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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials The High Cost Of Electricity

by Doug Harvey
The High Cost Of Electricity

The "High Cost of Electricity" seems to be a popular phrase these days, used by just about everyone that has to look at and pay for their power bill. As to finger pointing on who's to blame for all this, I guess that all depends on what political ground you stand on. But, last time I looked around, the lights are still on, so maybe we haven't yet reached that slippery slope to disaster yet.

As for solutions to this issue, there are not many choices here, but people to blame, I found more. Now, this happens in my opinion indirectly and therefore, I think that the people involved really make decisions not looking at the big picture, but, focussed on the benefits that can come from participation in this program. Watching Council vote on four different Motions, in one meeting of Council, for projects that are using, or will be using this Fit Program, and giving municipal approval for these projects, surely meets the definition of participation.

Most people will tell you that this High Cost Of Electricity was not an issue that long ago and most of the blame can be put on a Government Program called the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) Program. The main reason that this program got started in the first place was to kickstart the creation of new local renewable energy sources to take the place of the coal fired generation stations that were going to close. How it worked started off, as a great idea for getting more power generated, giving anyone the incentive of getting several times the current going rate paid per kilowatt hour, and creating a wave of DIY Power Generation Sources.

The theory behind this government incentive plan was to buy back the power produced at a much higher rate, giving plenty of incentives to would be producer's, while the Government of the day could somehow regulate prices by mixing new expensive generating sources, with a combination of cheap traditional hydroelectric and nuclear sources, to keep the "High Cost Of Electricity" down to consumer's.

For years before the FIT program, Ontario’s hydroelectric and nuclear generation plants provided about three-quarters of the province’s electricity needs at affordable cost to consumers and was virtually greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-free. This reliable, low-cost electricity helped keep Ontario’s economy competitive and growing. Billions of dollars have been spent on intermittent wind and solar along with a backup natural gas generation. These new sources of supply are being heavily subsidized by ratepayers and have contributed significantly to rising electricity prices in Ontario. Ratepayers face further price increases due to hidden costs for the smart grid technologies and transmission/distribution infrastructure needed to integrate and manage variable electricity production and changing consumer demand.

For Ontario to have a healthy economy for the next generation, proven long term investment's in hydroelectric and nuclear generation plants, and infrastructure for distribution must be made today, so that the people of Ontario will prosper tomorrow.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2016 20:47:18 PM EST

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