Thursday, August 21, 2003
Re: Governments Hindering Wind Energy?
Dave Mabell’s interview (“Governments hindering wind energy in Alberta”, 03/08/20, B7) of Robert Hornung, executive director of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, reveals the industries continuing quest for increased subsidies. Are governments hindering wind or just not providing the help the industry desires?
Robert laments the lack of strengthened incentives for wind energy in the latest round of climate change initiatives. Just over a year ago the federal government initiated the Wind Power Production Incentive which provides an incentive of about 1 cent per kWhr for wind generated power. Now, Robert is suggesting the incentive should be boosted to two cents per kWhr. Where will this need for subsidy end? It likely won’t, as dependable wind energy requires some kind of storage and alternate source of energy. In essence, two electricity supply systems are needed to provide reliable wind power. Both will be sitting idle much of the time.
For these reasons, a power system based mostly on wind power would require subsidies amounting to several times the current cost of electricity. Can Albertans afford that when much lower cost alternatives are available?