Toronto Star Editorial – July 9, 2009
Renewables won`t solve all our energy needs
Thu Jul 9 2009
Nuclear energy neither clean nor safe, Letter July 3
Amy Collard of the Green Party of Canada is plain wrong to suggest it is a “manageable expectation, especially in Ontario” to replace “all nuclear and fossil fuel energy sources with renewables by 2040.”
Yes, cost-effective hydro, geothermal and wind can all be part of the solution to Ontario’s energy challenge. Solar is simply too expensive to provide significant power on the grid.
But let’s be very clear: it is simply not realistic – as anti-nuclear energy activists like Ms. Collard argue – to replace existing nuclear and coal-fired plants, which currently make up 68 per cent of Ontario’s electricity production, with renewables alone.
By Ms. Collard’s own admission wind power only works “30 per cent of the time,” and “solar 20 per cent.”
What does Ms. Collard propose we do when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining?
The fact of the matter is these renewables are intermittent power sources that can supplement (but not supplant) “always on” baseload power sources such as nuclear energy.
It remains one of the greatest ironies of the environmental movement that those most concerned with global warming, like Ms. Collard, are opposed to nuclear energy, the only non-greenhouse gas-emitting power source that can effectively replace fossil fuels while satisfying Canada’s growing demand for energy.
Dr. Patrick Moore, Co-founder Greenpeace,
Chairman and Chief Scientist, Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., Vancouver