Friend and former colleague Beth Daley of the Globe writes this morning about Canadian wind power, whose prospects may be considerably better than our own.
Some fear that a flood of clean power from Canada will undercut New England's efforts to become a national leader in green energy and technology.
I can't say I share that fear. It doesn't surprise me to learn that Canada has greater capacity than more thickly settled New England to produce wind power — as Sean Whittaker, vice president of policy for the Canadian Wind Energy Association says in the story, "If there are two things Canada has, it is land and wind." Complaining about that is as useful as bitching about how much oil is in the Middle East.
And I don't see how their producing wind power is going to undercut our work in green tech.
Meanwhile, though, the story raises the question who pays for the transmission lines to get power from up there down here — it costs $1 million a mile to build a transmission line — ratepayers who benefit from the green power, or all ratepayers. State secretary of energy and environmental affairs Ian Bowles says "should not pay for the lines, saying the power companies would be receiving a vast subsidy if it were allowed."
I'd be happy if my rates didn't go up to pay for these lines — hell, it's OK with me if they decide to just starting sending electrons out for free — but I don't see utilities spending that kind of money without a fight, and my layman's expectation is that utility regulators will be accommodating.