Why does wind-energy industry need subsidies?


14 Feb 2016  Lethbridge Herald

In his Monday’s sermon “Praise the Wind” (Feb 8/16), Mr. Hornung, the president of Canadian Wind Energy Association, claims that wind turbines: don’t cause health issues; kill only a very few birds; don’t need continuing shadowing from other electricity sources; that their costs are decreasing; that wind energy today is competitive; and that wind is free.

If all of these claims are true, why then does the wind industry need subsidies, preferential treatment and carbon certificates to make it viable? Why is Mr. Hornung trying to obtain the $20-billion contracts for wind power to be irrevocable for 20 years?

The time has come when Mr. Hornung needs to put his money where his mouth is. How about including in the contracts a clause that in the event that electricity prices increase at rates faster than inflation, the irrevocability of his contracts will become null and void. The government of the day could then follow the example of U.K., Germany and Spain and cancel these contracted subsidies without penalty.

The problem is Mr. Hornung will go on damage control instead, because sanity and rationalism have been cast aside and the whole arena is now a political and ideological battleground whose main protagonists understand nothing about how power generation works.

A few years from now, when power blackouts are complemented by high electricity prices, people will learn the consequences of these actions, but it will have been the hard way.

Cosmos Voutsinos