On a hot day, wind is producing only 1% of Ontario’s electricity
It’s noon on Wednesday, June 20 and it’s hot. Ontario’s electricity demand is very high — more than 23GW. This is close to the maximum demand of 25GW in the province, which always occurs during the summer because of the heavy use of air conditioning.
So, where are we getting our electricity? As usual, we’re buying all of the wind power produced, but currently it’s producing only 1% of what we need, despite the fact that the installed capacity is almost 10% of the current demand. This is not surprising because, when it’s hot, the air is usually calm.
This illustrates very well one major problem with wind energy — much of it is produced when we don’t need it (spring and fall / during the night) and very little when we need it most (hot summer days).
So how is the remaining 99% of our current electricity demand being met? As usual, mostly from nuclear, hydro and gas. And in fourth place coal, because if the wind isn’t blowing, we have to get the power from somewhere. So instead of wind replacing coal, coal is replacing wind.