Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's blowing here is not wind

It pains me to agree with Pat Lorje statement: "I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle because as soon as you announce a project is green everybody stands and salutes the flag."

I share her concern that a decision to invest $5 million on a project before all the reports are in, tabled and made public is foolhardy. Although I am not anti-wind turbine energy alternatives, I'm not sure that locating a turbine in the centre of a city or neighbourhood is the best placement. Nor should the Montgomery Place residents be deemed NIMBYs. They are ordinary folk that have invested their life savings in a home and should be concerned about, not just the effect on their everyday lives, but on their property values as well. But council has already invested $530,000 in consulting and is not about to let that go and its green.

However given Lorje's stance on other green projects, my cynical side suspects her concerns are more about garnering votes for next October and Montgomery has relatively high voter. turnout.


  1. What a waste of money, we can now add the turbine to the list of projects that we laugh at.

    I'm willing to wager that by 2014 the 'dump turbine' will be as big a joke to residents as the 'bridge lights'.

    This council just either doesn't get it or doesn't care. They are broke, they continue to say they can't find any money to cut from the budget then they continue to trot out stupid and needless capital projects when we can least afford it.

    If we were flush with money this would be a different story, and maybe even a good idea to pursue. However, when we are broke as a city the last thing we need is another pet project. I cannot wait to turf this current council.

  2. Lorje was over the top last night in coming out against the turbine - calling into question every piece of scientific evidence in the report without overing any counter-evidence.

    Futhermore, those residents opposed to the project are indeed NIMBYs, and also offered no real evidence to support their case.

    All of that being said, I agree with part of Lorje's agrument - putting a single turbine ontop of the landfill is nothing but green window dressing.

    If the City was serious about wanting alternative energy sources they would push the province and surrounding local governments to help develop a wind-farm project outside of the city that could supply some of their energy needs.

  3. overing = offering

  4. Anon 8:37,

    I cannot agree more: wind turbine = bridge lights

  5. Lorje had no problem with the windmill when the location was Diefenbaker Park. It's only when she has to deal with it in her neighbourhood that she's against it.

  6. It will interfere with commrade Pats view of the dump from her back yard

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Lorje is right, cynical or no. This is a bad idea. For one, why is Saskatoon getting into the energy production business? Second, wind power works only when the wind is blowing ... but not too fast ... but fast enough .. unless it's too cold. When it doesn't blow, then the gas generators (that the NDP has recently come out against) need to be turned on.

    The so-called "revenues" will only be generated as a result of the federal grant to the project. Anything scheme should be able to make you money provided you're not paying the entire tab.

    Moreover, the revenue projections are based off of present-day electrical rates. No one knows what the price of electricity will be in five years, let alone 20, and with the recent expansion of natural gas reservoirs in North America, chances are our electricity rates will drop considerably. Which means our beloved bird smasher on the trash pile would be doing even less to earn its keep.

    I hate agreeing with Lorje, but she's right that this is stupid stupid stupid.

  9. You are one naive person if you actually believe that the price of electricity will be DECLINING!!!

    That would be wonderful, but electricity prices are their inevitable rise is one more reason why this project is a good idea.

  10. Electricity from wind power (and that includes wind farms) is always much more expensive than electricity from conventional sources. That is why this project is a really bad idea! It's the worst type of pandering to the green lobby.

    I find it ironic that Lorje could make the 'everyone stands and salutes the flag' statement with a straight face since she did exactly that when the recycling issue came before council.

  11. Anonymous @ Oct 13 4:19:

    "You are one naive person if you actually believe that the price of electricity will be DECLINING!!!

    "That would be wonderful, but electricity prices are their inevitable rise is one more reason why this project is a good idea."

    It's foolish to compare future projections of demand against present conditions of supply.

    What you have to consider is how future demand will relate to future supply.

    Because of the recent technological evolution in drilling and production methods, the rapidly increasing abundance of readily availble shale gas, particularly in the western United States, is a potenial game changer.

    Considering the fact that much of the electricty generated in Saskatchewan comes from natural gas plants, the downward pressure on gas prices could result in the same for electricty.

    Whether future demand outstrips future supply is debatable, but it is far from the realm of impossibility that the increase in the availability of fuel for electricity could outpace the demand of electricty.

    Thus, the projections of future revenue could vary significantly from the reality.

    But then, when has the government ever been wrong on projecting returns on any given commodity?

  12. Nice napkin sketch.

    Now, I challenge you to find one piece of peer-reviewed research that successfully argues for falling electricity prices.

  13. Or maybe just read the report on the wind turbine that shows it will pay for itself in
    9 years and then make $5 million profit after 20 years.....See page 92

    Similar to the people here complaining here about the lefties and environmentalists biasses and assumptions, I really wonder about some people who as soon as something green/lefty/enviro is proposed start complaining that it makes no sense or is subsidized or natural gas *MIGHT* get cheaper or some other arguement that mostly seems to be made in an effort to make sure nothing EVER changes, despite their being studies showing that not only with this be good for the environment etc., but the city will actually MAKE MONEY while meeting our electricity demands!!!!

    It really speaks to how much work people put into keeping the facts from getting in the way of their ideological biases.

  14. "Now, I challenge you to find one piece of peer-reviewed research that successfully argues for falling electricity prices."

    I'll do that as soon as you find me one piece of peer-reviewed research proving that even one single windmill has generated a profit.

    Until then, you can read Matt Ridley on the future of natural gas.

  15. hmmm, Matt Ridley hey? I thought his advice was only good if you had a bank that you wanted to run into the crowd and leave for others to go grovelling to parliment for a bail out?

    I have trouble taking anything he says seriously. Please read this article before using something he says as part of an arguement.


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