Opinion: Here’s a net-zero idea: Disconnect Ottawa from Ontario’s electricity grid

Opinion: Here’s a net-zero idea: Disconnect Ottawa from Ontario’s electricity grid

Town’s plan to achieve internet zero emissions by 2050 is a nightmare Ontarians do not need to undergo by means of once more

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On April 24, 2019 the Metropolis of Ottawa handed a motion declaring a “local weather emergency” and solely two councillors voted towards it. Apparently, one of many “No” votes got here from Rick Chiarelli, second cousin of Bob Chiarelli, former Ontario Minister of Power, who throughout his time period was such an enormous booster of the renewable power helps which have prompted electrical energy costs to greater than double within the province.

The Metropolis of Ottawa’s subsequent response to the emergency, its plan to get to net-zero by 2050, consists of 101 pages — which isn’t truly quite a bit when you think about it’s designing the entire upheaval of how a mid-size trendy metropolis operates. The plan says: “Monetary evaluation signifies that cumulative community-wide investments from 2020 to 2050 complete $57.4 billion with a gift worth of $31.8 billion.” To place that in perspective, it’s 14.5 instances the Metropolis’s present annual budget of $3.94 billion. As you’d count on, the plan recommends full electrification of all the pieces and using renewable power within the type of photo voltaic and wind — although it doesn’t point out that they’ve the bottom energy density amongst all power sources.

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The plan goes on to say that its mannequin “signifies that the minimal outcomes required to satisfy the 100 per cent situation beneath the electrical energy sector are that photo voltaic photovoltaic energy “reaches 1,060 MW (megawatts) by 2050 (roughly 36 square-kilometres of photo voltaic PV47 totally on rooftops)” whereas “wind technology reaches 3,218 MW by 2050 (roughly 710 large-scale generators).”

The proposal to have 1060 MW of photo voltaic panels (40 per cent of the present capability of the whole province) and three,218 MW of wind generators (60 per cent of what Ontario has at the moment) to provide Ottawa with the ability wanted to realize net-zero by 2050 is a dream — truly a nightmare — that Ontarians have already suffered by means of. Residents of Ottawa ought to prepare for his or her electrical energy costs to greater than double each 10 years.

Not surprisingly, the 101-page plan says nothing in regards to the poisonous components in these 36 sq. kilometres of photo voltaic panels, which would require disposal once they attain their end-of-life in 15 to twenty years and must be faraway from the a whole lot of 1000’s of rooftops they may cowl.

The identical concern arises in respect to these “710 large-scale generators” whose life cycle is about the identical as photo voltaic panels’ and which will probably be 160 metres excessive, in comparison with the Peace Tower’s 98 metres. I presume native MP Catherine McKenna, who has stated she desires Ottawa to be “the greenest capital ever,” will welcome photo voltaic panels on her roof and a kind of industrial wind generators simply down the road.

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In 2019, peak electrical energy demand for Hydro Ottawa was 1,348 MW in the summertime and 1,257 MW in winter. By 2050, if not sooner given Ottawa’s speedy inhabitants and financial progress, these peaks will double or triple, which very possible will imply Ottawa residents and companies will probably be confronted with rolling blackouts just like these skilled by California, Southern Australia and Texas, three areas which have opted for unreliable and intermittent wind and photo voltaic technology.

If Ottawa follows by means of with its plans for 2050, these of us in the remainder of Ontario ought to insist Hydro Ottawa be disconnected from the province-wide grid so solely the Metropolis of Ottawa is affected by the long run blackouts or brownouts its chosen coverage may have rendered inevitable. Allow them to spend the $57.4 billion if they need – however solely with tax {dollars} generated by these residing in Ottawa. The remainder of us can sit again and watch what ultimately occurs when politicians should resist the hurt they’ve carried out to the well-meaning however now royally pissed-off individuals who voted for them.

Parker Gallant is a retired banker.

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