Letters: Wind energy growing fast

November 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Re: “Fossil fuels now beat wind and solar on environmental as well as economic grounds” (Nov. 15), Lawrence Solomon

Mr. Solomon overlooks the tremendous environmental and social, as well as economic, contributions of renewable energy to post-Industrial Revolution progress. By every conceivable measuring stick, wind, hydro and solar have helped countries across the globe to deliver stable, affordable and accessible electricity that improves lives and reduces impacts on the environment. Take wind energy, for example – one of the fastest growing major sources of new electricity. In Canada, clean wind energy grew by nearly 20% last year, representing over $2.5-billion in new investment and over 10,500 new jobs. The amount of wind energy feeding power grids across Canada is now equal to the electricity consumed by over 2 million average-sized Canadian homes.

The key is that societies today do not have to compromise people’s health and the environment to meet electricity needs. Even coal-intensive China has recognized the need to integrate significant new, renewables like wind energy in order to sustain economic progress and ward off environmental catastrophe. Like most advanced economies, China has come to realize, like Ontario did several years ago, that wind energy is an affordable, cost-competitive and flexible energy supply option. In fact, China now leads the world in the development of wind energy and within the next ten years over 15% of its electricity grid will be fueled by clean wind energy.

In Canada today, the phasing out of coal generation in Ontario and higher Canadian greenhouse gas emission standards are being achieved without any threat to energy supply and security.  Electricity grids are moving away from large, centralized generating facilities that rely on conventional fuels such as coal and nuclear to more flexible electricity supply systems that use a variety of renewable (wind, solar, hydro) and nonrenewable generation sources. These are proven, reliable and cost-competitive energy solutions with considerable health and environmental benefits – exactly what governments and electricity ratepayers are demanding to meet changing needs and economic circumstances.

Robert Hornung, president, Canadian Wind Energy Association, Ottawa, Ontario

Even the UN backs coal

Re:  ”Al Gore coming to Toronto to help Kathleen Wynne lie about Ontario’s Green Plan,” Terence Corcoran, Nov. 21

Al Gore may not like coal, but today even the United Nations is saying that coal can be part of the future for global energies. ”Coal power can be part of the solution to tackling global warming, the UN climate chief told a major coal industry summit on Monday,” said a recent news report.

Look at what GERMANY is doing, starting up 10 new coal fired stations  and even more are planned .  Canada  and Ontario are doing exactly the opposite by planning to  shutdown all their plants. This is stupid and expensive and not necessary.

Not all of the coal plants in Ontario had  to be shut down . Most had to be converted  to more natural gas  or cleaner fossil fuels, especially the Nanticoke plant which should never be shutdown

This is a mess that the  current Liberals created  and now AL Gore comes to congratulate the Liberals for this mess? .

Matt Vooro, Burlington, Ontario

Regulations need cost/benefit analysis

Re: “Shake up the Investment Industry,” Tom Bradley, Nov. 20

Tom Bradley has been an articulate advocate of extensive rule-making to improve the transparency of the investing process. But over the past five years that is exactly what regulators have done – put in place a more robust rule framework for the mutual fund and managed funds business, and for investment dealers.

But continuing the rule-making process at the same fast tempo, with regulators holding their collective feet to the gas pedal, as Mr. Bradley suggests, risks serious damage to the savings-investment process. The likely results include escalating costs and the attrition of small dealer firms (many integral to the small and mid-sized business capital-raising process), as well as unintended consequences. Moreover, Mr. Bradley’s characterization of the investment industry ignores the impact of extensive rule-making in the past five years.

A comprehensive framework has been put in place related to disclosure of the investing process, management of conflicts, enhanced suitability requirements and disclosure of compensation and portfolio performance. These are standards far higher, for example, than in the insurance industry. These rules, coupled with mutual fund point of sale disclosure, take all firms in the dealer industry and across firms in the wealth management industry to the same high standard.

However, as argued in our recent FP opinion piece (“Stop the rule-making”; November 12, 2013), we have reached the point where the regulatory focus needs to shift from more rule-making to examining better techniques for monitoring compliance with the rules, and the standards of professionalism in the industry. An unrelenting pace of rule-making, without disciplined cost-benefit analysis, has consequences. It drives up costs for investors – and drives some firms out of the business.

Ian Russell, president and CEO, Investment Industry Association of Canada

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