Not sure if it’s the lock-down or just a normal week but a few things caught my eye because they seemed out of place and interesting. Here they are!
Russia to Offer Carbon Credits With Far East Digital Forest Platform
I happened to read an article in the Moscow Times (credited to Bloomberg) claiming, “Russia is creating a digital platform to collect satellite and drone data on its vast forests in the Far East with the aim of offering them on the carbon offset market.” What that implies is “when it launches later in 2021, will allow the government to lease sections of forest to enterprises, which can then invest in planting new trees or protecting existing ones.”
What came to mind after reading the article is the opportunity something similar could do for Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau who promised that young Swedish “climate change” warrior, Greta Thunberg, he would plant 2 billion trees. The answer to his prayers perhaps, as he has been far too busy at his Rideau cottage to actually plant anything since the pandemic broke. He could also unleash the same concept on Canadian businesses to do what the Russian’s propose as between the Federal and Provincial governments about 89% of the land (almost 8.9 million square kilometers) in Canada is owned by either the Federal or Provincial governments. He will just have to tell them where to plant the trees.
The other thing that struck me was as Canada’s forests are the 2nd largest (347 million hectares versus Russia’s 763 million) in the world why not make the same claim they did! Russia claims their forests absorb 38% of their emissions so, based on that premise; Canada’s forests would be absorbing about 140 million tonnes which would bring us very close to our 2030 emissions target. The Trudeau led government has increased the carbon tax imposed on all Canadians to $170/tonne by the time 2030 arrives so, adopting Russia’s concept would allow them to cancel future “carbon tax” increases. Yahoo!
IESO Board Determination on a Market Rule Amendment
The second thing that caught my eye came from Ontario’s IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator). IESO manage Ontario’s electricity grid doing what they can to ensure we are not impacted by brownouts or blackouts as Texas recently experienced. IESO announced: “A market rule amendment proposal to limit the IESO indemnity to losses caused by gross negligence, subject to the current limitations on recoverable damages, was adopted by the IESO Board of Directors and is currently planned to take effect on May 3, 2021.”
Outward appearances suggest should events (blackouts) similar to what happened in Texas occur in Ontario, IESO want to limit potential lawsuits to actions proving “gross negligence” only! ERCOT, the Texas grid operator is facing many huge lawsuits due to the winter storm the week of February 14, 2021 so presumably this is what inspired IESO to amend this Market Rule.
Ontario should follow the recent Texas lead
Texas’s political leaders have reflected on the recent blackout and about two weeks ago, the Texas Senate “unanimously approved a bill that would slap fines of up to $1 million a day against electricity and natural gas companies that balk at weatherizing facilities and would set up a system for warning the public about the risk of impending blackouts similar to one now used for hurricanes.”
As one would expect the renewable energy crowd, big tech and the financial institutions are upset about the bill but it appears to be a great idea following the review on the causes of the blackout.
While Ontario’s electricity system is fully weatherized, the precedents of the Texas bill do open up an interesting possible act here in Ontario. What is suggested is an act to reduce our costs of electricity! Our Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Greg Rickford should consider an act penalizing renewable energy generating surplus electricity during low demand times such as the middle of the night or on weekends. That surplus energy creates huge losses as IESO are forced to sell or curtail our surpluses (to avoid blackouts) to NY, Michigan, etc. at very low rates which are subsidized by Ontario ratepayers. Those events cause Ontario’s ratepayers to pay considerably more than $1 million a day. Here is an opportunity to reduce those ratepayer/taxpayer costs but let’s up the costs to generators to $5 million per day!
The time has come for Minister Rickford to act and deliver on the promise to reduce electricity rates by the 12% we were told would happen should the Ford led OPC party be elected. Here is the chance for them to prove they meant what they promised to those who voted for them!