February 15, 2016

Alberta NDP unveils $5M "job creation" scheme: Stick some foreign-made solar panels on barn roofs

Ezra LevantRebel Commander

Every day I read about more jobs lost in Calgary. More than 100 Albertans are leaving the province every single day.

What’s Rachel Notley’s plan? Well, They're bragging about "leading on climate change and creating jobs with solar power."

So, you’re sitting on the world’s third-largest oil reserves, but according to this press release, you’re going to give a $5 million subsidy to some schemes to put solar panels on top of barns?

Solar panels that aren’t even made in Alberta — so basically, we’re subsidizing foreign manufacturers whose product can’t pay for itself without a government subsidy.

A product that is so unreliable, it only works if there is a coal- or gas-fired power plant to back it up.

And of course, being solar, it only works during the daytime.

And when it’s not cloudy. Or snowing, like it is in Alberta right now.

WATCH and I'll tell you about the professor who studied these solar schemes and proved that far from saving you money, if you install them on your house, you will never make your money back.

But that was before this same professor went to work for the Alberta NDP...

Not one new job will be created by Notley's new plan.

OK, that’s not fair. No fewer than five NDP spin doctors are listed on the press release, to push this deal. So, that's five government jobs created, for $5 million.

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commented 2016-02-19 00:40:35 -0500
I don’t believe the title of this article was ever intended to be taken literally. There is most certainly no requirement that the panels must be located on a barn. As long as you have the minimum $10,000 farm income, you qualify for the program.

If anybody has not yet seen the requirements of the program, they can be viewed here: http://www.growingforward.alberta.ca/Programs/index.htm?contentId=ON_FARM_ENRG_PRG&useSecondary=true&active=yes
Just scroll down to the On-Farm Solar Photovoltaics section.

As for the rest of it, you are correct. A solar system (especially an off-grid one) is not maintenance free, nor is it cost free after the (initial) installation. As with everything in life, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this equation. In my situation, a life cycle cost analysis showed that solar would be far less expensive to me in the long run than being grid tied, which is a factor that carried significant weight in my attempts to establish a farming operation. Obviously the same may not hold true for everyone.
commented 2016-02-18 21:01:25 -0500
I don’t believe in spending 30K to have solar panels on my barn. What if you don’t have a barn. I have seen the solar panels in California that have gone by the wayside. If you don’t maintain them they are garbage. So there is a cost other than the 30K, then you have to hook up to the grid! No to Solar panels and No to Wind turbines farms all subsidized by the taxpayer.
commented 2016-02-18 19:59:13 -0500
Mark, I have a battery bank that supplies me with around 2.5-3 days of power with no sun whatsoever. It has always proven to be enough. Somebody had commented earlier about how solar panels are only 15-20% efficient. That is most certainly true; it doesn’t make it any less fascinating to see almost full output from your panels before the sun even departs the horizon, however.

And Darryl, I couldn’t agree more. Though, I won’t lie… I was excited when I thought I might be able to get some money back from this program!

The thing that really makes all of this shameful however, is the way the government is (yet again) making themselves look like the good guys, while they do the very least they can to make themselves feel the most accomplished in their own eyes. My system (had it qualified) would have put $1,500 back into my pocket. Yup, out of $30,000. That’s not enough to convince somebody to install solar, however it IS enough to make the government feel like they’re convincing the public that their program is working. Meanwhile, you have to be connected to the grid to qualify! In essence, the government would be paying me $1,500 to be able to tap in to MY 6kW power plant. When their goal is to provide 30% of Alberta’s energy capacity through renewable energy by 2030, that $1,500 suddenly looks like money awfully well spent.
commented 2016-02-17 08:15:09 -0500
commented 2016-02-17 02:36:57 -0500
I have a question, Matthew. How do you deal with night time, especially in the winter?
commented 2016-02-17 00:53:56 -0500
While I’m not crazy about the way this has been implemented by thee NDP, we need to take a look at some facts here. After all, a bunch of Conservatives criticizing NDP policy without the proper information looks no better than Liberals criticizing Conservative policy without proper information, right?

First off, regarding the feasibility of solar in Alberta. Its perfectly do-able, and it has been done before. My farm runs entirely on solar. And I don’t love in a micro-cabin with a propane fridge, either. I enjoy every luxury I ever had when living in a house on the grid, including a big screen TV. Further to this point, I would like to add that the amount of solar irradiance in Alberta would shock many of you. As far as solar panels in winter are concerned, I actually had to oversize my charge controllers to keep my system from melting down in -30. Solar panels produce far more power in the cold than they do in the heat.

I’m not a hippy. The fact is, it cost me $30k to install my solar system, and it would have cost every cent as much to bring the grid to my farm. Now I’m not paying $200/month just for the OPPORTUNITY to use electricity. THAT is what makes solar in Alberta attractive.

Last point. The NDP are actually only providing $500k to solar systems for farmers, and $5kk to municalities for the same. Also, you have to be connected to the grid to qualify.
commented 2016-02-16 22:15:40 -0500
@peter Netterville Oh, I agree, I would not support solar on an industrial level in Alberta, at least in its current capacity. On a household or especially on a commercial level, however, they may pay off.

My main point is that I’m trying to keep Ezra to the facts — snow’s a very minimal factor when it comes to solar power production.
commented 2016-02-16 20:37:55 -0500
I can’t believe it, the CBC had reasonably decent coverage of The Rebel ban and unlike the National Post article referring to The Rebel as a “right-wing” news outlet, the CBC called The Rebel a “conservative” news outlet!
commented 2016-02-16 20:26:49 -0500
Re the NDP job creation scheme, in a word: insanity. Interesting the National Post’s article about the Alberta NDP’s ban of The Rebel, started out with , “A right-wing news outlet has been banned from government press events in Alberta…..”. Do they identify the CBC, for example, as a “left-wing” news outlet?
commented 2016-02-16 19:57:41 -0500
And it’s the same with windmills. It takes 60 years to replace the energy required to build one.
commented 2016-02-16 17:19:06 -0500
the NDP have no understanding what so ever about how solar power works. i am interested in it myself on a smaller scale for the purposes of off grid and portable power but that is different. it’s one thing if somebody wants to have a back up power supply at home in case the power goes out, you can at least run a couple lights and some electronic devices. even if you wanted to supplement some of your energy usage is somewhat of a good idea if you can make it pay for its self. what these NDP douche bags never tell you are about all the hazards with lead acid batteries involved that give off toxic fumes when charged or the fact that you can’t run your furnace, stove or dryer on this. solar panels have to be facing south and should track the sun’s movement to work right and with how far north we are you don’t get enough day light hours for charging batteries in the winter. i would also suggest a wind generator to add to a system as well because those work day and night if there is wind but if you have an overcast day with no wind in the middle of winter when its 30 bellow you’re fucked. oh and your stupid hydrogen/electric hybrid yuppy car wont work ether. these stupid environmentalist pipe dreams will crash and burn with all the other lunatic fringe left ideas, the only problem with that is they will take our economy with them. don’t get into solar power unless you know what the hell you are dealing with first.
commented 2016-02-16 16:59:25 -0500
Solar power is not and will not be viable for the majority of home owners as in the USA and even Hawaii housea are built so that they are facing the right direction so the panels get the most sunlight directed at them. I have looked into investing in solar panels and have been told not to waste my money as my house roof is not viable for them. So in the grand scheme of things, Notley and her cohorts should move out of their respective bubbles and come I to the land of the Alberta’s north.
commented 2016-02-16 16:10:32 -0500
Architect, its heartening that other news organizations are writing about Notely’s attempts to shut out the Rebel. I do imagine Sheila’s book was the last straw. It probably makes Notley crazy. Premier destroyer’s days are numbered.
commented 2016-02-16 15:41:17 -0500
Very interesting !!, thanks for the linkage ARCHITECT !
commented 2016-02-16 14:40:52 -0500
Re: Notley is a Bully
I read about it here first (on The Rebel). And now I read it here on the MSM:


And here:

Hey, Notley … it appears you might have made a mistake!
It looks like The Rebel is a recognized news agency.

Notley has got to go.
commented 2016-02-16 13:58:29 -0500
And further to what I said to Peter. I am around 70 and my kids forced the Internet on me.—-Hooked me up by phone in Alberta ,and then sped over the big rocks into bc and hooked up the modem,and then they left in a hurry after yelling some instructions at me ,and most of the older people on my street don’t have it and the ones that do are totally ndpers, and the old hippies on my street can’t even spell innernet, they just walk around with blistered lips from sucking the weedie to short,so it’s like coming in to see a movie 5/8 ths the way thru.
commented 2016-02-16 13:56:46 -0500
@ Lloyd

I am not sure of all of the special characters than can be used to make the formatting different, but the asterisk (bold facing one or more words) and the hyphen (striking out one or more words) do. There is probably a character to cause underlining as well.

For not having typed before, you seem to be doing well.
commented 2016-02-16 13:35:04 -0500
Thank you PETER.
I have never typed in my life util last month.
MAURICE and Justin’s diary got me going.
Asterisk pretending and post pending is mind bending, but I will work on it ., plus I was having a bit of fun a REBELS expence,but I also knew some loyal Rebel would come to their defense ,and I would get an explanation . Thanks again.
It takes so long to finger talk but am getting faster by the week.
commented 2016-02-16 09:54:03 -0500
Nothing, I guess.
commented 2016-02-16 09:53:43 -0500
Hmmm… I wonder what an underline will do.

Try this
commented 2016-02-16 09:49:46 -0500
Mark Sutherland said, "One thing you should now Ezra, NAIT did a study of snowfall covered solar panels versus maintained snow-removal and found an efficiency loss of only 1.53% over three years for the generally ideal angle of 53º. "

Yes, my nephew sight this statistic a lot as well, but it does not address two glaring problems with solar panels.

1. The solar panel is still only efficient between 15 to 20%, which means you require massive solar farms to generate enough electricity to run even a small town.

2. What about night time? The efficiency difference of a snow covered panel to a clean one is meaningless when there is not sun at all.

Until we as a society develop a method for mass electrical storage … a big honkin’ battery … then “green” energy technology will not supply the needs of our society.
commented 2016-02-16 09:49:07 -0500
Photo-energy conversion technology is not evolved enough to impact traditional energy technologies in the colder climates – solar panels make sense in Tuscon AZ or the Nevada dry lands( where there is access to 70% of available sunlight) but were there is less than 30% access to available sunlight (north of the 49th) this is not viable, even as a grid supplemental technology.

Of course this typical inept ideologue government floundering painted up with moral optics. To date nothing will replace large scale hydro or thermal electric production for abundance of affordable energy – rather than continuing to make a square peg fit in a round hole by subsidizing ineffective energy tech, why not sped the money on making current technologies cleaner and more efficient until alternative technologies are efficient enough to replace them>

Well, of course the answer is because investing in upgrading current energy technologies hasn’t got the high profile political optics needed to satisfy the moral masturbation of the “feel good” voting block – energy production efficiency hasn’t got the sex appeal of “fossil fuel alternatives” regardless of the fact the "alternatives are ineffective and require more polluting production than the older technologies and – and so waste and ineptitude once again rules over logic and science in the rainbow unicorn land leftist politicians have fabricated to delude the zombie hordes..

I predict that in 3 yrs time (and there after) the NDP will be such a reviled entity that they will be lucky to just go politically extinct – with what we’ve witnessed so far, there is plenty of opportunity for criminal indictment of the ringleaders of this pillage.
commented 2016-02-16 09:44:20 -0500
I’m hoping people will start sabotaging these bird killers, and start blowing them up. Turn them into the scrap heap that they should be left in.
commented 2016-02-16 09:37:37 -0500
Lad Reme asked, “Do they have Wind Turbines in Alberta?”

Yes, and all done by private businesses on the business owner’s own expense, not the public dime.
As of December 2015 Alberta has 958 wind turbines generating electricity in the Blackspring Ridge, Vulcan County, Alberta – the largest wind farm in Western Canada.


Lad comments, “A couple of weeks ago Sky News was showing a Wind Farm in action while it was being hit with 100 mph winds.”

Imaging the slicing and dicing of the birds that will do, all of which is ignored by the main stream media … by heaven forbid a few ducks land in a oilsands tailing pond!
commented 2016-02-16 09:28:21 -0500
Let’s see, is the strike out done by a greater than and less that sign?

>Let’s try that.<
commented 2016-02-16 09:26:04 -0500
Lloyd Nolan said, “I take that as complement ., that you think my comments are so superior ,that you run lines thru them to hi lite them, Thanks!!”

Lloyd, it is not TheRebel that is placing the line through the text on your comment, it is a set of characters you entered in your text that the text preprocessor (the programming script that does the submission or your comment to the server) does.

For example the bolded word “example” has an asterisk prepending and postpending the word.

This is all done automatically by the text preprocessor and has nothing to do with any type of censorship to which you have alluded.

It allow for the customization of your comment by adding these types of control characters. That’s it. No malicious censorship activity by TheRebel.
commented 2016-02-16 08:04:54 -0500
Yeah, in the end I agree with you Liza, I just find that some of Ezra’s talking points were a bit off, or at the very least dated. I mean, he can surely do the basic research I did so that he doesn’t risk falsification, right? I wish he would share more of his sources as links, too…