Grand Erie Energy Quest Blog

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Posted by: Jim Elve 7/16/2007 11:45 AM

Here, on the Grand Erie Energy Quest site, we have an opinion poll where readers can vote for their favoured energy option. But, what if your vote was just the best among the choices given? What if you'd like a chance to explain or qualify your choice?

Here it is. You may use the comments section on this post as a forum in which to explain your vote.

Yes, you can post anonymously. Simply fill in "Anonymous" or an obvious pseudomym for the name of the commenter.

Posted by Jim Elve

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Re: Energy Opinion Poll - Explain Yourself    By RW Goodlet on 7/16/2007 11:55 AM
When I submitted my poll/vote, I felt compelled to vote for Renewable Energy as the ideal solution to Nanticoke's Energy Quest. However, I do not agree with Nuclear Power, because it is dangerous and a poisonous industry for the Planet Earth. Therefore as a competitive energy solution against Nuclear, I voted for Coal Gasification. Not only can this provide a more economical and safe solution for a few hundred years, if the carbon is sequestered, the next inhabitant's that inherit the Earth will instead of finding many poisonous sore spots of Nuclear Waste about the Planet, may just discover a wonderful legacy of the previous inhabitants. Diamonds!

RW Goodlet

Re: Energy Opinion Poll - Explain Yourself    By E. Walters on 8/7/2007 12:50 PM
While I cannot consider myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I feel that neither letting the plant remain as it is nor closing it entirely are options. The former has too much of a negative impact on both the environment and peoples health, whereas the latter would cause a decrease in available power--something that is not acceptible--especially when power grids are often stretched to their limits.
Of all the other options, the only one that seems environmentally responsible in the least would be a conversion to clean, renewable sources such as solar or wind.
With so many of our children having breathing problems, higher rates than ever before, and with so much damage being done to the environment, can we really (responsibly, morally) do anything else?

Re: Energy Opinion Poll - Explain Yourself    By Grant Church on 10/23/2007 8:18 PM
Is this not the 21st century? Is technology not abounding at every turn of the corner? Why wouldn't the government clean up Nanticoke? It is a political agenda. Many people are in the dark as far as emission controls, and the Liberals use this to their advantage by promising to close the coal plants and understating the capabilities of technology. If it wasn't a political agenda, why would Stephan Dion come to Toronto and speak on the merits of developing technology to clean up the coal plants? Why is Ontario the only jurisdiction that is closing its coal plants while others are moving ahead with emission controls? The premier says you can be proud that we are closing these plants. Oh really?<br><br>I have spent hundreds of hours researching, writing letters, going before a government committee, and even touring a power plant in Ohio to see state of the art controls in operation. If multi-pollutant controls were installed at Nanticoke, there would be no visible plume. Most pollutants can be reduced by more than 95%.<br><br>I use to get letters from the minister of energy saying mercury couldn't be removed, while at the same time Lambton units that have the SCR-Sulphur Scrubber combination were removing 95% of it. The ECO system that I saw in Ohio was holding sulphur emissions to less than 10ppm from and input of 1800ppm. It used an ammonia base scrubber that turned SO2 into ammonium sulphate, a high value nitrogen fertilizer. I could go on at lengths on many stellar achievements if anyone was interested. Several of my submissions are posted at the OPA website.<br><br>The Liberal plan is to replace coal with natural gas. They plan to double gas-fired capacity and nearly triple production. The CIBC says this will increase electricity prices by up to 70%. In November 2005, after Katrina, Rita, and Wilma had smashed Gulf of Mexico gas production out of commission, the Ontario gas plants were asking 14 cents/kwh. By November, Lennox gas plant was asking 19 cents. The NEB is predicting gas production will be down 20-25% by 2015. What will be the asking price then, or will it even be available to produce electricity. <br><br>Gas plants produce CO2 at a rate 35-50% less than coal, but if you factor in fugitive release of gas, and if it comes by LNG tankers, and especially if it comes from Russia, it will be worse than coal. Need I really say any more?

Re: Energy Opinion Poll - Explain Yourself    By Anonymous on 3/25/2008 11:28 PM
I feel very strongly that there should be scrubbers installed on the current coal plant at Nanticoke. Of course, it is a no-brainer that we should all be using solar panels. With the wind from Lake Erie, our entire shoreline as well as the water should have had wind turbines for years. It is certainly a relief that we are starting to see them further down the Lake. As for those who complain about being noisy or interfering with bird migration -- have they listened to the turbines near Port Burwell. I understand a domestic cat kills more birds than the wind turbines would. I am a birder and think other birders need to check out the turbines for themselves. Please -- elected officials -- think about the repercussions to our environment. Once there is a safe disposal for the nuclear waste maybe we could think about it. Why waste our wind and solar energy? And what about our property values?? I certainly wouldn't want to live near a nuclear facility. There are too many retirees moving to our area and they certainly don't want to see their home equity go down the drain because people don't want to figure out how to conserve energy. -- We need to live a quality life not a quantity life with so many gadgets wasting our energy resources. The best thing our government could do for all of us is to offer tax incentives for those of us who install solar panels or wind generators. That would be a GREAT start. And remember if you use a wind generator and solar panels you could end up selling back to the utility your extra energy. What a bonus!!<br>Let's forget nuclear and use well the things that come with life on our planet -- the sun and the wind.<br>

Re: Energy Opinion Poll - Explain Yourself    By Robert R. Beaudoin - Brossard, Québec on 4/1/2008 6:17 PM
I voted to replace the baseload production capability of the coal plants with nuclear, while leaving their peak production to be handled by interprovincial interconnection and gas fired plants.<br>The Ontario coal plants are simply polluting the air with smog and acid rain and the southern Ontario farmland with mercury and lead; they have to be cleaned by the owner or closed and replaced. It will not be easy to replace them as the coal plant produce cheap electricity both for baseload and for peaking applications. With little hydroelectric resources left in Ontario, the remaining choices are gas fired plants, nuclear, wind and purchases from neighbouring Utilities during peak demand. All those options will be used to some extent to help clean up the air. Gas fired plants are best for peaking and will be used in that role in summer time. However, for peaking purposes, an interprovincial interconnection, such as the 1250 MW one being built between Ottawa and the Québec border is about half the capital price of a gas plant. The energy provided by Hydro-Québec is clean and could have been initially produced by the Ontario nuclear plants (either the existing ones or new ones) sold to Hydro-Québec at night and then returned back during peak demand. Wind will be able to significantly increase its production over the next 5 to 10 years but there is a social and technical limit to having those towers cluttering landscape as the windy sites are by the lakes. Perhaps 4000 MW to 5000 MW can be installed, corresponding to a 1500 MW thermal plant. Wind costs about 11 cents per kWh and is thus about twice as expensive as the average yearly cost of electricity-not cheap. Wind cannot provide reliable peak summer power and is quite scarce in summertime. Wind will thus be used to lower the use of the coal fired plants in the short term - great. Baseload power is best produced with a nuclear plant for which the technology is available. The technology is however not cheap or fast to implement and spent nuclear fuel is produced. For this last item it does not represent a difficult technical problem and the spent fuel is currently very well managed by OPG and will remain so for the foreseeable future, until Ontarians will finally accept the simple fate of finally returning the Uranium where it came from – underground. Managing the cost of a new nuclear plant is not simple but doable. Once built, those plant do provide low cost electricity as can be witnessed every day with nuclear plants supplying power at 3 and 4 cents per kWh, a third of current wind and gas costs.<br>The solution to the Nanticoke pollution will thus be a mixed bag, but the coal plant’s energy should principally be produced by new nuclear plant. <br>

Re: Energy Opinion Poll - Explain Yourself    By Anonymous on 6/29/2008 7:06 AM
The above may sound good. Except the science is not there to secure radioactive waste for hundreds of thousands of years. Our responsibility is to the planet and all its inhabitants. Alternatives to nuclear power are quite available, and they are clean and safe.

Re: Energy Opinion Poll - Explain Yourself    By Hugh Campbell on 4/10/2009 8:56 AM
A further argument against nuclear plants is their vulnerability on the downside of peak oil production (ref: Hubbert's curve), thought to have been reached around 2005. Reduced fossil fuel availability will have pervasive impacts on global economies, and there is a strong enough likelihood that developed nations could face power outages and brownouts like those already seen in developing countries. The only strategic response that is appropriate is a managed powerdown and relocalization.

Re: Energy Opinion Poll - Explain Yourself    By Barry on 9/5/2009 11:53 AM
There is still over 300 years left of coal in north America alone, why not use it and use the technology that is available (ALREADY INSTALLED on 2 units out of 8) at the Nanticoke coal plant. Although the cost of installing it is a lot of money, upwards of $1.5 billion to clean up the remaining 3,000MW of capacity there( although the government would rather spend $2 billion to make 200MW for the Niagara Tunnel). This technology takes up to 99.5 % of the sulfur out of the air, the NOx, virtually eliminate mercury emissions, but the government doesn't want to do that... Our electricity is only going to be imported from the states from their coal burning plants when we can't meet our demand (Nanticoke per unit of electricity production is cleaner than most plants in the states, the numbers are just flawed because it is the biggest plant in North America). <br><br>Oh and Canadians air pollution doesn't recognize political boundary's, most of the pollution from Nanticoke travels across the lake and to the states. Southern Ontario gets more than 88%(saw that stat in some Ontario Hydro records from the late '80s) of its pollution from Ohio and Detroit. So it won't even make a difference to how many wind mills( they blow, but not near enough) there are in Ontario, our air is going to suck until the states cleans up their act.

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