The great “Black Out”of 2003

It is hard to believe that it was one year ago today that Ontario, and eight other states had their biggest blackout of the decade, maybe the century? The sad part of the whole thing is, we on the West coast have not paid any attention to the power problems and that some experts have said that we are next. Why? Because we are consuming more power at peak times of the day then ever before. We here in BC are going through another heatwave of hot, dry weather with very little rain, therefor are turning on our air-conditioners to be comfortable. The consequence of this, we consume more electricity. The power companies in Ontario have done little except turn on more nuclear and coal powered generator stations only to increase their output by 8%.

I was shock to listen to a CBC broadcast of a government official saying that alternative power sources are not readily available to meat our demands and that we are several years away from achieving this goal. Wind power is a very low priority on their list. However this was inadvertently challenge by the new Greenpeace adds that are popping up on the TV, stating that wind generators are now ready to meet that demand. We should be harvesting the wind for its energy and not building more fossil fuel generators.

On another program today on CBC Radio One, wind power was discussed in more detail. The Expert said that Canada is one of lowest producers of wind generators in the industrialized world. Compared to Germany, we produce only 300mega watts of power to their some 1400mega watts. It all boils down to the available power reserve and the fact that we have not ran out yet. Because of our abundance of power, we use it with out hesitation. In Europe, Farmers are allowed to build these wind-turbines to harvest wind-power along with their crops. We seem to be stuck on this initiative. Part of the problem discussed was non-government funding to do such projects. The argument is, wind power does not produce the amount of power needed as do a nuclear facility and these “larger” project are more appealing from a governmental point of view. So funding for farmers to harvest wind power never gets off the ground unless it is through privately managed companies with very limited support.

So, if this is the case, then it is just a simple attitude adjustment among the voters and the people within our country who can take advantage of this to change our thinking. Wind power, we got lots of it and the price is right, just need to build the wind-turbines and plug into it. So what is the problem?

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