A recent article in the Globe and Mail, as noted above, makes claims that cannot be supported by facts. The article tries to suggest Canada can be saved from the cataclysmic clutches of climate change but it is obvious the reporter (term used lightly) simply took what he was told and accepted it—no questions asked!
The article uses claims made by the spokespeople of the four parties who, in 2015, founded the Canadian Council on Renewable Energy (CanCORE). Those four parties are the trade associations for the wind, solar, tides and hydro electricity generating companies.
Some of the information was taken from what appears to be a singular report on the CanCORE website from 2016 and embellished by the spokespeople, eg: “The flexible and dependable foundation provided by Canada’s existing waterpower infrastructure, coupled with the rapidly plunging costs of our wind and solar resources, makes renewable energy the least costly option for new clean and reliable power.”
The article says 60% of Canada’s electricity generation comes from hydro, 399.1 TWh (terawatt hours) and 68% from all four. So, the 8% difference came from wind, solar and tides. If one reviews the latest information available from Natural Resources Canada in 2017, total electricity generation was 652 TWh . Wind in 2017, is credited with the provision of 28.7 TWh, solar 3.3 TWh and tides with 0.2 TWh.
Further on in the article it says: “Waterpower is so abundant in Canada that increasing capacity at existing waterpower sites by less than 2 per cent would produce enough electricity to more than power Canada’s entire light-duty vehicle fleet.” There is nothing in the article or the CanCORE report indicating what is meant by the “entire light-duty vehicle fleet” or it’s required power. Putting that aside, a 2% increase in hydro generation would represent 8 TWh.
Looking at Ontario (only), OPG’s 2017 financial report noted hydro spillage was 5.9 TWh due to SBG (surplus baseload generation). The spillage was likely caused by wind generation added to the grid when it wasn’t needed as it is granted “first-to-the-grid” rights. To top things off, 2017 also saw 3.3 TWh of curtailed wind and ratepayers were required to pay for it along with the spilled hydro. As recently reported Ontario has reduced emissions in the electricity sector by 18 MT (megatonnes) from 2010 to 2019 at a cost to it’s ratepayers and taxpayers of $23.8 billion.
To make matters worse for Ontario ratepayers, surplus power generation is sold in the export market at the Hourly Ontario Energy Price which is well below the contracted costs. Over the 10 years referenced above an average of 18.2 TWh annually were sold to Ontario’s neighbours. The cost to Ontario ratepayers was $12.5 billion.
While the current government of Canada has embraced the goal of achieving “net-zero” greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, the obsession, will devastate the Canadian economy no matter what claims are made by the associations of wind, solar and tides generators!
The individuals who provided their dubious non-factual rhetoric to the author of the Globe & Mail article did so for the sole purpose of furthering the financial well-being of members of their associations. They ignore the further damage to Canada their recommendations would cause. They should not be treated by journalists as they are and must be questioned about their claims and those writing the articles should do proper research.