In the fall of 2011 a provincial election is coming in Ontario and the Liberal Government’s Green Energy and Economy Act is becoming more and more of a major election issue.
FIT stands for the “feed-in-tariff” which compensates companies who provide energy to the Ontario electrical grid from wind, solar, hydro and other “green” sources. The return is up to 64.2 cents for each kilowatt hour of power they produce. The catch is that this tariff, as reported in the National Post, is nearly ten times the current value of power in the Province.
The key is that McGuinty has provided the Samsung Corporation with investment incentives to sole source four wind manufacturing facilities in Ontario, and has made specific requirements for in-Ontario content in any contracts awarded, suggesting it will create up to 50,000 “green jobs”. The Conservative Party leader in Ontario suggests that the job numbers are “more fantasy than meeting reality”.
The National Post also noted that McGuinty’s green initiative has created a huge backlash. Specifically, the World Trade Organization is challenging the program; Japan has announced it is considering a formal legal challenge, and they have the support of the European Union and the United States.
A major competitor, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, has reacted and released a report calling the made-in-Ontario requirements “poison”! And, here comes the politics! Tim Hudak, leader of the opposition, has promised to kill the legislation if elected in 2011.
The companies that have spent millions gearing up to take advantage of these subsidies are now wondering what the hell will happen. With an election coming everyone is putting their “spin” on the issue. Sounds like “political garbage”, and is reminiscent of how the Adams Mine Landfill was spun and used in every election from 1990 to 2003.
What do I think of McGuinty’s Green Energy Act? It is another example of politics first. It is too much legislation, too fast, and for political expediency only. McGuinty meddled in the marketplace, without doing the proper due diligence, and the consumer backlash over the cost is killing him. His energy minister this week admitted that electricity rates will go up 46% over the next five years, much of it to pay for this “green energy” game plan. We must be green, but we must also be able to afford it.
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