Bottle necks

Everyone’s talking about “renewables” these days.  Obama for one. McGuinty in Ontario for another. And we know that people will be pointing at NS and say  see,  that’s what WE should be doing, pouring money into Green jobs. We know because the Confederacy of Dunces is saying just that, albeit with an accent which we will not call racist, or derogatory because we believe in free speech, and although some might find it offensive, we don’t and even if we did, well, we believe in free speech.

Didja see the da speech by da man, Obama, last night, Rodo.

Obama’s da guy with da vision and guts to tackle da problems with his economy. …

He talked about education, health care, and energys – renewable energys, Rodo. …

Rodo, it’s about da vision thing. Ya know. Renewable energys.  Da man, Obama, says that’s da economic generator of da 21st century. Nova Scotia is sitting on a gold mine of da renewable energys, Rodo.

Dump the money out of the trough and pour it into da big vision. Renewables, Rodo. Think renewables. …

Ya get da picture? We hope this blogger isn’t serious – but we think he is. In Ontario the government has latched onto this idea like a drowning man grasps at a straw. It is so hopeful to think that green jobs could replace those lost in, say, the auto industry.

The McGuinty government says it will create 50,000 jobs over three years if its proposed Green Energy Act is passed – even calling it a conservative estimate …

During a media briefing Monday, officials from the energy ministry said two of every five new jobs would come directly or indirectly from upgrades to transmission and distribution systems, spurred initially by a $5 billion investment.

It amounts to roughly 20,000 jobs. “Most direct jobs will be in construction with remaining jobs in equipment supply,” including manufacturing, engineering design and transportation, according to a ministry document that broadly breaks down the job numbers.

If only wishes were horses, eh? It ain’t dat simple. Even if  “renewable energies”  were economical, and non-problematical ( for example if wind turbines weren’t noisy and ugly and if they didn’t kill birds and if people didn’t think they made them sick  and didn’t want them in their backyard), and even if they were the solution to climate change (which they aren’t) there is still the problem of the bottle neck.

Achieving those numbers by 2012 won’t be easy, said Don MacKinnon, president of the Power Workers’ Union. He said some of the jobs are highly technical in nature and would require up to six years of training for individuals entering the field. “It’s an extremely aggressive number,” he said.

Frank Macedo, an electrical engineering consultant who used to oversee transmission planning at the former Ontario Hydro, said creating that many jobs in three years is “a tall order.” As it is, utilities such as Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation are already struggling to replace thousands of boomer-age employees who will be retiring over the next few years.

And we have a labour shortage pending as it is, not to mention that too many of our offspring have been taking courses like women’s studies,  political science, or drama rather than, like, engineering and stuff where you actually have to think hard and like, do some work.

Before a shovel could even break ground, added Macedo, the transmission and distribution projects being considered would have to be properly planned and designed – itself a time-consuming process. “I think five to 10 years is more realistic,” he said.

On the distribution side, the bottleneck is less severe. The proposed legislation gives local distribution companies such as Toronto Hydro the ability to recover funds through ratepayers to accelerate hiring.

Hundreds of new journeyman and apprentice jobs could be created to support upgrades to distribution networks, but that’s assuming the workers are out there. It takes about three to four years to train somebody to work on a distribution system, Toronto Hydro chief executive Dave O’Brien said.

It’s unclear whether colleges and universities are currently equipped to accommodate such training.

[Link to source]

What do you think, Ray? Acadia geared up?

Come to think of it, there will be bottle necks with those shovel ready non-green infrastructure projects too won’t there? There are only so many engineers, and planners, electricians and heavy equipment drivers. So their price will go up, if you can find them. Good luck with that.

Later: More comment on McGuinty’s Green Plan.

4 responses to “Bottle necks

  1. Your last two posts illustrate the underlying parody of human affairs. Decisions regarding religion, economics, politics and the environmental management are usually faith-based waffle.

    Analysis reveals most decisions and undertakings in the above fields of human behavior to be either laughable or a crying shame…

  2. We try to laugh. If it gets much more insane the mentally ill will start to look normal to us. Take the Ontario mandatory energy audit, part of their Green Energy Act:

    Ontario residents won’t be able to sell their houses or condos without first getting a home energy audit – which now costs about $300 – under the proposed new Green Energy Act.

    That’s one of several measures in the legislation unveiled by Energy Minister George Smitherman to boost incentives for electricity conservation and encourage renewable sources of energy.


    As if it wasn’t already hard enough to sell a house in a falling market!

  3. Whether you’re into environmentalism or not, I don’t see the problem with trying to live a bit more conservatively. Al Gore and blinded liberals aside, a lot of our resources ARE finite.

    “Not to mention that too many of our offspring have been taking courses like women’s studies, political science, or drama rather than, like, engineering and stuff where you actually have to think hard and like, do some work.”

    I chuckled at this. We are homo sapien, not Vulcans. We have an innate desire to understand and view things aesthetically AND logically, not just one or the other.

    Consider also that while the majors in Poli Sci, Biology, Engineering, English, French, Chemistry, etc., etc., were on “Reading Break,” the theatre kids were prepping for their next show.

  4. We believe in living conservatively for sure-and we aren’t against aesthetics either. We’d just like to see a little more of the” AND logically” side of homo sapiens than we have seen lately. And good for the drama group; if they sacrifice March Break for what they are doing they must love it and we are all for that.
    The thing is to know drama from reality.

    Property owners with wind turbines in their neighbourhood’s future have already been dismissed by the minister of energy and infrastructure (and the premier) as NIMBYs to be swept expeditiously aside.

    Patricia Spindel is one of those offended by the insults. She lives in Scarborough. Her neighbours, she says, drive energy-efficient cars and ride bicycles. They support community cleanup of the Bluffs and garage sales to encourage recycling. They are entitled, she insists, to ask questions – without being belittled and having their environmental consciousness questioned – about the effects on their property values and quality of life of large wind turbines proposed for installation a couple of kilometres offshore in Lake Ontario.

    “We are concerned that we are about to become collateral damage in a poorly conceived wind-farm project with questionable returns for the sake of symbolic politics,” she said in an email. [source]