John Harrison, a retired Queens University physics professor has just published an analysis showing that wind turbine developers in Ontario are just scraping by.
This finding is in stark contrast to claims made by Wind Concerns Ontario's (WCO) John Laforet that "[Those who push industrial wind .... are mere puppets for someone's profit...]". Ironically, Harrison is a Director of Research, Association to Protect Amherst Island - an organization that is closely associated with WCO.
The paper, that can be accessed here, poses the argument that:
• the optimistic predictions of the wind energy developers are unlikely to be met or sustained
• there are significant risk factors associated with wind energy in Ontario
• despite the above-market prices offered by the Ontatio Government under the RESOP and FIT programs and despite the 20-year length of the contract, investors are unlikely to see the long-term return on investment that they might expect for a development with such risk factors.
Obviously, Dr. Harrison is trying to scare wind power investors away from Ontario. However, what we are seeing in Ontario is continued investment by sophisticated organizations with long histories of renewable energy development in many jurisdictions. So, who is right and who is wrong?
Future postings on this blog will explore Dr. Harrison's paper with an eye to answering that question.