Thursday, February 19, 2009

CD Howe Institute in Favour of Wind and Solar Power?!

This came into my email inbox today. I figure that this sort of endorsement will drive the members of the Orthodox Church of the Enviro Left around the bend and continue the process of attacking every green power source. I have been an active environmentalist for decades now and I am interested in solutions that are achievable and are not hair-shirts for the public. If the business sector adopts green power, that is a huge win.


Solar, Wind Power Among Most Cost-Effective Programs to Reduce Greenhouse Gases: C.D. Howe Institute

Toronto, Feb. 19 – A careful review of Canadian government renewable energy programs reveals some clear winners when it comes to the cost-effective use of taxpayers’ money, according to a study released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Going Green for Less: Cost-Effective Alternative Energy Sources,” authors Roger A. Samson and Stephanie Bailey Stamler conclude that the lowest-cost government incentive programs are those for renewable heat and power technologies, such as wind power, and solar air and hot-water heating.

The authors review the efficacy of the entire portfolio of federal and provincial renewable energy incentive programs – with respect to major liquid biofuels, renewable power, and renewable heat options – to determine their cost effectiveness in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs).

The lowest-cost government incentive programs identified are for renewable heat and power technologies such as wind power, solar air and hot-water heating, and biomass pellet heating, as well as energy retrofitting strategies. For these programs, mitigation could be realized at $10-to-$60 of government subsidy per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) offset. In contrast, they find the most expensive government incentives to be liquid biofuels, which range from $295-to-$430/tonne of CO2e for ethanol to $122-to-$175/tonne of CO2e for biodiesel.

The authors recommend a redirection of federal funds towards more cost-effective carbon mitigation approaches. They propose a “carbon bounty” that could be applied equitably across all renewable energy technologies and reward those that are most cost efficient.

The study is available at:

For more information, contact: Ben Dachis,

Policy Analyst,

C.D. Howe Institute,


Roger Samson,

Executive Director,



1 comment:

joelsk44039 said...

While the study may show that wind and solar take the least subsidies, neither is "baseload dispatchable", meaning that they are unpredictable. A utility cannot afford to have large wind or solar assets that may not be producing power because of weather problems or time of day.