Editor, The Bulletin;
Re: March 27th Letter from Mr. Richard Wiebe – Coal vs renewable energy
Ladies and gentleman – a key pillar of our prosperity is the assurance of cheap, stable, affordable electricity. This importance to those on fixed incomes, existing businesses and their employees, municipalities and our ability to diversify our economy can’t be overstated. This pillar is under direct threat as a result of our current governments power policies which includes accelerated shut down of coal prime power and conversion of 30% of our grid to wind and solar. As a private citizen who cares deeply about our society I have been leading a campaign called “Albertans for affordable electricity- Stop the Shock campaign”. Our focus is an attempt to educate on the existential dangers of this scheme and too create effective opposition.
“Stop the Shock” campaign is not a coal vs wind and solar debate. Our foundational premise is that Alberta has plenty of ethical prime power courtesy of coal. These highly efficient coal assets are paid for. We contend that not one bit of Coal phase out and wind and solar conversion is either necessary or vital. We contend that we have many other more urgent societal issues such as debt retirement, investments for education, seniors, health, municipalities, etc., rather than fooling unnecessarily with our power grid. We state that Canada is a Carbon sink and as such we do not have any environmental issues which require the hysterical urgency that most in the eco movement demand. Moreover we declare that “any” dollars spent (borrowed) on our power grid is unnecessary, politically motivated and frankly irresponsible.
Similar programs in other jurisdictions have caused massive societal harm. Germany spent 800 billion Euros on the exact same scheme. Dr. Hans Werner Sinn Germany’s chief economist concluded “Wind and Solar does not work in a Prime Power grid – these power sources could be free but the excessive costs to integrate them causes massive spikes in the cost of power and blackouts and brownouts due to their intermittent nature”. 100,000 households in Ontario now face Energy poverty – being forced to choose between heat, light and food or medicine and clothing because of prime power cost increases. Their economy is projected to lose 300,000 jobs. Australia has seen power prices rise 10 fold. We do not need to learn the failures of other jurisdictions, we must learn from them.
If it’s determined that we must do something with respect to Co2 emissions we stated that we should consider strategies which make money as opposed to costing money. I referenced the Sask Power Boundary Dam project. This project is removing “city levels” of daily emissions and turning these emissions into massive value for the Saskatchewan treasury though the addition of highly successful enhanced oil recovery. In fact they are now cash positive in a billion dollar investment and the Saskatchewan taxpayer will enjoy revenue for decades to come. The second iteration of this Carbon Capture Storage and Enhanced Oil recovery technology is projected to cost half of the first.
If we consider this type of strategy not one coal community in Alberta would be devastated by the loss of a vital local industry, not one job would be lost, we could put thousands back to work, we could make a literal kings ransom for Alberta’s treasury, we could make our province virtually emissionless and we could maintain a key pillar of our prosperity which is cheap, reliable affordable electricity.
Mr. Wiebe states “good luck finding an economist or number cruncher who thinks this plant is economical” ? How about the President of the United States Mr. Wiebe? how about the Governors of North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana? who signed an accord in December of 2017 with Sask Power for proliferation of its CCS/EOR technology.
We don’t think we need or should to do anything – but if we do let’s at least be smart about it.
Shut down of Coal and Wind and Solar is projected to cost 30-50 billion dollars and will raise our monthly power bills 3-7 times. Mr. Wiebe talks about the need to diversify our economy – how exactly does he think this is possible if our foundational costs rise exponentially? Last weekend prime power spot prices rose 200 + % because of politically motivated premature coal shut down. This lost Alberta Coal Power is now being purchased from Montana coal power plants! Let that sink in for a second.
Shut down of Coal prime power and wind and solar in Alberta is an unfolding boondoggle which must be opposed and must be stopped – our prosperity and a future for our children and grandchildren depends on this. This is our only motivation.
“Albertans for Affordable Electricity Stop the Shock Campaign” presentation can be viewed online at “Stop The Shock” on Facebook.
S Todd Beasley
Editor, The Bulletin;