05 October 2009


A 10 minute video from the provincial government’s energy monopoly corporation is titled “Innovation in Renewable Energy”.

So what’s so innovative about damming off a river to generate electricity and running transmission lines to market?

Why nothing at all, of course, and in the case of the Lower Churchill project, the ideas from transmission line running around Quebec to the entire project itself have all been around for about 45 years.

There’s even the highly unimaginative and incorrect claim that running a power line down to Soldier’s Pond will “displace” the diesel generators at Holyrood.

And the project is a heckuva long way from starting if the current trends continue.

The only real innovation mentioned is in the discussion of the Ramea wind-hydrogen-diesel test project. 

But that’s one project, it’s a small project and it’s more than five years away from anything significant.  Meanwhile, the rest of the world is much farther along in developing alternative energy technologies.

Maybe what the provincial government should be doing is figuring out a way to turn bullshit into energy.  If that was the case, videos like this show they’ve already got a powerhouse that could displace the entire global output of greenhouse gases until the end of time.

At least when it comes to the Lower Churchill, the current administration has shown it is highly adept at recycling  even if it’s complete lack of planning beyond what was done 20 years ago is painfully obvious.



Ward Pike said...

SO, what would you do differently? Please, be specific and dazzle everyone with brilliance, or tickle us with your horsefeathers!

Edward G. Hollett said...

1. Well, for starters, I wouldn't have created a large government-owned monopoly.

It's the least efficient, least creative form of administration.

Either privatise the whole thing or, better still, follow the Norwegian example and set the thing up to run as a private sector corpation without the political control it current has.

2. As far the LC is concerned, let the new company pursue it on a commerical basis. Once the political crap is gone the thing will work or not on its own merits.

3. Let the market decide. Right now, no projects can even be considered unless NALCOR owns some or all of it. That's just a giant obstacle to nnovation. if someone wants to build wind farms, as in Labrador, let the PUB regulate the industry as it is supposed to do. if the thing needs Crown lend, then let them bid for it and buy it on a straight-up commerical basis.

maybe those ideas are a bit too radical for some, Ward, but they seem to work quite well elsewhere. certainly what we currently have is the same old stuff we've allways seen and we know that doesn't work.