Ontarians say wind one of the safest forms of electricity generation

A high 78% of Ontarians say wind energy is one of the safest forms of electricity generation according to a recent Oracle Research poll commissioned by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). The poll was conducted between February 22 to 29 and has a margin for error of ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

“This poll indicates that the majority of Ontarians clearly believe wind energy is a safe form of electricity generation despite a minority voice that suggests otherwise. We will continue to ensure wind energy is developed in a safe and responsible manner for the benefit of all Ontarians,” said Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA.

Ontario is the current provincial leader with close to 2,000 MW of installed wind energy capacity. In fact, 2011 was a record year for wind energy development in Ontario with the installation of 522 MW across the province.

“It is time to embrace renewable energy in all of its forms, including solar and wind powered energy. Ontarians with asthma and other chronic lung disease are already benefiting from the closure of coal plants and looking forward to the decommissioning of the last one as soon as possible,” said Dr. Robert Oliphant, President and CEO, Asthma Society of Canada, in a statement. “If for no other reason, we should support renewable energy generation because it does not harm the air we breathe. In all forms, renewable energy is a safe and healthy alternative to fossil fuels.”

Wind energy projects bring direct investment, new high-value jobs, and economic growth to rural areas as well as a new source of taxes for municipalities.

“New jobs and investment from wind energy mean a brighter future for our local economy. Farmers, landowners, and municipalities have the opportunity to participate in Ontario’s world-leading green energy economy. By using a small amount of land, we provide the clean energy that Ontarians want and realize localized benefits at the same time. I’m proud that Chatham-Kent is on the cutting-edge of seeking new economic opportunities,” said Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope. The poll can be found online at: http://www.canwea.ca/wind-energy/talkingaboutwind_e.php.

A report by ClearSky Advisors says Ontario expects to install more than 5,600 MW of new, clean wind energy capacity by 2018, creating 80,000 person-years of employment, attracting $16.4 billion of private investments (with more than half of that invested in the province), and contributing more than $1.1 billion of revenue to municipalities and landowners in the form of taxes and lease payments over the 20-year lifespan of the projects.

“Wind energy has created thousands of jobs for our IBEW members and affiliate organizations in Ontario and is providing green electricity for the families of the many communities we live in. These highly skilled jobs help build our local economies and provide new work opportunities for our future generation,” said Phil Flemming, International Vice-President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Ontario’s stable policy for wind energy has attracted millions of dollars in new investments and jobs in manufacturing in areas of the province hit hard by economic challenges.

“We have established an office in Toronto and look forward to continuing to provide jobs and investments as we help build wind and other renewable energy projects throughout Canada. Ontario, specifically, is a growing market and with a stable, long-term policy, the wind industry will continue to provide significant economic benefits to communities throughout Ontario and beyond,” said Mark Donahue, Vice-President and General Manager of Mortenson Construction.

Canadian Wind Energy Association


  1. Interesting comments Ken. Thanks for sharing! It’s my hope as well that we can change perspectives to show value of using renewable power to meet demand and increase energy independence, etc. even if it is more expensive. But unfortunately I think price still means a lot to many people, so that will have to be competitive too.

  2. ken Johnson says:

    In the U.S. at least, most persons are convinced that paying more for electricity is some kind of sin. The sustainability of wind energy over the next century will not depend on cost comparison nearly as much as it will depend on changing the public’s perception of the need to switch to cleaner and renewable sources of energy despite the increase in one’s electric bill.

    When electricity was introduced to households cost comparison was hardly the issue. Companies sold comfort and piece of mind. Electric companies even had trucks from which they would sell lightbulbs to boost total wattage sold. And guess what we did? We gobbled it up! All changes to public perception are made by selling the idea.

    In my opinion, no one –from manufactures to the electric companies to the government– is selling wind, not really. And where are the commercials from non-for-profits telling us we must convince our government that we will pay more? Nada, zilch! There seem to be no shortage of ‘save the pound puppies’ foundations though. People buy into ideas because that idea is repeated to them over and over until they truly believe it is the right thing to do, not because it is the less expensive thing to do.

    Do the math. It costs more in a year to maintain one or two dogs in good health than it does to pay even twice as much for 1,500 kWh/M over the same period. But we save the puppies because it makes us feel like we are doing the right thing. Now raise my electric bill by $2.42 a month and I will march in the streets against you, you greedy electric company!!! Come on! Why do people act like that!?! Because they are undersold on the right things and oversold on the rest, plain and simple.

    (Don’t even get me started on the lines at the RedBox or Blockbuster Express machines and the parents getting 3 or 4 movies at a time which you know won’t be viewed by the next day…late fees. Who doesn’t like a movie? But are you being a responsible electricity user while watching?)

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