The IESO has recently released data consumption and costs for April 2020. Needless to say, it brings ratepayers a continuation of bad news propagated by the previous Liberal government and their affection with renewable energy.
In line with the Covid-19 lock-down IESO reported grid connected Class A and Class B consumption fell this April from 10.683 TWh (terawatt hours) in 2019 to 9.781 TWh; an 8.4% drop. The drop for Class A ratepayers (large industrial companies) was significant falling from 3.301 TWh in 2019 to 2.764 TWh in 2020 for a 16.3% drop (.537 TWh) whereas Class B (small/medium sized companies and residential) consumption fell from 7.382 TWh in 2019 to 7.017 TWh (.365 TWh), down 4.9%.
Despite the cumulative 8.4% drop in Ontario demand of .902 TWh however, the cost of consumption per MWh (megawatt hour) for both Class A and Class B ratepayers increased with the principal cause being a drop in the HOEP (Hourly Ontario Electricity Price) or “market price” and an increase in the GA or Global Adjustment. Those events coincided with an increase in surplus generation exported to our neighbours at the HOEP price average of $5.78/MWh. Our “net exports” increased 662,000 MWh from 1,427,000 MWh to 2,089,000 MWh and the additional exports cost Ontario ratepayers about $75 million. In April 2019 we exported 13,4% of what we consumed and in April 2020 it jumped to 21.4%.
Anyone involved in planning, no matter the industry, would suggest; IESO has done a horrible job of it! IESO presumably could however, turn around and suggest it was because of political interference by the McGuinty/Wynne governments their planning was obscured .
To a certain extent, many would be inclined to agree with the forgoing, as one particular type of generation played a major role in creating the expensive mess in Ontario’s electricity sector. It was mandated by the governing Liberals during their 15 years in power! The particular generation causing most of the fiscal pain (in addition to solar) is of course industrial wind turbines (IWT) which are both unreliable and intermittent. In both April 2019 and April 2020 wind generation drove up our costs of power and regardless of whether it’s accepted or curtailed, we are still obliged to pay for it.
Scott Luft tracks IESO data for wind and reviewing his spreadsheet for April 2019 indicates wind collectively (grid accepted, transmission accepted and curtailed) was about 1.453 TWh or 97% of our gross exports and in April 2020 wind (collectively) was 1.447 TWh and approximately 67.6% of our gross exports.
What the foregoing clearly shows is those bird and bat killing IWT were not needed and have damaged Ontario’s ability to both attract and retain our manufacturing base due to our expensive electricity prices.
IWT have been a detriment, not a benefit, to the province, including any notion they played a role in helping to close the coal plants!
As soon as this pandemic subsides the Ford government needs to focus their efforts on sorting out the electricity file to weed out expensive and wasteful renewable energy.