London Free Press
December 8, 2011
…Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter’s report, released Monday, is dangerous for the Liberals because it indirectly undermines their judgment. The report begs the question: Did the province rush into renewable energy investment without adequately taking measure of the likelihood for success?
…It appears the Liberals passed the Green Energy Act, which heavily subsidies green power projects, without a clear idea of its prospects for success.
McCarter noted that no economic analysis was done to determine whether the province’s $437-million deal (since lowered to $110 million) with Korean firm Samsung–which promises subsidies on power prices and guaranteed access to the energy grid in return for $7 billion in investments–is “economically prudent.”
Green energy initiatives will cost Ontarians $220 million a year.
Energy rates are expected to increase by 7.9% annually over the next five years, with more than half of that attributed to green energy initiatives.
Ontarians are getting angry with rising costs. McCarter notes that in March 2009, the Ontario Power Authority suggested the province offer a lower feed-in-tariff price for ground-mounted solar projects that could save $2.6 billion over 20 years.
McCarter says Ontarians’ power bills have increased an average of 26% from 2008-2010 and they’ll keep going up as more renewable energy projects start up. The province is leaning on its 10% clean energy benefit.