The 90-page report - Ontario's Energy Crunch: Why Phasing Out Coal is An Unwise Strategy -- analyzes the Liberal government's decision, and finds it based on faulty logic. Over 50% of Ontario's smog problems result from emissions outside the province, carried there on prevailing winds. The coal-fired plants operated by Ontario Power Generation are a relatively minor source of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury. Fresh investment in proven 'clean coal' technology can greatly improve those plants' performances at lesser cost.
"Ontario is making a rash gamble that will lead to economic chaos," Savage says. "Reliance on natural gas as an alternative is foolhardy, given the growing mismatch between supply and demand throughout North America." Ontario will need to replace 7.3 GW of power, about 25% of its current output, by March 2008 and is unlikely to succeed without electricity imports. Ontario electricity prices are sure to rise sharply, causing hardship for the population in general, and industry in particular.
The government's decision - which is counter to world trends and upsets an existing well-balanced portfolio of sources - is in response to intense 'green' pressure. The report shows how the debate has been skewed by fanciful epidemiological modeling, selective use of environmental data, dubious science and a general lack of realistic thought. It should be of vital interest to all electricity generators and consumers, not just those in Ontario.
Ontario's Energy Crunch: Why Phasing Out Coal Is An Unwise Strategy is released today, costs $60, and is available from the publisher at URL http://www.thinkingenergy.com/OEC.htm or by calling 207-829-3223.