Solving environmental challenges.
The most recent estimates indicate that electricity generation produces 33.2 megatonnes (Mt) per year in Ontario, almost 20% of the province's total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Correspondingly, forecasted GHG reductions in the electricity sector represent the single largest contribution to the Ontario government's targets of 6% and 15% below 1990 levels by 2014 and 2020 respectively.
According to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario's Annual Greenhouse Gas Progress Report, Ontario is not on track to meet its GHG reduction targets, and is in fact poised to miss them by 23%.
Offshore wind can help meet GHG reduction targets
To meet these targets we need safe, clean and reliable energy solutions that will preserve ecological integrity and contribute to a vibrant economy. Developing Ontario's vast offshore wind potential in The Great Lakes is one such solution and Trillium Power's 4 unique offshore wind sites will greatly assist in rendering it a reality.
The development of the lakebed areas Ontario offshore wind developers have applied for (20,790 MW) would not only erase the province's GHG deficit, but would position Ontario to surpass its GHG targets by 56.3%, in addition to any other credits derived from solar PV, solar thermal, geothermal, onshore wind and conservation.
Furthermore, Ontario, along with Quebec and British Columbia, is making significant investments into greening its economy through the deployment of renewable energy among other initiatives. These endeavors will generate an abundance of environmental credits that will benefit their respective economies.
The sale of GHG emissions credits generated by the development of 20,790 MW of offshore wind at a price of only $65/tonne, the low price currently sought by the Alberta government to offset tar sands emissions, would add $3.6 billion to Ontario's treasury every year.
Saving freshwater with far-offshore wind power
Generating power from offshore wind would also preclude the need to draw enormous amounts of freshwater from The Great Lakes to produce high-pressure steam used to drive coal-fired, natural gas and nuclear generators.
Legacy costs alone for older nuclear facilities exceed 7 cents/kWh over and above the 7 cents to 10 cents ratepayers are being informed that they are being charged for power. These costs do not include the cost of the inherent subsidy when nuclear operators are not asked to pay for billions of gallons per day of water that they use (even run-of-river operators pay to 'use' water to generate energy) nor for the insurance premium that they would be required to pay for $250 Billion in catastrophic insurance that would be required for any nuclear reactor 'incident' such as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, or as recently occurred at the Fukushima reactors.
To put potential water savings into perspective, the replacement of current fossil fuel and nuclear power capacity would save 148.5 billion litres of freshwater per year. This is equivalent to preventing the removal of 106 Burj Khalifa skyscrapers (the tallest building in the world formerly known as the Burj Dubai) filled with water from The Great Lakes each year.
Ontarians deserve to know the true cost of generating the electricity that is being contracted by authorities in their name. Costs must include all direct, indirect, incidental, avoided costs and other costs assumed directly or indirectly by taxpayers or the citizens of Ontario. To-date, the true costs of nuclear power generation and fossil fuel generation, including coal and natural gas, have been hidden through a complex web of subsidies.
Trillium Power proposes that renewable energy generation is a better way to obtain safe, clean, affordable and stable electricity today - and for generations to come.