In last week’s article about the protest of the Green Energy Act at Queen’s Park, there was an incomplete description about why one of the protesters believes wind tur­bines will not solve the power problems of the province.


James Virgin’s complete statement was, “Wind is not a constant. Wind turbines operate at only 17% to 30% nameplate capacity because wind is an un­predictable variant. There­fore a backup power generation sys­tem is required to be on stand­by at all times for when the wind does not blow. In Ontario, Natural Gas driven steam turbine power plants are being built for this purpose.

“Steam turbines work by boiling water, to make steam. It takes time to heat water and make steam. These Natural Gas Power plants, burn CO2 producing fossil fuels contin­uously so they can make elec­tricity without delay when the wind dies down.

“And since the wind turbines are only 17% efficient, that would follow that the natural gas, CO2  producing power plants are then making electricity for the other 83% of the time. So where is the CO2  emission savings if you are constantly burning fossil fuels to offset the unpredictable wind?”