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.
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.