This is a rebuttal to the article by Tim Grey on Ottawa Citizen, titled - Op-Ed: Stop making green power the scapegoat
Tim Gray's article is remarkable in how it turns positives for nuclear energy into negatives while turning negatives for wind and solar into positives. It is also extremely insulting to anyone who understands how our electricity system works or who is capable of critical thinking.
In stating that nuclear power is responsible for 43% of electricity rate increases, he neglects to mention that it also generated 56% of the electricity while wind and solar, which generate only 4% of the electricity are responsible for 10.5% of the increase, much more than their fair share.
In reality rates for nuclear electricity from OPG, for example, have been frozen since March 2011 and he is really talking about the so-called global adjustment, which is three times higher for wind energy than for nuclear.
Electricity rates are there for anyone to see on the Ontario Energy Board website. Wind power is twice as expensive as nuclear and solar about 8 times as expensive.
Mr. Gray also argues that nuclear power is unreliable. A conventional measure of the reliability of electricity generation is "capacity factor" and the bigger the number the better. The capacity factor of Ontario's nuclear fleet is about 85%, whereas the capacity of its wind and solar generation is about 25%. He points to the millions that Bruce Power is paid not to produce electricity when supply is high and demand is low.
The reason that Bruce Power is directed to do this is because it is cheaper to pay them not to produce electricity than it is to pay a wind or gas-fired generator to do the same. That's not an argument against nuclear power, rather an argument in favour of it.
With a climate crisis on our hands, the last thing we want to do is to rely on renewable power alone. Over the last two decades, for example, Germany has spent over $260 billion dollars supporting wind and solar generation yet last year generated more electricity burning fossil fuels than they did two decades ago.
France, meanwhile, completely eliminated fossil fuel generation over a two decade period by building nuclear reactors and has some of the cheapest electricity in Europe while Germany's is amongst the most expensive.
So please let's not hear more arguments about how we should be emulating the Germans. We have more closely emulated what France has done and that has been a good thing for Ontario.