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Going green will help economy Re: Windmills vs. NIMBYism,

Virginia Stewart Love, Proton Station - October 21, 2008

Why does Ontario not push renewable energy production? Europe is way ahead in this field. Germany derives approximately 20 per cent of its total electricity production from renewables. Ontario is retrogressive when it comes to wind turbine and solar panel technology. Why?

Ontario is experiencing high unemployment, particularly in manufacturing. What about jobs in the modern energy field? Fossil fuel for energy production is simply too harmful for planet Earth. Hundreds of thousands of Ontario jobs could be provided in the change from fossil fuel to renewables. This change might not be easy, but is absolutely necessary.

According to experts, some nuclear energy production will be essential as a back up, i.e. during doldrums. Nuclear energy is not entirely benign and it is expensive. It looks like there could be a combination of non-polluting energy systems in our future. Such systems, using modern science and engineering, are attainable.

It would be wonderful if Ontario were to be a "pioneer" in this field. For turbine operation, there is plenty of wind in Ontario, especially when Queen's Park is in session.

COMMENTS:

It's sad that people who do not think they are directly impacted by industrial wind turbines do not listen to the voices of experience those who live amongst them but choose to listen to big business as the gospel truth.

If the Star had really done its homework, we know that they would have also found that the production of wind energy is not reliable, is inefficient, does not reduce CO{-2} emissions, increases dependence on fossil-fuel generation and is costing taxpayers billions of dollars while lining the pockets of its proponents.

There is much more to this debate than meets the eye. It is time to wake up. If you have an opinion state it, but make sure that you have done your homework first.

Nathan Borenstein, Richmond Hill

Thank you for an excellent editorial on how proposals for wind turbine projects are being defeated by NIMBYism in Ontario. Let's hope that this will not be the case for Toronto Hydro's proposal to construct a wind farm, and generate "green" electricity, off the Scarborough Bluffs. Toronto Hydro's proposal would bring electricity, generated in an environmentally responsible manner, to Toronto homes without the losses incurred in long transmission corridors.

It is an idea that we have the opportunity to embrace in this time of global ecological crisis. Your editorial is correct. We do need more "clean" energy.

Allan Baker, Scarborough

It is a messy business this democracy stuff. Providing ordinary citizens the public tools to challenge well-monied private and public authorities with their grand ideas for what is best for us is what keeps them honest and accountable. The Star should look a little more closely at the environmental and economic downside to wind farms there are serious problems in panacea land before it offers comfort to the comfortable and afflicts the afflicted.

Gary Reid, Brampton

Tyler Hamilton's timely article "Nuclear costs pressure industry" (Oct. 20) highlights why Ontario taxpayers and ratepayers desperately need protection against runaway nuclear project costs.

With most "new" nuclear reactors consisting of little more than untried blueprints, this is a financially risky business indeed. If Ontario is going to take a responsible approach to redeveloping its electricity system, we must pass a Nuclear Cost Responsibility Act to make it illegal for nuclear power companies to pass their capital cost overruns on to Ontario's electricity consumers or taxpayers. Nuclear companies should be responsible for all their excess costs, just as renewable and natural gas-fired power companies are now.

We simply cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the former Ontario Hydro, which bequeathed Ontario's electricity consumers and taxpayers with a $20 billion stranded nuclear debt in 1999.

Ontario Clean Air Alliance: Jack Gibbons

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