of electricity a wind turbine can generate given optimum conditions.

The most important phrase there is optimum conditions.

Life is rarely fair and conditions are rarely optimum.

In Alberta, for example, we have some 1.7 Gigawatts of installed wind capacity.

It sound like a lot, doesn’t it?

Oddly, as of this writing, all those wind turbines are churning out – wait for it – a mere 83 megawatts.


Let that sink in.

You can check the daily production at this site.

It’s worth visiting because it gives you a nice breakdown of electricity production in the province.

What it shows is that wind turbines produce intermittent electricity and very little of it at that.

That’s true right across the country.


Wind is simply not reliable.

As for solar, I won’t even bother to discuss that energy source for Canada. At our latitude and low insolation values, it is pointless.

The irony, of course, is that most of Canada’s electrical production is already “green” – it’s in quotation marks because low CO2 is considered to be green.


The vast majority of the country’s electricity comes from hydroelectric projects (approximately 60 per cent). We have lots of water and we’ve made good use of it.

We make so much electricity from hydro that we can sell it to the United States at a hefty profit.


The next largest source of electricity is nuclear power plants (15 per cent.)

So between hydro and nuclear, fully 75 per cent of electricity is green and low carbon.

Fossil fuels comprise most of the balance (19 per cent) and is roughly split between coal and natural gas.

So when the Greens and other morons talk about the great opportunities renewables will afford Canada, they are betraying their ignorance.

Replacing the 19 per cent of electricity that is generated by fossil fuels will do next to nothing for the economy or CO2 emissions.

For provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, where coal and natural gas are cheap, erecting expensive, unreliable wind turbines that can never produce at capacity, it is a death sentence for citizens.

In the depths of a prairie winter, when temperatures can dip to -40C at night, relying on wind to stay warm means freezing to death.

So the Greens are literally the party of death.

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