From Ottawa Citizen
The fact that power derived from the green energy act forms such a small proportion of Ontario’s power generation mix raises questions about the pace of the Liberal party’s signature subsidy plan, known as the Feed-in Tariff (FIT).
Those questions were amplified late this week when the National Post revealed that a solar plant used for a Liberal campaign photo op days earlier had temporarily shut down production.
When pressed on the issue, McGuinty subsequently explained that the company “went through their inventory faster than expected.”
But even staunch proponents of renewable energy say there are obvious problems with the Liberal plan, which pays green energy producers above-market rates on 20-year contracts in return for buying up to 60 per cent of their project materials domestically.
The heavy incentive (also known as micro-FIT for smaller installations by homeowners) was designed to kick-start an entirely new green energy manufacturing cluster in Ontario.
However, bottlenecks in the system, doubt surrounding the future of the program and a challenge to the domestic-content provision at the World Trade Organization, have reduced to a trickle the number of projects becoming a reality in the province.
No less an authority than Ontario’s environmental commissioner, Gord Miller, remarked on the slow progress of the program this summer, telling a press conference, “There’s been an awful lot of discussion about something that’s fairly modest so far, I’d say.”
Simply put the Liberals don’t seem to have any problem treating economic policy as a laboratory experiment. Meanwhile, the taxpayers have to pick up the tab for technology that has not yet come to maturity. No government can subsidize their way to prosperity.