Ontario’s $7-billion green energy investment upsets enviros

Dalton McGuinty’s deal with Samsung has Green Party fuming


Last week, when Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced a new $7 billion investment in the province’s green energy sector—perhaps the largest such investment in the world—he earned himself an unlikely adversary: the Green Party of Ontario. “We’d like to see the provincial government scrap this deal,” said Mike Schreiner, the Green leader, in an interview with Maclean’s.

The province signed its deal with a South Korean consortium, which includes Samsung. And at first glance, it seems like an environmentalist’s dream come true. The consortium is committed to developing 2,500 megawatts of wind and solar power across the province (about enough to light 580,000 Canadian homes). In the process, it will create an estimated 16,000 jobs, 4,000 of which will be permanent. The goal is to make Ontario “the place to be for green energy manufacturing in North America,” McGuinty explained.

That’s all well and good, says Schreiner, whose party celebrated the passing of the Green Energy Act last year. But “this deal essentially throws [Ontario companies] under the bus.” Ontario-based projects are shovel ready, he insists. “So why are we offering special deals to multinational corporations?” The Association of Power Producers of Ontario is equally upset. David Butters, the group’s president, says it’s not Samsung’s presence that bothers him so much as the preferential treatment that the South Korean behemouth is getting. Ontario has guaranteed Samsung a higher-than-market value for its energy and  priority access to the power grid. “Now we have two kinds of developers in Ontario,” laments Butters. “Samsung and everybody else.”

Consumers, at least, can take solace in the fact that the power they’re getting will be clean and green. But at a cost, say various critics. The province will shell out $437 million to the consortium, who in turn are investing the $7 billion. At the household level, that amounts to $1.60 a year, for the next 20 years.


Ontario’s $7-billion green energy investment upsets enviros

  1. Seven billion.Lets hope the coal stacks finally go.What a tab!

  2. Why hasn't the Toronto based media been more outraged at this deal that was originally negotiated in secret and will lose money for the province's citizens throughout the lifetime of the contract?

    Is the media asleep or so use to supporting the McGuinty government that they refuse to contradict him?

  3. Buying Quebec hydro-power would be much cheaper and cleaner.

  4. Why am I not suprised that moron McGuinty is the last person on planet earth who is still sucked in by the eco con artists. Every time I see a pic of this man's face I shutter. He make Mel Lastman look like Einstien. Hasn't this loon been made aware of the East Anglia con game. No doubt his next move will be to buy hot air credits from Big Al. Lucky they locked up Bernie Maydoff before McLoon turned the treasury over to him. God what a nitwit.

    • I can't stand him. I dont care for his brother either.He stood in Copenhagen talking about climate change, putting down another province.Didn't he want a bail out for cars, that cause this .Irony!

  5. Um, people – the Ont. gov. is not spending the 7 billion – the consortium is… They also only get the "bonus" money if they deliver on their job promises…

    However, the bigger problem is that the FIT program all of the companies are chasing, is already oversubscribed!! There is actually no room for another 2500 Megawatts of power. An electrical grid can only absorb a certain amount of intermittent & unpredictable power generation (read PV & Wind) – and the applications made within 60 days of the program being announced (Oct 1, 2009) have already exceeded that amount!!

    The solar PV industry in Ontario is going to run into a brick wall on or before October 2011 – when the OPA dramatically reduces the rates it pays for "renewable" electricity. (if it doesn't cancel the program entirely). Look for solar companies dropping like flies…. (just like in 1985 when Mulroney pulled the plug on the Canadian solar industry!)

  6. 7 billion would almost pay for two all Canadian built CANDU 6 nuclear plants (like those recently built by AECL in Qinshan, China) providing power for about 1.2 million Canadian homes at a price for electricity around 5 cents/kwH. Now we spend 7 billion to get power for 580 000 Canadian homes, at a price for electricity between 16-45 cents/kwH.
    If Ontario citizens want to pay for solar/wind powered electricity, that is fine, let's do it. It is a good idea to have many types of generating capacity so that increases in the prices of one type of fuel don't bankrupt you, but we should use our local companies to build it. They can't compete against this sweetheart deal with a massive multi-national company. We get screwed again with our own money.

    • Indeed on a time/cost analysis the nuclear option that the Liberals took off the table last spring would be much cheaper.


      Also 'subsidy incentive' programs hardly ever work. Its the denigration of our economy to that of a third-world World Bank loan recipient. Paying for foreign investment, to rebuild our manufacturing infrastructure is a bad idea just look at the Michigan example.

  7. As long as they keep their stupid ideas east of Alberta we in BC can rest easy.

    • Oh, wasn't it your own nitwit that put a carbon tax on top of all the other taxes on gas so he too could pat himself on the back and declare himself "green"? And wasn't he the same guy who quietly wanted to ramp up sales of coal to China. I guess better to burn it there in a totally unregulated country and let the smoke drift across the Pacific and land on the heads of the good people of British Columbia? Don't get too smug, you have your own fool to deal with

  8. Keep in mind that the actual KW generation output of these wind power projects is typically only around 25% of the stated (maximum) generation capacity. Proponents like to "pump up the numbers" using the generator's maximum capacity, however they rarely run at maximum capacity and are often not running at all…hence the 25% efficiency.

    Take 25% of the stated capacity and see what that does to your calculations on how economic wind power actually is…4 times higher than what they typically claim.

  9. Nuclear Power, Nuclear Power! what the heck is wrong people. Its cheap, clean and Canada just happens to have lots of uranium. Where and how will they pay for all the RARE EARTH metals needed for this project. Do they really expect that the prices quoted today for this project will actually stay the same.
    I thought Canada was like part French or something. News flash the French use NUCLEAR POWER! Very successfully I might add.

  10. WTF???!!! Why Why Why?? Ontario or even a Canadian Company can supply WHY give this money to a OUTSIDER, WE Can supply ! WHY if USA Can tout protectionisum for thier jobs why ,oh why cant we! No NEED to go OUTSIDE CANADA to supply any of this. THIS IS HOW we GOT IN TO THIS MESS. WHAT about US! RICH MEN lining thier pockets with "DEAL" Dident they learn anything from the FRENCH REVOLUTION! Rich BEWARE! We cant stand for much more. If we can pay our heat bills we will have to move to Mexico where WE DONT NEED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Liberal goverment is going to be history!!!

  12. the wind power is not economic at all. I don`t think these project is rational

  13. I've seen some comments here tonight lacking visions and very short sighted. People who are not involved in the projects have no clues what they are talking about. First off, Ontario has no expertise in Solar power so there is no way we're going to give 7 billions to some amature corporation. Second, given to an outsider is good for Ontarians. Now, we can import the type of technology we need to compete in the future. There are many other reasons and benefits. Protectionism don't work – we've been through that before in the 70s haven't we? The world has become a global market, we have to adjust and must learn to accept changes. Those embracing protectionism, should read "Who moved my cheese" book, highly recommended.

  14. Green energy seems to be the latest "Buzz" when it comes to investments these days, and it's exactly these kind of trends and fashions that let's big industries such as Samsung use CSR (corporate social responsibility) as a leverage for their own private benefit. If you are looking for investment opportunities forget about these big companies who's looking for a big profit with minimum investment (In employees or resources) – try and read this: http://www.studyforex.com/foreign-exchange-system… Further more I would suggest people to read a book called "Freakonomics" for better understanding markets and economical investments.

  15. i think they should because a big globle crisus is going to happen if they dont stop sitting there and doing nothing about it.

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