Ontario Cancels Offshore Wind Projects, Blames "Lack of Science"


Image Credit Guildwood Village

Under cover of a Friday afternoon and an Egyptian revolution, "Best of Green" Premier Dalton McGuinty of Ontario quietly pulled the plug on offshore wind projects, including a proposal five kilometers off Toronto's Scarborough Bluffs.

"This decision was based on science, or a lack of science. When it comes to freshwater offshore wind there's only one project," said Minister of Energy, and Scarborough Centre MPP, Brad Duguid.

Right. We have a Minister of Energy representing Scarborough and an election in October. Just a coincidence. So much for saying No to NIMBY.
Testing the waters and the wind off Scarborough Bluffs. Image Credit: Inside Toronto

The Minister of the Environment backs him up.

Offshore wind on freshwater lakes is a recent concept that requires a cautious approach until the science of environmental impact is clear. In contrast, the science concerning land-based wind is extensive."

Environmentalists are enraged. Matt Price at Environmental Defense notices something about the language they are using:

The government says it's waiting for science.

That's what climate-change deniers say in wanting less action. It's also what anti-wind opponents say, even though the science is crystal clear that more coal equals more climate change, and dirtier air.

Clean energy investors are shaking their heads. One I spoke with said that this will make it impossible to raise money for green energy projects; in such a climate of uncertainty, nobody will invest.

A report prepared for the Ontario Power Authority estimates that offshore wind could generate 35,000 megawatts, the equivalent of 10 Niagara Falls. Tyler Hamilton wrote last summer how companies were going to build an industry around wind in Ontario. One company projected that it would be a $15 billion dollar industry over the next decade.

All gone, blown away in the election winds.

More on our Best of Green regional politician of 2009, back in the day

Ontario Premier Says No to NIMBY
Bikes in Ontario are 8% Cheaper Today
Ontario Boreal Forest Half the Size of Texas to Be Protected

Tags: Alternative Energy | Ontario | Wind Power

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