Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ontario power output, emissions drop in April: what will summer bring?
Last winter’s massive snowfalls, as I mentioned on April 22, did Ontario a big favour by melting—thereby adding to the province’s hydroelectric output. Hydro provided around a third of our electricity in the month of April; it usually provides about 25 percent.


According to Electric Power Statistics, while overall provincial power output was down by 11 percent from March, power-sector emissions were down by nearly 30 percent. We should all thank Old Man Winter.

While all that hydro provided a major benefit, in the form of 24/7 power from a completely emission-free source, we can’t count on hydro spikes of that magnitude every year. Nor can we count on massive hydro output during the critical months in mid-summer when every air conditioner in the province is running at capacity full time.

Luckily, we are the authors of our own destiny. We can control the amount of emission-free baseload power, by bringing more nuclear power online.

Mainstream environmentalists will dispute this, claiming that renewable energy like wind and solar generation together with conservation measures can replace both coal and nuclear.

Easy for them to say; they’re not the ones who will have to deal with an enraged public when the lights go out.

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